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LGBT couples should obtain legal rights of children

You love your children more than anything. You have enjoyed raising them. You like to watch as they learn new things and explore the world. You can see their personalities developing. They surprise you with new quirks every day. You like to listen as they tell jokes and learn new stories. You are their parent. You and your partner have raised them together.

You are not their biological parent, but regardless, you are theirs and they are yours.

Prior to 2015

In 2015, same sex marriage became legal in Florida. That was the same year that the Governor removed the adoption ban for same sex couples from state statues. You know this and celebrated this milestone. It was a step forward for the community and families as a whole.

You and your partner adopted your children before this. You wanted to adopt, so you decided to have one parent go through the adoption proceedings.

What should you do?

You will want to take steps to become a legal parent of your children. You will want to do this even if you and your partner are under good terms and plan on staying together. Becoming a legal parent will protect you and your rights to your children should circumstances change in the future. Legal parental rights will give you the power to make important decisions for your children. If you and your spouse were to divorce, or in the event that your spouse were to become deceased, you would have custody and visitation rights.

How does it work?

You will need to file a petition for adoption. Since your children were previously adopted through the Florida adoption processes, you should only need the consent of your partner. The requirements for an adoption in this situation are different than a traditional adoption. With the consent of your partner, you should not have to proceed with any reports or home visits that traditional adoption requires unless there are extenuating circumstances.

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