Unregulated Custody Transfers of Adopted Children - Florida

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Definitions

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 827.10

The term 'desertion' means to leave a child in a place or with a person other than a relative with the intent not to return to the child and with the intent not to provide for the care of the child.

Prohibited or Required Actions Regarding Custody

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 63.212

It is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:

  • To place or attempt to place a minor for adoption with a person who primarily lives and works outside this State unless all the requirements of the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children, when applicable, have been met
  • To place or attempt to place within the State a minor for adoption unless the minor is placed with a relative or with a stepparent, except if an adoption entity
  • To sell or surrender, or to arrange for the sale or surrender of, a minor to another person for money or anything of value or to receive such minor child for such payment or thing of value
  • Having the rights and duties of a parent with respect to the care and custody of a minor, to assign or transfer those parental rights for the purpose of, incidental to, or otherwise connected with, selling or offering to sell such rights and duties
  • To assist in the commission of any act prohibited above
  • To place an advertisement or offer to the public, in any way, by any medium whatever that a minor is available for adoption or that a minor is sought for adoption, except if an adoption entity

Exceptions

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 827.10

This section does not apply to a person who surrenders a newborn infant in compliance with § 383.50.

Consequences

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 63.212; 827.10

A person who willfully and with criminal intent violates any provision of § 63.212 commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in §§ 775.082, 775.083, or 775.084.

A person who willfully and with criminal intent violates the paragraph that prohibits advertising for adoption commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in § 775.083; and each day of continuing violation shall be considered a separate offense.

A caregiver who deserts a child under circumstances in which the caregiver knew or should have known that the desertion exposes the child to unreasonable risk of harm commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in §§ 775.082, 775.083, or 775.084.