Hot Topics

The Relationship Between Adoption Law and The Florida Child Welfare System

By Alan Isaac Mishael

In Florida, purely private, domestic adoptions that do not originate through Florida’s child welfare system are typically governed largely if not exclusively by Chapter 63 of the Florida Statutes entitled “Adoptions” and the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure. At the same time, many children in Florida who become available for adoption are graduates of Florida’s child welfare system. For adoptions that result from child welfare proceedings under Chapter 39, there is no single unitary source of law furnishing reliable markers along the road that the eventual adoptee will travel. Both Florida and federal law influence that process and provide financial incentives to help prospective adoptive parents offer these children often the first normal childhood they will have experienced. Before arriving at that point, however, the prospective adoptive parent of a child achieving permanency through the child welfare system will often confront many procedural and substantive challenges far afield from private adoption cases. Our presentation is intended to share with a wider audience some of the things we have learned.

Click here to read the entire article.