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The Florida Senate

2004 Florida Statutes

Disclosure by adoption entity.
Section 63.085, Florida Statutes 2004

63.085  Disclosure by adoption entity.--

(1)  DISCLOSURE REQUIRED TO PARENTS AND PROSPECTIVE ADOPTIVE PARENTS.--Not later than 14 days after a person seeking to adopt a minor or a person seeking to place a minor for adoption contacts an adoption entity in person or provides the adoption entity with a mailing address, the entity must provide a written disclosure statement to that person if the entity agrees or continues to work with such person. If an adoption entity is assisting in the effort to terminate the parental rights of a parent who did not initiate the contact with the adoption entity, the written disclosure must be provided within 14 days after that parent is identified and located. For purposes of providing the written disclosure, a person is considered to be seeking to place a minor for adoption when that person has sought information or advice from the adoption entity regarding the option of adoptive placement. The written disclosure statement must be in substantially the following form:



1.  The name, address, and telephone number of the adoption entity providing this disclosure is:



Telephone Number:

2.  The adoption entity does not provide legal representation or advice to birth parents, and birth parents have the right to consult with an attorney of their own choosing to advise them.

3.  With the exception of an adoption by a stepparent or relative, a child cannot be placed into a prospective adoptive home unless the prospective adoptive parents have received a favorable preliminary home study, including criminal and child abuse clearances.

4.  A valid consent for adoption may not be signed by the birth mother until 48 hours after the birth of the child, or the day the birth mother is notified, in writing, that she is fit for discharge from the licensed hospital or birth center. A putative father may sign a valid consent for adoption at any time after the birth of the child.

5.  A consent for adoption signed before the child attains the age of 6 months is binding and irrevocable from the moment it is signed unless it can be proven in court that the consent was obtained by fraud or duress. A consent for adoption signed after the child attains the age of 6 months is valid from the moment it is signed; however, it may be revoked until the child is placed in an adoptive home, or up to 3 days after it was signed, whichever period is longer.

6.  A consent for adoption is not valid if the signature of the person who signed the consent was obtained by fraud or duress.

7.  There are alternatives to adoption, including foster care, relative care, and parenting the child. There may be services and sources of financial assistance in the community available to birth parents if they choose to parent the child.

8.  A birth parent has the right to have a witness of his or her choice, who is unconnected with the adoption entity or the adoptive parents, to be present and witness the signing of the consent or affidavit of nonpaternity.

9.  A birth parent 14 years of age or younger must have a parent, legal guardian, or court-appointed guardian ad litem to assist and advise the birth parent as to the adoption plan.

10.  A birth parent has a right to receive supportive counseling from a counselor, social worker, physician, clergy, or attorney, and such counseling would be beneficial to the birth parent.

11.  The payment of living or medical expenses by the prospective adoptive parents prior to the birth of the child does not, in any way, obligate the birth parent to sign the consent for adoption.

(2)  ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF DISCLOSURE.--The adoption entity must obtain a written statement acknowledging receipt of the disclosure required under subsection (1) and signed by the persons receiving the disclosure or, if it is not possible to obtain such an acknowledgment, the adoption entity must execute an affidavit stating why an acknowledgment could not be obtained. If the disclosure was delivered by certified United States mail, return receipt requested, a return receipt signed by the person from whom acknowledgment is required is sufficient to meet the requirements of this subsection. A copy of the acknowledgment of receipt of the disclosure must be provided to the person signing it. A copy of the acknowledgment or affidavit executed by the adoption entity in lieu of the acknowledgment must be maintained in the file of the adoption entity. The original acknowledgment or affidavit must be filed with the court.

(3)  REVOCATION OF CONSENT.--Failure to meet the requirements of subsection (1) or subsection (2) does not constitute grounds for revocation of a consent to adoption or withdrawal of an affidavit of nonpaternity unless the extent and circumstances of such a failure result in a material failure of fundamental fairness in the administration of due process, or the failure constitutes or contributes materially to fraud or duress in obtaining a consent to adoption or affidavit of nonpaternity.

History.--s. 1, ch. 84-28; s. 2, ch. 88-109; s. 8, ch. 92-96; s. 338, ch. 95-147; s. 15, ch. 2001-3; s. 16, ch. 2003-58.