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CS/CS/CS/SB 590 — Adoption

by Fiscal Policy Committee; Judiciary Committee; Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee and Senators Detert and Gaetz

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee (CF)

The bill revises the definition “abandoned” or “abandonment” in Chapter 39, F.S., to provide that a man’s acknowledgement of paternity of the child does not limit the period of time considered in determining whether the child was abandoned. Additionally, the definition of “parent” in Chapter 39, F.S., was revised to clarify that the term “parent” does not include an individual whose parental relationship to the child has been legally terminated, or an alleged or prospective parent except in certain conditions.

The bill revises the circumstances under which an adoption consent is valid, binding and enforceable; amends the factors a court must consider in determining whether the best interests of the child are served by transferring custody to a prospective adoptive parent chosen by the parent or adoptive entity; authorizes the court to establish reasonable timelines for the transfer of custody; and requires the court to provide written notice to a parent of his or her right to participate in a private adoption plan earlier in the process than currently required by law.

According to the Department of Children and Families, the bill is not expected to impact state funds. However, according to the Office of State Courts Administrator the bill is expected to have an indeterminate negative impact on judicial workloads.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2016

Vote: Senate 36-0; House 119-0