The reality is that many children in Lakeland, Florida, are not being raised by their biological parents. In some cases, the child may still have a relationship with one of his or her parents, but that parent’s new spouse, the child’s stepparent, has truly stepped in to fill the role of that child’s mother or father.

In other cases, grandparents or other relatives fill the role of that child’s parents. Sometimes, this happens under tragic circumstances, like when the child’s parents both die. In other cases, the child’s parents may be unwilling or unable to care for their child because of a drug addiction, a mental illness or the like.

While it is not right for every situation, those who have stood in and acted as a child’s caregiver in oftentimes difficult circumstances may wish to take the important step of legally becoming that child’s parent.

Particularly if the child’s parents are not in favor of the adoption, but even if they are willing to agree, going through an adoption can be a complicated process that will require the guidance of an experienced family law attorney.

In addition to guiding Florida residents through an adoption when doing so is appropriate, our attorney can also help relative caregivers in situations where a solution short of adoption, like a guardianship or other custody arrangement, makes more sense.

On the flip side, sometimes the rights of parents, particularly those of dads, get passed over during an adoption process. For instance, a father may face the loss of his parental rights without ever really having an opportunity to form a bond with his child and prove himself a good caregiver. Our office can help men in this situation advocate for their rights if facing the adoption of their children.