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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title V
Chapter 39
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F.S. 39.810
39.810 Manifest best interests of the child.In a hearing on a petition for termination of parental rights, the court shall consider the manifest best interests of the child. This consideration shall not include a comparison between the attributes of the parents and those of any persons providing a present or potential placement for the child. For the purpose of determining the manifest best interests of the child, the court shall consider and evaluate all relevant factors, including, but not limited to:
(1) Any suitable permanent custody arrangement with a relative of the child. However, the availability of a nonadoptive placement with a relative may not receive greater consideration than any other factor weighing on the manifest best interest of the child and may not be considered as a factor weighing against termination of parental rights. If a child has been in a stable or preadoptive placement for not less than 6 months, the availability of a different placement, including a placement with a relative, may not be considered as a ground to deny the termination of parental rights.
(2) The ability and disposition of the parent or parents to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care or other remedial care recognized and permitted under state law instead of medical care, and other material needs of the child.
(3) The capacity of the parent or parents to care for the child to the extent that the child’s safety, well-being, and physical, mental, and emotional health will not be endangered upon the child’s return home.
(4) The present mental and physical health needs of the child and such future needs of the child to the extent that such future needs can be ascertained based on the present condition of the child.
(5) The love, affection, and other emotional ties existing between the child and the child’s parent or parents, siblings, and other relatives, and the degree of harm to the child that would arise from the termination of parental rights and duties.
(6) The likelihood of an older child remaining in long-term foster care upon termination of parental rights, due to emotional or behavioral problems or any special needs of the child.
(7) The child’s ability to form a significant relationship with a parental substitute and the likelihood that the child will enter into a more stable and permanent family relationship as a result of permanent termination of parental rights and duties.
(8) The length of time that the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity.
(9) The depth of the relationship existing between the child and the present custodian.
(10) The reasonable preferences and wishes of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding, and experience to express a preference.
(11) The recommendations for the child provided by the child’s guardian ad litem or legal representative.
History.s. 31, ch. 94-164; s. 18, ch. 95-228; s. 92, ch. 98-403; s. 26, ch. 2006-86.
Note.Former s. 39.4612.