(1) The department shall file a petition to terminate parental rights within 60 days after any of the following if:

(a) The child is not returned to the physical custody of the parents 12 months after the child was sheltered or adjudicated dependent, whichever occurs first;

Terms Used In Florida Statutes 39.8055

  • Case plan: means a document, as described in…. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Department: means the Department of Children and Families. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Dependent: A person dependent for support upon another.
  • Family: means a collective body of persons, consisting of a child and a parent, legal custodian, or adult relative, in which:
    (a) The persons reside in the same house or living unit; or
    (b) The parent, legal custodian, or adult relative has a legal responsibility by blood, marriage, or court order to support or care for the child. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
  • minor: includes any person who has not attained the age of 18 years. See Florida Statutes 1.01
  • Out-of-home: means a placement outside of the home of the parents or a parent. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Parent: means a woman who gives birth to a child and a man whose consent to the adoption of the child would be required under…. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Party: means the parent or parents of the child, the petitioner, the department, the guardian ad litem or the representative of the guardian ad litem program when the program has been appointed, and the child. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Permanency goal: means the living arrangement identified for the child to return to or identified as the permanent living arrangement of the child. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Relative: means a grandparent, great-grandparent, sibling, first cousin, aunt, uncle, great-aunt, great-uncle, niece, or nephew, whether related by the whole or half blood, by affinity, or by adoption. See Florida Statutes 39.01
  • Trial: A hearing that takes place when the defendant pleads "not guilty" and witnesses are required to come to court to give evidence.
(b) A petition for termination of parental rights has not otherwise been filed, and the child has been in out-of-home care under the responsibility of the state for 12 of the most recent 22 months, calculated on a cumulative basis, but not including any trial home visits or time during which the child was a runaway;
(c) A parent has been convicted of the murder, manslaughter, aiding or abetting the murder, or conspiracy or solicitation to murder the other parent or another child of the parent, or a felony battery that resulted in serious bodily injury to the child or to another child of the parent; or
(d) A court determines that reasonable efforts to reunify the child and parent are not required.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the department may choose not to file or join in a petition to terminate the parental rights of a parent if:

(a) The child is being cared for by a relative under s. 39.6231; or
(b) The department has documented in the report to the court a compelling reason for determining that filing such a petition is not in the best interests of the child. Compelling reasons for not filing or joining a petition to terminate parental rights may include, but are not limited to:

1. Adoption is not the appropriate permanency goal for the child.
2. No grounds to file a petition to terminate parental rights exist.
3. The child is an unaccompanied refugee minor as defined in 45 C.F.R. s. 400.111.
4. There are international legal obligations or compelling foreign-policy reasons that would preclude terminating parental rights.
5. The department has not provided to the family, consistent with the time period in the case plan, services that the department deems necessary for the safe return of the child to the home.
(3) Upon good cause shown by any party or on its own motion, the court may review the decision by the department that compelling reasons exist for not filing or joining a petition for termination of parental rights.