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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title VI
Chapter 63
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F.S. 63.032
63.032 Definitions.As used in this chapter, the term:
(1) “Abandoned” means a situation in which the parent or person having legal custody of a child, while being able, makes little or no provision for the child’s support or makes little or no effort to communicate with the child, which situation is sufficient to evince an intent to reject parental responsibilities. If, in the opinion of the court, the efforts of such parent or person having legal custody of the child to support and communicate with the child are only marginal efforts that do not evince a settled purpose to assume all parental duties, the court may declare the child to be abandoned. In making this decision, the court may consider the conduct of a father towards the child’s mother during her pregnancy.
(2) “Adoption” means the act of creating the legal relationship between parent and child where it did not exist, thereby declaring the child to be legally the child of the adoptive parents and their heir at law and entitled to all the rights and privileges and subject to all the obligations of a child born to such adoptive parents in lawful wedlock.
(3) “Adoption entity” means the department, a child-caring agency registered under s. 409.176, an intermediary, a Florida child-placing agency licensed under s. 63.202, or a child-placing agency licensed in another state which is licensed by the department to place children in the State of Florida.
(4) “Adoption plan” means an arrangement made by a birth parent or other individual having a legal right to custody of a minor, born or to be born, with an adoption entity in furtherance of placing the minor for adoption.
(5) “Adult” means a person who is not a minor.
(6) “Agency” means any child-placing agency licensed by the department pursuant to s. 63.202 to place minors for adoption.
(7) “Child” means any unmarried person under the age of 18 years who has not been emancipated by court order.
(8) “Court” means a circuit court of this state and, if the context requires, the court of any state that is empowered to grant petitions for adoption.
(9) “Department” means the Department of Children and Families.
(10) “Intermediary” means an attorney who is licensed or authorized to practice in this state and who is placing or intends to place a child for adoption, including placing children born in another state with citizens of this state or country or placing children born in this state with citizens of another state or country.
(11) “Legal custody” has the meaning ascribed in s. 39.01.
(12) “Parent” means a woman who gives birth to a child and who is not a gestational surrogate as defined in s. 742.13 or a man whose consent to the adoption of the child would be required under s. 63.062(1). If a child has been legally adopted, the term “parent” means the adoptive mother or father of the child. The term does not include an individual whose parental relationship to the child has been legally terminated or an alleged or prospective parent.
(13) “Person” includes a natural person, corporation, government or governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, or association, and any other legal entity.
(14) “Placement” means the process of a parent or legal guardian surrendering a child for adoption and the prospective adoptive parents receiving and adopting the child and all actions by any adoption entity participating in placing the child.
(15) “Primarily lives and works outside Florida” means that a person lives and works outside this state at least 6 months and 1 day per year, is a member of the military who designates a state other than Florida as his or her place of residence in accordance with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, Pub. L. No. 108-189, or is a citizen of the United States living in a foreign country who designates a state other than Florida as his or her place of residence.
(16) “Relative” means a person related by blood to the person being adopted within the third degree of consanguinity.
(17) “Suitability of the intended placement” means the fitness of the intended placement, with primary consideration being given to the best interests of the child.
(18) “To place” means the process whereby a parent or legal guardian surrenders a child for adoption and the prospective adoptive parents receive and adopt the child, and includes all actions by any person or adoption entity participating in the process.
(19) “Unmarried biological father” means the child’s biological father who is not married to the child’s mother at the time of conception or on the date of the birth of the child and who, before the filing of a petition to terminate parental rights, has not been adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction to be the legal father of the child or has not filed an affidavit pursuant to s. 382.013(2)(c).
History.s. 3, ch. 73-159; s. 3, ch. 75-226; s. 14, ch. 77-147; s. 2, ch. 80-296; s. 2, ch. 82-166; s. 1, ch. 84-101; s. 3, ch. 87-397; s. 1, ch. 88-109; ss. 3, 25, ch. 92-96; s. 11, ch. 97-101; s. 7, ch. 2001-3; s. 2, ch. 2003-58; s. 6, ch. 2007-5; s. 3, ch. 2008-151; s. 3, ch. 2012-81; s. 26, ch. 2014-19.