Florida Chapter 39 Adoption

Florida Statutes Chapter 39 is the primary Florida law for child protection services cases.  While most cases under Chapter 39 are initiated by the Florida Department of Children & Families, the law allows for any person with knowledge or information of facts to petition the court.

Most cases brought to court under Chapter 39 are “dependency” cases with the intent of keeping children safe while identifying and providing a remedy for issues that have harmed or put children at risk of harm from a parent or parents, or legal custodian.  Reunification of children with parents is usually the primary goal when children are removed from parents or legal custodians.

Chapter 39 also provides for voluntary or involuntary termination of parental rights (TPR) and adoption when the actions or circumstances of a parent or parents are such that reunification is not required by law, and the best interest of the child demands termination of parental rights.

A relative or non-relative may adopt a child or children through a Chapter 39 case.