Form 12.981(B)(1) "Joint Petition for Adoption by Stepparent" - Florida

What Is Form 12.981(B)(1)?

This is a legal form that was released by the Florida Courts - a government authority operating within Florida. As of today, no separate filing guidelines for the form are provided by the issuing department.

Form Details:

  • Released on November 1, 2015;
  • The latest edition provided by the Florida Courts;
  • Easy to use and ready to print;
  • Quick to customize;
  • Compatible with most PDF-viewing applications;
  • Fill out the form in our online filing application.

Download a fillable version of Form 12.981(B)(1) by clicking the link below or browse more documents and templates provided by the Florida Courts.

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INSTRUCTIONS FOR FLORIDA SUPREME COURT APPROVED FAMILY LAW
FORM 12.981(b)(1),
JOINT PETITION FOR ADOPTION BY STEPPARENT (11/15)
When should this form be used?
This form should be used when a stepparent is adopting his or her spouse’s child. Both the stepparent
and his or her spouse must sign this petition.
You must attach all necessary consents or
acknowledgments that apply to your case, as listed under the Special Notes section below. Florida
Statutes require that consent to adoption be obtained from:
The mother of the minor.
The father of the minor if:
1.
The minor was conceived or born while the father was married to the mother;
2.
The minor is his child by adoption;
3.
The minor has been established by a court proceeding to be his child;
4.
He has filed an affidavit of paternity pursuant to section 382.013(2)(c) Florida Statutes;
or
5.
In the case of an unmarried biological father, he has acknowledged in writing, signed in
the presence of a competent witness, that he is the father of the minor, has filed such
acknowledgment with the Office of Vital Statistics of the Department of Health within
the required timeframes, and has complied with the requirements of section 63.062(2),
Florida Statutes.
Determining whether someone’s consent is required, or when consent may not be required is a
complicated issue and you may wish to consult an attorney. For more information about consenting to
adoption, you should refer to Chapter 63, Florida Statutes, and sections 63.062-63.082 in particular.
This form should be typed or printed in black ink. The name to be given to the child(ren) after the
adoption should be used in the heading of the petition. The stepparent is the petitioner, because he or
she is the one who is asking the court for legal action. After completing this form, you and your spouse
must sign it before a notary public or deputy clerk. You should then file the original and 1 copy with the
clerk of the circuit court in the county where the minor resides unless the court changes the venue.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING E-FILING
The Florida Rules of Judicial Administration now require that all petitions, pleadings, and documents be
filed electronically except in certain circumstances. Self-represented litigants may file petitions or
other pleadings or documents electronically; however, they are not required to do so. If you choose
to file your pleadings or documents electronically, you must do so in accordance with Florida Rule of
Judicial Administration 2.525, and you must follow the procedures of the judicial circuit in which you file.
The rules and procedures should be carefully read and followed.
What should I do next?
For your case to proceed, you must have the written consent of the other birth parent and the child, if
Instructions for Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.981(b)(1), Joint Petition for
Adoption by Stepparent (11/15)
INSTRUCTIONS FOR FLORIDA SUPREME COURT APPROVED FAMILY LAW
FORM 12.981(b)(1),
JOINT PETITION FOR ADOPTION BY STEPPARENT (11/15)
When should this form be used?
This form should be used when a stepparent is adopting his or her spouse’s child. Both the stepparent
and his or her spouse must sign this petition.
You must attach all necessary consents or
acknowledgments that apply to your case, as listed under the Special Notes section below. Florida
Statutes require that consent to adoption be obtained from:
The mother of the minor.
The father of the minor if:
1.
The minor was conceived or born while the father was married to the mother;
2.
The minor is his child by adoption;
3.
The minor has been established by a court proceeding to be his child;
4.
He has filed an affidavit of paternity pursuant to section 382.013(2)(c) Florida Statutes;
or
5.
In the case of an unmarried biological father, he has acknowledged in writing, signed in
the presence of a competent witness, that he is the father of the minor, has filed such
acknowledgment with the Office of Vital Statistics of the Department of Health within
the required timeframes, and has complied with the requirements of section 63.062(2),
Florida Statutes.
Determining whether someone’s consent is required, or when consent may not be required is a
complicated issue and you may wish to consult an attorney. For more information about consenting to
adoption, you should refer to Chapter 63, Florida Statutes, and sections 63.062-63.082 in particular.
This form should be typed or printed in black ink. The name to be given to the child(ren) after the
adoption should be used in the heading of the petition. The stepparent is the petitioner, because he or
she is the one who is asking the court for legal action. After completing this form, you and your spouse
must sign it before a notary public or deputy clerk. You should then file the original and 1 copy with the
clerk of the circuit court in the county where the minor resides unless the court changes the venue.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING E-FILING
The Florida Rules of Judicial Administration now require that all petitions, pleadings, and documents be
filed electronically except in certain circumstances. Self-represented litigants may file petitions or
other pleadings or documents electronically; however, they are not required to do so. If you choose
to file your pleadings or documents electronically, you must do so in accordance with Florida Rule of
