Adoptive parents

Taking the big step to a new family

With over 30 years of experience and assisting in more than 3,000 placements, Shorstein & Kelly is one of the most highly respected adoption firms in the country.

Helping loving families adopt

We are Northeast Florida’s most experienced adoption professionals. With a team that includes board certified adoption attorneys and staff members with decades of experience, we know the best practices for completing a successful adoption plan. Services include:
  • “One-Stop Shop” – We provide comprehensive adoption services. Most adoption agencies require adoptive parents to find a lawyer to help finalize the adoption. Not here. Once matched, we’ll handle everything – birth parent coordination, birth mother expenses, consents, Interstate Compact, finalization, and new birth certificate.
  • Birth parent coordination: Throughout the adoption plan we work with birth parents to ensure that required documents are completed. This includes required due diligence regarding the birth father.
  • Contact management: Providing coordination, advice, and guidance regarding methods and tools for positive contact and communication between you and the birth parents.
  • Expense management: For a birth mother receiving living expenses, our office typically handles all budgeting, disbursement, and monitoring activities. By us handling the expenses, you are alleviated from managing the day-to-day financial interactions of the birth mother. Also, our office ensures that the expenses comply with Florida Law and are properly documented for the court.
  • Finalization: We’ll prepare all documents and provide all legal services needed (including court appearances) to finalize your adoption and terminate the parental rights of the birth parents.
  • Counseling: Birth parents are provided counseling services during the pregnancy and for a year following placement.

Evaluated for professionalism, tested for expertise

Your decision to adopt is an act of unselfishness and kindness. Your life will be changed forever. Adoption requires a complicated legal process, with numerous hazards and uncertainties. Choose a law firm that has the experience and the knowledge to help you realize your dream. Here’s what we offer:
  • Experience: We’ve been handling adoptions—in Florida and throughout the U.S.—since 1992. More than 3,000 adoptive families and birth mothers have chosen to come to us for help.
  • Birth Parent Relations: Many birth mothers choose us based on referrals from prior birth parents due to the positive relationship with our office members and the adoptive parents they are matched up. Their positive relationship with the adoptive parents provides assurances that their child will live a wonderful life.
  • Focus: Adoption law is complicated, and it’s all we concentrate on. Our firm includes two board certified adoption attorneys and staff that are 100% dedicated to adoptions. We have the expertise to help you navigate all the legal requirements involved.
  • Confidentiality: We take your privacy seriously. What you tell us stays between us.
  • Caring: We’re tough when we need to be. But our attorneys and staff are as deeply human as you are, with kindness, compassion, and concern that’s very real. You’ll experience it every time you speak with us.
  • ICPC Compliance: If you and the birth mother live in different states, we’ll make sure every aspect of the adoption complies fully with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC), which governs interstate adoptions.

What is the interstate compact for the placement of children (“ICPC”)?

The Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (“ICPC”) is a complex set of requirements that have been implemented in all 50 states and applies, in adoption cases, when the adoptive parents live in a different state from the baby they wish to adopt. For an interstate adoption to become finalized by the appropriate Court, all requirements of the ICPC must be met along with laws of states involved with the adoption.
Shorstein & Kelly specializes in interstate adoptions and has worked with nearly every state over the past 30 years. Our experience has provided us with:
  • Each state’s legal restrictions which might cause the adoption plan to be delayed (For example, many states do not allow for payment of facilitator fees.).
  • Procedures that assure strict adherence to ICPC rules. (For example, the adoptive parents cannot transport the baby across state lines until approval is received from the ICPC offices. Failure to adhere to this rule may jeopardize the adoption plan.)
  • The varying ICPC filing requirements for each state. All states require a packet of documents to be submitted. Our experience allows us to timely prepare and file the ICPC packet for approval.