(1) APPEARANCE.–The petitioner and the person to be adopted shall appear either in person or, with the permission of the court, telephonically before a person authorized to administer an oath at the hearing on the petition for adoption, unless:
(a) The person is a minor under 12 years of age; or
Terms Used In Florida Statutes 63.142
- Adoption: means the act of creating the legal relationship between parent and child where it did not exist, thereby declaring the child to be legally the child of the adoptive parents and their heir at law and entitled to all the rights and privileges and subject to all the obligations of a child born to such adoptive parents in lawful wedlock. See Florida Statutes 63.032
- Appeal: A request made after a trial, asking another court (usually the court of appeals) to decide whether the trial was conducted properly. To make such a request is "to appeal" or "to take an appeal." One who appeals is called the appellant.
- Appellate: About appeals; an appellate court has the power to review the judgement of another lower court or tribunal.
- Court: means a circuit court of this state and, if the context requires, the court of any state that is empowered to grant petitions for adoption. See Florida Statutes 63.032
- Dismissal: The dropping of a case by the judge without further consideration or hearing. Source:
- minor: includes any person who has not attained the age of 18 years. See Florida Statutes 1.01
- Parent: means a woman who gives birth to a child and who is not a gestational surrogate as defined in…. See Florida Statutes 63.032
- Person: includes a natural person, corporation, government or governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, or association, and any other legal entity. See Florida Statutes 63.032
(b) The appearance of either is excused by the court for good cause.
(2) CONTINUANCE.–The court may continue the hearing from time to time to permit further observation, investigation, or consideration of any facts or circumstances affecting the granting of the petition.
(a) If the petition is dismissed, further proceedings, if any, regarding the minor must be brought in a separate custody action under chapter 61, a dependency action under chapter 39, or a paternity action under chapter 742.
(b) If the petition is dismissed, the court shall state with specificity the reasons for the dismissal.
(4) JUDGMENT.–At the conclusion of the hearing, after the court determines that the date for a parent to file an appeal of a valid judgment terminating that parent’s parental rights has passed and no appeal, pursuant to the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure, is pending and that the adoption is in the best interest of the person to be adopted, a judgment of adoption shall be entered. A judgment terminating parental rights pending adoption is voidable and any later judgment of adoption of that minor is voidable if, upon a parent’s motion for relief from judgment, the court finds that the adoption substantially fails to meet the requirements of this chapter. The motion must be filed within a reasonable time, but not later than 1 year after the date the judgment terminating parental rights was entered.