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FAQ’s for Adopting Parents


1. Should the child who is being adopted come to Court on the day of the adoption?

Yes. The adopting parent(s) and the child to be adopted should be in Court for the adoption finalization hearing.


2. How long will I be in Court for my adoption hearing?
You can expect your Court hearing to last approximately 15 minutes. 


3. May I bring friends and family to the adoption hearing? 
Yes. If you plan to bring more than a few, please contact me so I can advise you regarding available space.


4. Can we take photographs in Court?

Most Judges allow a family photo to be taken with them immediately following the Court hearing.



5. Are video cameras allowed in Court for adoption hearings?

This is discretionary with each Judge. If you wish to videotape during the adoption hearing, please let me know so we can check with the Court Deputy to find out if this is permissible. 


6. What should we wear to Court? 
Please dress nicely for Court. Wear something you would be comfortable wearing to church or a nice dinner out (business casual or nicer). Shorts/tank tops/halter tops are not appropriate. 


7. When will my Court order be signed by the Judge? 
A Final Judgment of Adoption is usually signed by the Judge at the conclusion of the adoption hearing on the day you go to Court.


8. How long will it be before I receive copies of my Court order? 
Certified copies of your Court order will be mailed out to you within 24 hours of your Court hearing.


9. How do I get a new birth certificate for my child(ren)?
My office will order the birth certificate for you from the Office of Vital Statistics in the state where your child was born.


10. How long will it be before I receive the new birth certificate?
If the child was born in Florida, expect to receive the new birth certificate within six weeks. If the child was born outside of Florida, it may be several months before you receive the new birth certificate.


11. When can I get my child’s new Social Security card? 
After you receive your child’s new birth certificate, you may go to your nearest Social Security office to request a new Social Security card for your child.


12. May I obtain a new Social Security number for my child, or must I keep the same one? 
If anyone else has had access to the child's Social Security Number and you are afraid there may be problems with it, ask the Social Security Office to change the child's number.


13. Where can I find directions to Court?
Please see the "Information" page on this website for the listings.


14. Are there tax benefits available to families who adopt? 

Most families who adopt children through the dependency system are eligible for a tax credit.  Some employers also provide financial incentives for parents who are adopting.  Please consult with your Tax Professional for further information.  The North American Council on Adoptable Children also provides helpful information about tax benefits.  



Please do not hesitate to contact Rachel directly if you need additional information.


Making a Difference One Family at a Time

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