Michelle A. Barry, P.A.
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Can unmarried couples adopt?

As an unmarried couple in Florida, you may have no interest in tying the knot any time soon. However, that might not change your desire to raise a family and have children. If adoption is an option that appeals to you, you may first be wondering if it is even available to unmarried parents.

The short answer is yes, in most states. According to Unmarried Equality, you can still adopt even if you aren’t part of a married couple in states that allow for joint adoptions. However, it may unfortunately be more difficult for you to adopt than a traditional couple. You could face discrimination even in states where joint adoption can happen, as the courts may argue that you will be unable to provide the healthy and stable living arrangements that would best benefit a child.

Another option available is for only one parent to have a legal relationship with the child. This will circumvent the lack of joint adoptions in certain states. However, this will leave the child struggling if anything ever happens to the legal parent. It can also make things tricky if you and your partner ever decide to split. On the plus side, many states have been working toward making adoption easier for unmarried parents. The most common method is a two-step process in which one person adopts the child legally and then the other follows up with a second-parent adoption.

Florida’s adoption ban was ruled unconstitutional in 2009, which means you will likely face less hurdles than others. However, be prepared for a more complex ride than you would have dealt with if you were married.

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Michelle A. Barry, P.A.
285 West Pine Avenue
Longwood, FL 32750

Phone: 407-622-4529
Fax: 407-622-4532
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