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The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title VI
CIVIL PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE
Chapter 63
ADOPTION
View Entire Chapter
F.S. 63.212
63.212 Prohibited acts; penalties for violation.
(1) It is unlawful for any person:
(a) To place or attempt to place a minor for adoption with a person who primarily lives and works outside this state unless all of the requirements of the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children, when applicable, have been met.
(b) Except an adoption entity, 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. This prohibition, however, does not apply to a person who is placing or attempting to place a minor for the purpose of adoption with the adoption entity.
(c) 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. If a minor is being adopted by a relative or by a stepparent, or is being adopted through an adoption entity, this paragraph does not prohibit the person who is contemplating adopting the child from paying, under ss. 63.097 and 63.132, the actual prenatal care and living expenses of the mother of the child to be adopted, or from paying, under ss. 63.097 and 63.132, the actual living and medical expenses of such mother for a reasonable time, not to exceed 6 weeks, if medical needs require such support, after the birth of the minor.
(d) Having the rights and duties of a parent with respect to the care and custody of a minor to assign or transfer such parental rights for the purpose of, incidental to, or otherwise connected with, selling or offering to sell such rights and duties.
(e) To assist in the commission of any act prohibited in paragraphs (a)-(d). In the case of a stepparent adoption, this paragraph does not preclude the forgiveness of vested child support arrearages owed by a parent.
(f) Except an adoption entity, to charge or accept any fee or compensation of any nature from anyone for making a referral in connection with an adoption.
(g) Except an adoption entity, 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; and, further, it is unlawful for any person purchasing advertising space or purchasing broadcast time to advertise adoption services to fail to include in any publication or fail to include in the broadcast for such advertisement the Florida license number of the adoption entity or The Florida Bar number of the attorney placing the advertisement.
1. Only a person who is an attorney licensed to practice law in this state or an adoption entity licensed under the laws of this state may place a paid advertisement or paid listing of the person’s telephone number, on the person’s own behalf, in a telephone directory that:
a. A child is offered or wanted for adoption; or
b. The person is able to place, locate, or receive a child for adoption.
2. A person who publishes a telephone directory that is distributed in this state shall include, at the beginning of any classified heading for adoption and adoption services, a statement that informs directory users that only attorneys licensed to practice law in this state and licensed adoption entities may legally provide adoption services under state law.
3. A person who places an advertisement described in subparagraph 1. in a telephone directory must include the following information:
a. For an attorney licensed to practice law in this state, the person’s Florida Bar number.
b. For a child-placing agency licensed under the laws of this state, the number on the person’s adoption entity license.
(h) To contract for the purchase, sale, or transfer of custody or parental rights in connection with any child, in connection with any fetus yet unborn, or in connection with any fetus identified in any way but not yet conceived, in return for any valuable consideration. Any such contract is void and unenforceable as against the public policy of this state. However, fees, costs, and other incidental payments made in accordance with statutory provisions for adoption, foster care, and child welfare are permitted, and a person may agree to pay expenses in connection with a preplanned adoption agreement as specified below, but the payment of such expenses may not be conditioned upon the transfer of parental rights. Each petition for adoption which is filed in connection with a preplanned adoption agreement must clearly identify the adoption as a preplanned adoption arrangement and must include a copy of the preplanned adoption agreement for review by the court.
(2) Any person who is a birth mother, or a woman who holds herself out to be a birth mother, who is interested in making an adoption plan and who knowingly or intentionally benefits from the payment of adoption-related expenses in connection with that adoption plan commits adoption deception if:
(a) The person knows or should have known that the person is not pregnant at the time the sums were requested or received;
(b) The person accepts living expenses assistance from a prospective adoptive parent or adoption entity without disclosing that she is receiving living expenses assistance from another prospective adoptive parent or adoption entity at the same time in an effort to adopt the same child; or
(c) The person knowingly makes false representations to induce the payment of living expenses and does not intend to make an adoptive placement.

Any person who willfully commits adoption deception commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, if the sums received by the birth mother or woman holding herself out to be a birth mother do not exceed $300, and a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if the sums received by the birth mother or woman holding herself out to be a birth mother exceed $300. In addition, the person is liable for damages caused by such acts or omissions, including reasonable attorney fees and costs incurred by the adoption entity or the prospective adoptive parent. Damages may be awarded through restitution in any related criminal prosecution or by filing a separate civil action.

(3) This section does not prohibit an adoption entity from charging fees permitted under this chapter and reasonably commensurate to the services provided.
(4) It is unlawful for any adoption entity to fail to report to the court, within a reasonable time period, the intended placement of a minor for purposes of adoption with any person not a stepparent or a relative, if the adoption entity participates in such intended placement.
(5) It is unlawful for any adoption entity to charge any fee except those fees permitted under s. 63.097 and approved under s. 63.102.
(6) It is unlawful for any adoption entity to counsel a birth mother to leave the state for the purpose of giving birth to a child outside the state in order to secure a fee in excess of that permitted under s. 63.097 when it is the intention that the child be placed for adoption outside the state.
(7) It is unlawful for any adoption entity to obtain a preliminary home study or final home investigation and fail to disclose the existence of the study or investigation to the court when required by law to do so.
(8) Unless otherwise indicated, a person who willfully and with criminal intent violates any provision of this section, excluding paragraph (1)(g), commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. A person who willfully and with criminal intent violates paragraph (1)(g) commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.083; and each day of continuing violation shall be considered a separate offense.
History.s. 21, ch. 73-159; s. 13, ch. 75-226; s. 25, ch. 77-147; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 9, ch. 78-190; s. 6, ch. 80-296; s. 5, ch. 84-101; s. 8, ch. 87-224; s. 10, ch. 87-397; s. 1, ch. 88-143; s. 3, ch. 90-55; s. 23, ch. 90-306; s. 22, ch. 92-96; s. 13, ch. 97-101; s. 31, ch. 2001-3; s. 35, ch. 2003-58; s. 22, ch. 2008-151; s. 23, ch. 2012-81; s. 20, ch. 2014-224.