Court Jurisdiction and Venue for Adoption Petitions - Florida

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Jurisdiction

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 63.102(1)

An adoption petition must be filed in the circuit court.

The circuit court in this State must retain jurisdiction over the matter until a final judgment is entered on the adoption, either within or outside the State. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act does not apply until a final judgment is entered on the adoption.

Venue

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 63.102(2);

A petition for adoption shall be filed in the county where the petition for termination of parental rights was granted or where the adoption entity is located.

The term 'adoption entity' includes the Department of Children and Families, a registered child-caring agency, an intermediary, a Florida licensed child-placing agency, or a child-placing agency licensed in another State that is licensed by the department to place children in the State of Florida. An 'intermediary' is an attorney who is licensed or authorized to practice in this State and who is placing or intends to place a child for adoption.