Most stepparent adoptions result from an absent parent. The parent may be absent because he or she is deceased, has abandoned the child or children, or has not maintained a relationship with the child or children.

Sometimes a parent consents to the adoption believing it to be in the child’s best interest. If the other parent has regular contact with the child and will not consent to adoption, Florida law will generally not allow a stepparent adoption to proceed.

The adoption documents are filed in the Circuit Court in the county where the stepparent resides. Once this process if finalized by the Court, the adopted child will receive a new birth certificate, showing the new parent listed on the birth certificate, and also showing the child’s new name.