Adoption & Custody


Adoption & Custody

One of the most satisfying parts of our practice is in safeguarding families through adoptions and custody matters. Clifford Family Law provides affordable professional legal services to birth parents, grandparents, step-parents, and others in domestic, interstate, and domesticated adoptions.

There are many issues that present risks and potential breakdown of the process. Complex laws, paperwork requirements, and even cultural practices differ from state to state and throughout the world.

Your greatest protection for a successful adoption lies in carefully choosing an experienced adoption attorney who can effectively guide the process and who also recognizes potential warning signs. Let our 25 years of practicing adoptions and domesticating foreign adoptions from as far away as Guatemala, Mexico, India, China, Korea, and Eastern Europe protect your rights and guide you through your obligations and responsibilities.

Helping All Families With Adoption & Custody

Same Sex Marriage Adoption

Gay Individual Adoption

Couples Adoption

Information for

Adoptive Parent(s)

Adopting a child is a time of joy and excited anticipation. While some birth parents look for specifics in adoptive parents, most simply seek a financially secure, happily married couple or individual to adopt their baby.

You will have many concerns and questions, including:

  • What kinds of expenses you may be expected to pay.
  • How funds will be safely handled.
  • Who are the birth parents and what are their medical histories and lifestyle?
  • What are their reasons for putting their child up for adoption?
  • Where is the birth father—and do we need to fear possible interference?

We provide legal assistance to Florida individuals and couples who are interested in a private placement adoption. We will work to ensure your legal rights are protected and that the process is as smooth as possible.

Information for

Birth Parent(s)

Giving up a child for adoption may be the most difficult decision you will ever make. More than anything, you want to protect your child and ensure that he or she will be loved and well cared for before you can comfortably move on with your life.

We provide legal assistance to birth parents who are interested in placing a child for adoption. We know that our role in assisting birth parents is to help you make the best choice for your child. If you are considering placing your child for adoption, we will counsel you on your rights, obligations, and responsibilities in the adoption process.

Additional Information

Adoption & Custody

Temporary Custody

The need for child care and custody may be more temporary in nature, while one or both parents are out of the country, serving in the military, incarcerated, or otherwise unavailable for a period of time. Adoption may be too permanent a solution for your needs and the needs of the child, making temporary custody the best solution for providing interim care for the child. We can help formulate an arrangement that protects your interests and those of the child.

Because you have so much vested in the hopes and dreams of a successful outcome, choosing an attorney is a pivotal decision. Clifford Family Law has solutions and will guide you with care and compassion.

Same Sex Marriage Adoption

Same-sex marriage is now accepted and recognized in the State of Florida as valid. As a result, children born to couples in the same-sex marriage are considered as children of that marriage and belonging to both parties. In the event same-sex marriage couples divorce, they and their children are protected by Florida Statute Chapter 61 concerning child support, alimony, and parenting time.

One of the challenges is that when a child is born to a female couple, the child is not biologically related to one parent. While the process is being streamlined, adoption by the non-biologically related female is sometimes necessary to confirm her legal connection to the child.

Gay Individual Adoption

Finally, individual adoption by gay and lesbian persons is accepted and recognized. Clifford Family Law can help individuals with their specific issues and challenges. 

International Adoptions

When a foreign adoption takes place, meaning the adoption is finalized, in the country from which the child is coming, a process called domestication occurs in the state in which the adoptive parent resides. In that case, Clifford Family Law would file for recognition of the foreign judgment as a valid adoption. Florida’s Office of Vital Statistics then issues a Certificate of Birth. The Certificate can be used for all the same purposes as a birth certificate. This domestication eliminates the concern of losing the original paperwork from the child’s country of birth.

Clifford Family Law helps by filing the requisite paperwork which is in possession of the adoptive parent from the foreign country (usually comes in the language of the foreign country along with an English translation). We use those documents along with some documents provided by the United States to demonstrate that the foreign adoption is valid. We then file copies of that paperwork in Florida.

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(239) 220-5062

1415 Dean Street, Suite 202
Fort Myers, FL 33901