When one makes the decision to adopt a child who has birth siblings, it is understandable that there may be some added complexities. Even when a child does not have birth siblings at the time of the adoption, there is always the chance that his birth mother will go on to have other children. Navigating the situation can be difficult for the adoptive parents, as well as the children involved. Thus, it is important to not only know what the law says about sibling interactions, but consult with an experienced Miami family lawyer who has experience with adoptions involving these circumstances.
Laws Governing Sibling Relationships
It should serve as no surprise that keeping sibling relationships intact is typically (though not always) beneficial to the children involved. With that in mind, the courts have established some legal guidelines for these all important relationships. The Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 was the first piece of legislation that addressed this topic on a Federal level. It outlines the importance of keeping siblings in the same foster home whenever doing so is feasible. When this is not an option, the law requires that frequent visitations occur, permitted this would not be to the detriment of the children.
The issue of post-adoptive requirements of parents of adopted children with birth siblings is ultimately left up to the states. To date, Florida’s legislation only addresses adoptions completed by relatives, such as a grandparent. One of these is Statute 63.022, which seeks to keep siblings together whenever possible, whether it be in a foster home or an adoption. Another piece of legislation (63.0427) details the need for continued communication with birth siblings whenever the court deems appropriate. Both of these statutes come with quite a bit of gray area. Thus, the courts must consider the specifics of each unique case before determining what is best for the child.
If you are interested in welcoming a child into your home through adoption, selecting the right Miami family lawyer is of the utmost importance. Our office offers free consultations, and we would love to meet with you to discuss your unique situation. Give us a call today to schedule a meeting with one of our skilled attorneys.