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The Florida Senate

2004 Florida Statutes

Section 63.032, Florida Statutes 2004

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 no provision for the child's support and 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, an agency, a child-caring agency registered under s. 409.176, an intermediary, or a child-placing agency licensed in another state which is qualified by the department to place children in the State of Florida.

(4)  "Adult" means a person who is not a minor.

(5)  "Agency" means any child-placing agency licensed by the department pursuant to s. 63.202 to place minors for adoption.

(6)  "Child" means a son or daughter, whether by birth or adoption.

(7)  "Court" means any circuit court of this state and, when the context requires, the court of any state that is empowered to grant petitions for adoption.

(8)  "Department" means the Department of Children and Family Services.

(9)  "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.

(10)  "Legal custody" has the meaning ascribed in s. 39.01

(11)  "Minor" means a person under the age of 18 years.

(12)  "Parent" has the same meaning ascribed in s. 39.01

(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)  "Relative" means a person related by blood to the person being adopted within the third degree of consanguinity.

(15)  "To place" 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 includes all actions by any person or adoption entity participating in the process.

(16)  "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.

(17)  "Primarily lives and works outside Florida" means a person who lives and works outside this state at least 6 months of the year, military personnel who designate Florida as their place of residence in accordance with the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940, or employees of the United States Department of State living in a foreign country who designate a state other than Florida as their place of residence.

(18)  "Suitability of the intended placement" includes the fitness of the intended placement, with primary consideration being given to the best interest of the child.

(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 birth of the child and who has not been declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to be the legal father of the child.

(20)  "Adoption plan" means arrangements made by a birth parent or other individual having a legal right to custody of a minor child, born or to be born, with an adoption entity in furtherance of the placement of the minor for adoption.

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.