On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
Few child custody matters in Florida courts are more fraught with emotion than those in which an adoption is being contested. In these cases, both sides have a strong position, yet one side will walk away devastated. For the children at the center of these family law struggles, the outcome is often difficult to accept, no matter which way the court rules. One such case is currently underway, and two families are awaiting the ruling that will change the course of their lives.
The case centers on the adoption of a little girl, now 3 years old. She was placed into foster care as an infant after her mother was unable to provide the appropriate level of care. The biological mother struggled with drug addiction and was grateful to the foster family that took her baby in and gave her a loving home. She supported them in their desire to adopt the child and remains in support of the home in which her daughter has grown up.
The biological father was incarcerated at the time the child was placed into foster care and later adopted. As part of the adoption process, his parental rights were terminated. Upon his recent release, he appealed that decision, and the court sided in his favor, reversing the adoption. Now, the matter will go back before the lower court, where a determination of custody will be made. The adoptive family is urging the biological father to consider the best interests of the child, and to allow her to be raised by the only parents she has ever known.
This case is an example of a family law matter where there are no true winners. Both sides have strong points in the case, and both clearly want the ability to provide a loving home for this little girl. The courts will consider what is in her best interests, and the fact that she has already bonded with her adoptive family may play in their favor. If nothing else, the case serves as a warning to Florida residents about the risks inherent in adoption where one or both parents have their rights terminated in a court of law.
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CBS News, “Biological father speaks out on fight for custody of daughter he never met“, Feb. 10, 2017