Patrice Grier is Brevard Family Partnership’s Staff Attorney. Part of her job is facilitating the legal aspects surrounding the adoption. The process begins once the adoption worker has completed the home study and the family is approved for adoption when a final review of the adoption packet is done and sent to Patrice. The information in the adoption packet consists of a home study, copy of the child’s birth certificate, the order terminating the parental rights, and consents to the adoption.  This information is reviewed and used to draft a Petition for Adoption.

Patrice then calls the adoptive family to set up a time to meet with them so that they can review the petition for accuracy and sign it.  She answers any questions they may have, briefs them on what to expect, and sometimes she has an opportunity to meet the child who is being adopted.

Next, Patrice files all the paperwork and calls the judge’s judicial assistant to get a hearing date.  Once the hearing date is confirmed, she sends out a notice of the hearing to all the interested parties. At the adoption hearing, Patrice facilities questions with the adoptive parents, under oath, regarding why they want to adopt, whether they understand the impact of adoption, and what they are requesting from the court. This is simply to ensure that all parties are informed and aware of what is occurring during this exciting time and to document their commitment to the court.

Finally, Patrice provides the final judgment of adoption for the judge to sign.  She then distributes the copies of the judgment and takes the necessary paperwork to the clerk’s office so that they can request a new birth certificate. Once the birth certificate is received, Patrice mails it to the adoptive family.  It will have the child’s new name, the adoptive parents names listed, and a new family is complete!

Kristin Pirozzi is Brevard C.A.R.E.S.’ Post Adoption Care Coordinator. As a post adoption care coordinator, Kristin offers a full array of support services and Wraparound Family Team Conferencing for families that have adoption out of the state of Florida.  Brevard CARES offers an open support group to anyone who has adopted. This group meets on the first Tuesday of every month from 6:30pm to 8pm at Brevard CARES, 4085 S. US 1 , Rockledge, FL 32955.  Dinner and childcare are provided.  Please RSVP to: