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We have a permanent guardianship order on my niece. She was…

Customer Question
We have a permanent...

We have a permanent guardianship order on my niece. She was in our home under foster care for over two years before permanent guardianship was granted. This was an ICPC case, Oklahoma to Florida. All of our court hearings were in Oklahoma but now that we have permanent guardianship of her in order to try and adopt her and get her biological fathers rights terminated it will go by Florida law. We have no contact with her father and have not in over year he does not pay child support either. How do we go about Petitioning to get his rights terminated and adopting her

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in Oklahoma family court?

As far as his termination goes no. our review happens on March 27 and our Oklahoma lawyer says that we do not have to attend because it’s just a review of placement. She says that we need to contact Florida lawyer regarding terminating his rights so that we can adopt

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer about this yet?

Not other than our Oklahoma lawyer

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Sure or Oklahoma Lawyer states that in Oklahoma a biological father has to have “substantial and positive relationship with the child” Which he has not I’m wanting to know if Florida has the same type of law

Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: Family Law
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Answered in 8 hours by:
3/23/2018
Family Lawyer: Sue, Family Law Attorney replied 3 months ago
Sue
Sue, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 564
Experience: Family Law litigator for over 35 years
Verified

Hello, I’m here to help you today. I'm a licensed attorney with over 35 years’ experience in family law. I'll review your question and be right back.

Sue

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Family Lawyer: Sue, Family Law Attorney replied 3 months ago

This is general information and not legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed. This is for educational purposes only.

The legal effect of an adoption is to terminate the parent's rights.

I'm going to do some research into Florida adoption and termination law.

I'll be right back.

Sue

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Family Lawyer: Sue, Family Law Attorney replied 3 months ago

This form is for step-parent adoptions, but I think it will be useful to read through it. Paragraph 3 reads, "All legal relations between the adoptee(s) and the parent whose rights are being terminated and between the adoptee(s) and the relatives of that parent are terminated by this adoption, as are all parental rights and responsibilities of that birth parent."

This confirms my understanding that an adoption terminates the non-custodial parent's parental rights.

So you shouldn't need to file an action to terminate the father's rights and then file another action to adopt your niece.

I've been unable to find the court forms for non-step-parent adoptions, but

here is a helpful official Florida Court's website Self-Help Centers.

You can contact the Self-Help Center to ask what forms to use for a non-step-parent adoption. This will be a non-consent petition that will require service on both natural parents.

Given the facts you outlined, no child support, no contact for a year, you should be able to prevail.

Do you have other questions arising out of the information I provided?

Sue

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Family Lawyer: Sue, Family Law Attorney replied 3 months ago

I have to go off-line for a while.

I'll check back in with you soon.

Sue

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Thanks for your response. We do have to petition to have his rights terminated in order to adopt. Before posting here I looked at the Florida self help site and could not find anything on our situation either. I was hoping a lawyer familiar with such cases would respond. Any advice?
Family Lawyer: Sue, Family Law Attorney replied 3 months ago

If you don't mind my asking, why do you believe you have to terminate the father's rights before adopting?

Have you contacted the FL Self-Help Centers I linked you to to ask if you can straight file for adoption rather than this two-step process? They can be a terrific resource.

If you want, of course, I can return you to the experts page so perhaps a Florida attorney will respond.

Sue

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Because that’s what I was told by the attorney in Oklahoma. The biological parents rights have to be terminated before adoption can take place.
Customer reply replied 3 months ago
How can I get a Florida attorney to respond??
Family Lawyer: Sue, Family Law Attorney replied 3 months ago

You can contact Customer Service to ask for assistance directing this question to FL attorneys only.

Please let me know if Customer Service says I need to opt out, okay?

Sue

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