Florida

Adoption

Access to Adoption Records

Who May Access Information
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 63.162; 63.165Information may be available to:

  • The adopted person who is age 18 or older
  • The birth parents
  • The adoptive parents
  • Birth siblings
  • Maternal and paternal birth grandparents

Access to Nonidentifying Information
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 63.162

All nonidentifying information, including the family medical history and social history of the adopted person and the birth parents, when available, must be furnished to the adoptive parents before the adoption becomes final and to the adopted person, upon the adopted person’s request, after he or she reaches majority. Upon the request of the adoptive parents, all nonidentifying information obtained before or after the adoption has become final must be furnished to the adoptive parents.

Mutual Access to Identifying Information
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 63.162; 63.165

Identifying information about a birth parent, an adoptive parent, or an adopted person may not be disclosed unless the respective party has authorized in writing the release of such information. If the adopted person is younger than age 18, written consent must be obtained from an adoptive parent.The court may, upon petition of an adult adopted person or birth parent, for good cause shown, appoint an intermediary or a licensed child-placing agency to contact a birth parent or adult adopted person, as applicable, who has not registered with the adoption registry pursuant to § 63.165, and advise both of the availability of the intermediary or agency and that the birth parent or adult adopted person, as applicable, wishes to establish contact.

The department shall maintain a registry with the last known names and addresses of an adopted person, the birth parents, and the adoptive parents and any other identifying information that the parties wish to include in the registry.

The registry shall be available for those persons choosing to enter information therein, but no one shall be required to do so. A person who enters information in the registry must indicate clearly the persons to whom he or she is consenting to release the information, and shall be limited to the adopted person, the birth parents, the adoptive parents, birth siblings, and maternal and paternal birth grandparents. Consent to the release of this information may be made in the case of a minor adopted person by his or her adoptive parents or by the court after a showing of good cause. At any time, any person may withdraw, limit, or otherwise restrict consent to release information by notifying the department in writing.

Access to Original Birth Certificate
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 63.162

The original birth certificate is available only upon order of the court.

Where the Information Can Be Located

Florida Adoption Reunion Registry (F.A.R.R.), Florida Department of Children and Families

Collection of Family Information About Adopted Persons and Their Birth Families

Agency or Person Preparing the Report
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 63.082; 63.085; 63.032
An adoption entity must provide the prospective adoptive parents with information concerning the background of the child. An adoption entity includes:

  • The Department of Children and Family Services
  • A child-placing agency licensed by the department to place minors for adoption
  • A child care agency registered under § 409.176
  • An intermediary (a licensed attorney who arranges the placement of children for adoption)
  • A child-placing agency licensed in another State that is qualified by the department to place children in the State of Florida

Contents of Report About the Adopted Person
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 63.085
The adoption entity is responsible for providing the prospective adoptive parents with information concerning the background of the child to the extent such information is disclosed to the adoption entity by the parents, legal custodian, or the department. The information to be disclosed includes:

  • A complete set of the child’s medical records documenting all medical treatment and care since the child’s birth and before placement
  • All mental health, psychological, and psychiatric records, reports, and evaluations concerning the child before placement
  • The child’s educational records, including all records concerning any special education needs of the child before placement
  • Records documenting all incidents that required the department to provide services to the child, including all orders of adjudication of dependency or termination of parental rights, any case plans drafted to address the child’s needs, all protective services investigations identifying the child as a victim, and all guardian ad litem reports filed with the court concerning the child
  • Written information concerning the availability of adoption subsidies for the child, if applicable

Contents of Report About the Birth Family
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 63.085
The adoption entity is responsible for providing the prospective adoptive parents with information concerning the background of the child to the extent such information is disclosed to the adoption entity by the parents, legal custodian, or the department. The information to be disclosed includes:

  • A family social and medical history form completed pursuant to § 63.162(6)
  • The birth mother’s medical records documenting her prenatal care and the birth and delivery of the child

When the Report Is Made
Citation: Fla. Stat. § 63.085
In all cases, the prospective adoptive parents must receive all available information by the date of the final hearing on the petition for adoption.

