Legal Question in Family Law in Florida



Renee Smith (1 Years Old Girl) Father Unknown / Mother Difficult to reach and in and out of jail wants no active part in her life.

Richard White (3 Year Old Boy) Father signed away all rights / Mother same as above.)

Marie Smith (Grandmother to children. Mother of Mother of both.)

Has Permanent guardianship of boy for 2 years

Currently attempting to get permanent guardianship of Renee - Has temporary custody final court date in Oct...

The Plan:

The plan was to await her getting permanent guardianship (Oct Hopefully) and then transfer it to us, and allow us to go after adoption.

The Complication:

Grandmother Marie died last Tuesday unexpectedly and with no will, I do have a Notarized letter stating her wishes but I doubt it will be worth much.

The question:

I am worried because I notified the case worker, they sent out DCF to perform a case study. Meanwhile they have left the children in our home but not given us the ability to care for them in case of emergency. What should I do?

Asked on 7/06/09, 5:18 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Brent Rose The Orsini & Rose Law Firm

Re: Complications

If DCF left the kids in your home, you have the authority to care for them in case of an emergency. But if an emergency happens, notify the case worker as soon as possible.

In the meantime, I assume DCF is seeking Termination of Parental Rights against the mothers. If that's so, you should be signing up to get adoption qualified through DCF so that you can seek adoption of the kids once the TPR is completed. Hopefully, DCF will allow you to adopt. Also, it wouldn't hurt to retain a lawyer to help you through all of this.

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Answered on 7/06/09, 5:28 pm
Katy Bost Law Office of Katy Bost

Re: Complications

DCF will require you to complete a MAPP course and have a home study to adopt these children. The next step for them should be the termination of parental rights of the mother. They have placed the children with you as nonrelative caregiver status (I assume) and therefore you are receiving no assistance, correct?

If the birth mother's parental rights have not been terminated, you could handle this privately and the mother could consent to the adoption through an attorney or an adoption agency. You will need a home study either way.

My office handles these matters. Feel free to call or email to consult. Best wishes to you and the children.

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Answered on 7/07/09, 1:32 pm

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