Judicial Administration 2.525, and you must follow the procedures of the judicial circuit in which you file.
The rules and procedures should be carefully read and followed.
What should I do next?
For your case to proceed, you must have the written consent of the other birth parent and the child, if
Instructions for Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.981(b)(1), Joint Petition for
Adoption by Stepparent (11/15)
applicable. The court may choose not to require consent to an adoption in some circumstances. For
more information about situations where consent may not be required, see section 63.064, Florida
Statutes. If you are attempting to proceed without the consent of the other birth parent, you may wish
to consult with an attorney. Section 63.054, Florida Statutes, requires that in each adoption proceeding,
the Florida Putative Father Registry be searched. You will need an order from the judge to do this,
which you can request by filing a Motion for Search of the Putative Father Registry, Florida Supreme
Court Approved Family Law Form 12.981(a)(6).
When you have filed all of the required forms and met the requirements as outlined above, you are ready
to set a hearing on your petition. You should check with the clerk of court, family law intake staff or
the judicial assistant to set a final hearing. If all persons required to consent have consented and the
consents/affidavits of nonpaternity have been filed with the court, the hearing may be held immediately.
If not, notice of the hearing must be given as provided by the Rules of Civil Procedure. See Form 1.902,
Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. If you know where the other birth parent lives, you should use personal
service. If you absolutely do not know where he or she lives, you may use constructive service. In order
to use constructive service you will need to complete and submit to the court Stepparent Adoption:
Affidavit of Diligent Search, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.981(a)(4). For more
information about personal and constructive service, you should refer to the “General Instructions for
Self-Represented Litigants” found at the beginning of these forms and the instructions to Florida Family
Law Rules of Procedure Forms 12.910(a) and 12.913(b) and Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law
Form 12.913(a). However, the law regarding constructive service is very complex and you may wish to
consult an attorney regarding that issue.
Where can I look for more information?
Before proceeding, you should read “General Information for Self-Represented Litigants” found at the
beginning of these forms. See Chapter 63, Florida Statutes, and Florida Family Law Rule 12.200(a)(2) for
further information.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING E-SERVICE ELECTION
After the initial service of process of the petition or supplemental petition by the Sheriff or certified
process server, the Florida Rules of Judicial Administration now require that all documents required or
permitted to be served on the other party must be served by electronic mail (e-mail) except in certain
circumstances. You must strictly comply with the format requirements set forth in the Rules of
Judicial Administration. If you elect to participate in electronic service, which means serving or receiving
pleadings by electronic mail (e-mail), or through the Florida Courts E-Filing Portal, you must review
Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.516. You may find this rule at
www.flcourts.org
through the link
to the Rules of Judicial Administration provided under either Family Law Forms: Getting Started, or Rules
of Court in the A-Z Topical Index.
SELF-REPRESENTED LITIGANTS MAY SERVE DOCUMENTS BY E-MAIL; HOWEVER, THEY ARE NOT
REQUIRED TO DO SO. If a self-represented litigant elects to serve and receive documents by e-mail, the
procedures must always be followed once the initial election is made.
To serve and receive documents by e-mail, you must designate your e-mail addresses by using the
Designation of Current Mailing and E-mail Address, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form
12.915, and you must provide your e-mail address on each form on which your signature appears.
Instructions for Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.981(b)(1), Joint Petition for
Adoption by Stepparent (11/15)
Please CAREFULLY read the rules and instructions for: Certificate of Service (General), Florida Supreme
Court Approved Family Law Form 12.914; Designation of Current Mailing and E-mail Address, Florida
Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.915; and Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.516.
Special notes...
With this petition you must file the following:
Consent form executed by the birth parent, Stepparent Adoption: Consent and Waiver by Parent,
Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.981(a)(1) or Stepparent Adoption: Affidavit
of Nonpaternity, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.981(a)(3).
If any person whose consent is required is deceased, a certified copy of the death certificate must
be attached to this Petition.
Consent form executed by the minor child(ren), if the child(ren) is/are over 12 years of age,
Stepparent Adoption: Consent of Adoptee, Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form
12.981(a)(2). The court can excuse filing of this form under certain circumstances.
Certified copy of the child(ren)’s birth certificate.
Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) Affidavit, Florida Supreme
Court Approved Family Law Form 12.902(d).
If applicable, Stepparent Adoption: Motion for Search of the Putative Father Registry, Florida
Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.981(a)(6).
These family law forms contain a Final Judgment of Stepparent Adoption, Florida Supreme Court
Approved Family Law Form 12.981(b)(2), which the judge may use. You should check with the clerk,
family law intake staff, or judicial assistant to see if you need to bring a final judgment form with you to
the hearing. If so, you should type or print the heading, including the circuit, county case number,
division, and the child(ren)’s names, and leave the rest blank for the judge to complete at your hearing.
You should decide how many certified copies of the final judgment you will need and be prepared to
obtain them after the hearing.
There is a charge for certified copies, and the clerk can tell you how
much. The file will be sealed after the final hearing, and then it will take an order from a judge to open
the file and obtain a copy of the final judgment.
AN ADOPTIVE STEPPARENT WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE PARENTAL RIGHTS, INCLUDING CUSTODY AND
TIME-SHARING, WHERE APPROPRIATE, IN THE EVENT OF A LATER DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE, AND
MAY BE LIABLE FOR CHILD SUPPORT IN THE EVENT OF A LATER DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE. YOU
COULD BE LIABLE IN LITIGATION FOR THE ACTIONS OF THE ADOPTEE(S). THIS ADOPTION MAY ALSO
AFFECT THE ADOPTEE’S INHERITANCE.
Remember, a person who is NOT an attorney is called a nonlawyer. If a nonlawyer helps you fill out
these forms, that person must give you a copy of a Disclosure from Nonlawyer, Florida Family Law Rules
of Procedure Form 12.900 (a), before he or she helps you. A nonlawyer helping you fill out these forms
also must put his or her name, address, and telephone number on the bottom of the last page of every
form he or she helps you complete.
Instructions for Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.981(b)(1), Joint Petition for
Adoption by Stepparent (11/15)
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE __________________ JUDICIAL CIRCUIT,
IN AND FOR __________________ COUNTY, FLORIDA
Case No.: _______________________
Division: _______________________
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADOPTION OF
_________________________________________,
{use name to be given to the minor child} Adoptee.
JOINT PETITION FOR ADOPTION BY STEPPARENT
Petitioner, {full legal name} ______________________________________, being sworn, joined by the
above-named child(ren)’s _____ mother _____ father, {full legal name} __________________________,
being sworn, files this joint petition for adoption of the above-named minor child(ren), under chapter
63, Florida Statutes.
1. This is an action for adoption of a minor child(ren) by his or her (their) stepparent.
2. I desire to adopt the following child(ren):
Name to be given to child(ren)
Birth date
Birthplace
a. __________________________________________________________________________
b. __________________________________________________________________________
c. __________________________________________________________________________
d. __________________________________________________________________________
e. __________________________________________________________________________
f.
__________________________________________________________________________
A certified copy of the birth certificate(s) is/are attached.
3. The child(ren) has (have) resided with me since {date} __________________________________.
I wish to adopt the child(ren) because I would like to legally establish the parent-child
relationship already existing between the child(ren) and me. Since the above date, I have been
able to provide adequately for the material needs of the child(ren) and am able to continue
doing so in the future, as well as to provide for the child(ren)’s mental and emotional well-being.
Other
reasons
I
wish
to
adopt
the
children
are:
____________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
4. I am ______________ years old, and have resided at {street address}, _____________________
{city} _____________________ {county} __________ {state} _______ for _____________ years.
5. I married the _____ father or _____ mother of the child(ren) on {date} ___________________,
in {city} _____________________ {county} __________ {state} _______. The following are the
Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.981(b)(1), Joint Petition for Adoption by
(11/15)
Stepparent
dates and places of my dissolutions of marriage, if any:
Date
Place
a. _
________________________________ _______________________________________
b.
____________________________________________ __________________________
6. A completed Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Affidavit (UCCJEA),
Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.902(d), is filed with this petition.
7. A description and estimate of the value of any property of the adoptee(s) is as follows:
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
8. Consent by the adoptee(s):
_____ is attached for: Name(s) ____________________________________________________
_____ is not required because the adoptee(s) is/are not 12 years of age: Name(s) ____________
_____ was excused by the court for: Name(s) _________________________________________
9. The following person(s) is/are required to consent and the consent form or affidavit of
nonpaternity is/are attached _______________________________________________________
10. The following person(s) whose consent is required has not consented. The facts/circumstances
that excuse the lack of consent and would justify termination of this person’s parental rights
are:
Name
Address
Facts/circumstances
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________________
11. A copy of this Petition was served on all known persons whose consent is required but did not
waive notice, as well as on all persons whose consent is required but did not provide consent.
Proof of service is attached.
{Indicate if applicable}:
_____ A search of the Putative Father Registry maintained by the Office of Vital Statistics of
the Department of Health has been requested, and if granted, the certificate from the State
Registrar will be filed in this action.
WHEREFORE, I request that this Court terminate the parental rights of __________________________,
{name of parent whose rights are sought to be terminated}, enter a Final Judgment of Adoption of the
Minor Child(ren) by Petitioner Stepparent and, as requested, change the name of the adoptee(s).
Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.981(b)(1), Joint Petition for Adoption by
(11/15)
Stepparent