Exceptions for Stepparent or Relative Adoptions
Citation: Fla. Stat. § 63.082
The form containing biological and sociological information, or information as to the family medical history, is not required for adoptions of relatives, adult adoptions, or adoptions of stepchildren, unless parental rights are being or were terminated pursuant to chapter 39.

Intestate Inheritance Rights for Adopted Children

Birth Parents in Relation to Adopted Person
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 63.172
A judgment of adoption relieves the birth parents of the adopted person, except a birth parent who is the petitioner or married to the petitioner, of all parental rights and responsibilities. It terminates all legal relationships between the adopted person and the adopted person’s relatives, except that rights of inheritance shall be as provided in the Florida Probate Code.If one or both parents of a child die without the relationship of parent and child having been previously terminated and a spouse of the living parent or a close relative of the child adopts the child, the child’s right of inheritance from or through the deceased parent is unaffected by the adoption. A close relative of a child is the child’s brother, sister, grandparent, aunt, or uncle.Adoptive Parents in Relation to Adopted Person
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 732.108; 732.302; 736.608; 736.1102
For the purpose of intestate succession by or from an adopted person, the adopted person is a descendant of the adopting parent and is one of the natural kindred of all members of the adopting parent’s family. He or she is not a descendant of his or her birth parents, nor is he or she one of the kindred of any member of the birth parent’s family or any prior adoptive parent’s family, except that:

  • Adoption of a child by the spouse of a birth parent has no effect on the relationship between the child and the birth parent or the birth parent’s family.
  • Adoption of a child by a birth parent’s spouse who married the birth parent after the death of the other birth parent has no effect on the relationship between the child and the family of the deceased birth parent.
  • Adoption of a child by a close relative has no effect on the relationship between the child and the families of the deceased birth parents.

Adopted Persons Who Are Not Included in a Will
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 732.302; 732.608
When a testator omits to provide by will for any of his or her children adopted after making the will and the child has not received a part of the testator’s property equivalent to a child’s part by way of advancement, the child shall receive a share of the estate equal in value to that which the child would have received if the testator had died intestate, unless:

  • It appears from the will that the omission was intentional.
  • The testator had one or more children when the will was executed and bequeathed substantially all the estate to the other parent of the pretermitted child and that other parent survived the testator and is entitled to take under the will.

Adopted persons are included in class gift terminology and terms of relationship in accordance with rules for determining relationships for purposes of intestate succession.

State Recognition of Intercountry Adoptions Finalized Abroad

Effect and Recognition of a Foreign Adoption Decree
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 63.192 A judgment of court establishing the relationship of parent and child by adoption issued pursuant to due process of law by a court of any other jurisdiction within or without the United States shall be recognized in this State, and the rights and obligations of the parties on matters within the jurisdiction of this State shall be determined as though the judgment were issued by a court of this State.Readoption After an Intercountry Adoption

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Application for a U.S. Birth Certificate
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 382.017

The Department of Health will prepare a certificate of foreign birth for a foreign-born adoptee who is not a U.S. citizen and whose judgment of adoption was entered by a Florida court. The certificate will be established upon receipt of:

  • The report or certified copy of the adoption decree
  • Proof of the date and place of the adoptee’s birth
  • A request that the certificate be prepared from the court, the adopting parents, or the adoptee if he or she is of legal age

The certificate shall be labeled ‘Certificate of Foreign Birth’ and will show the true country and date of birth of the adoptee and will state that it is not evidence of U.S. citizenship for the child.

After registering the certificate of foreign birth in the new name of the adoptee, the department will seal the adoption report or decree. The seal will not be broken except pursuant to a court order.

If the adoptee was born in a foreign country but was a U.S. citizen at the time of birth, the department shall notify the adoptive parents, or the adoptee if of legal age, of the procedure for obtaining a revised birth certificate through the U.S. Department of State.


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