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The Florida Statutes

The 2021 Florida Statutes

Title V
JUDICIAL BRANCH
Chapter 39
PROCEEDINGS RELATING TO CHILDREN
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F.S. 39.8155
39.8155 Reinstatement of parental rights.
(1) After parental rights have been terminated in accordance with this part, the department, the parent whose rights were terminated, or the child may file a motion to reinstate the parent’s parental rights. The court may consider a motion to reinstate parental rights if:
(a) The grounds for termination of parental rights were based on s. 39.806(1)(a) or (e)1.-3.
(b) The parent is not the verified perpetrator of sexual or physical abuse of the child.
(c) The parent has not been a perpetrator involved in any verified reports of abuse, neglect, or abandonment since his or her parental rights for the child were terminated.
(d) The parent has not had his or her parental rights terminated for any other child, under any grounds, in this state or any other jurisdiction, since his or her parental rights for the child were terminated.
(e) The child is at least 13 years of age.
(f) The child has not achieved permanency and is not in a preadoptive placement, and at least 36 months have passed since the termination of parental rights.
(2) The court shall dismiss a motion to reinstate parental rights if the criteria are not met in subsection (1).
(3) If a motion to reinstate parental rights is filed, the court shall consider all relevant evidence, including whether:
(a) The child possesses sufficient maturity to express a preference regarding the reinstatement of parental rights.
(b) The child is not in a preadoptive home or under permanent guardianship.
(c) The parent has a documented change in behavior such that, given the current age and maturity of the child, the circumstances that brought the child into care are remedied.
(d) The parent demonstrates sufficient protective capacities, given the child’s age, physical and behavioral health, and any other specific characteristics and needs, such that the risk of the child reentering care is low.
(e) Both the parent and child wish to reinstate parental rights.
(f) The child’s guardian ad litem recommends the reinstatement of parental rights.
(g) A multidisciplinary team was convened under s. 39.4022 and recommends the reinstatement of parental rights and has developed a plan to transition the child to the former parent’s care pursuant to s. 39.4023.
(4) Upon finding that the criteria in subsection (3) are established by clear and convincing evidence, the court shall order the department to conduct supervised visitation and trial home visits between the child and former parent for at least 3 consecutive months after the completion of a home study. In issuing the order, the court shall consider the transition plan developed by the child’s multidisciplinary team. The department shall report to the court at least once every 30 days regarding the former parent’s interactions with the child and recommend whether the court should reinstate parental rights. The department shall immediately cease the visitation with the former parent if there is an allegation of abuse, neglect, or abandonment of the child by the parent; if the department determines that the child’s safety or well-being is threatened; or that such visitation is not in the child’s best interest. The department shall immediately notify the court if it ceases visitation between the child and former parent.
(5) The court may reinstate parental rights upon a finding of clear and convincing evidence that it is in the best interest of the child. Upon ordering reinstatement of parental rights, the court shall place the child in the custody of the former parent with an in-home safety plan. The court shall retain jurisdiction for at least 6 months, during which the department shall supervise the placement and report to the court on the stability of the placement. The court shall determine whether its jurisdiction should be continued or terminated 6 months after reinstating parental rights based on a report from the department or the child’s guardian ad litem and any other relevant factors.
History.s. 15, ch. 2021-169.