Florida Adoption Laws

Created by FindLaw's team of attorney writers and editors.

For prospective parents, adopting a child can be a wonderful event, and a chance to celebrate an addition your family. However, the adoption process can be legally complex. State laws regarding who can adopt, who can be adopted, and how can hard to navigate. So here is a brief summary of adoption laws in Florida.

State Laws

The rules and regulations regarding adoption, from who may adopt to special requirements for adoptive parents, are and generally similar among most states. As of 2014, Florida law requires the consent of children 12 and older and prohibits homosexuals from adopting. Adoption can be a complicated (and important) process, so you may find it helpful contact an attorney for assistance.

Adoption Laws in Florida

State adoption laws can vary. Below, you'll find information related to Florida adoption laws, including regulations on who may adopt, child consent requirements, and the relevant procedures.

Code Section


Who May Be Adopted

Any person

Age that Child's Consent Needed

12 years and older unless court dispenses with consent in best interest of the child

Who May Adopt

An unmarried adult who is not homosexual. Married person must be joined by spouse unless such spouse is parent and consents, or failure to join in consent is excused.

Home Residency Required Prior to Finalization of Adoption?

90 days

State Agency/Court

Dept. of Health & Rehabilitative Services/Circuit

Statute of Limitations to Challenge

1 year

Generally speaking, any person, a minor or an adult, is eligible for adoption, and judges in Florida adoption courts are required consider a child’s best interests when making adoption decisions. In 1977, Florida passed legislation banning adoption by gay and lesbian individuals, a law that originally survived several legal challenges.

However, a state appeals court ruled in 2010 that the law violated the equal protection rights of prospective homosexual parents under the Florida Constitution. Therefore, while the prohibition is still part of Florida’s statutes, gay people are now allowed to adopt in Florida. The Florida statutes also protect the rights of physically disabled or handicapped persons to adopt.

Related Resources for Florida Adoption Laws:

The law concerning adoption can vary greatly from state-to-state, especially for international adoptions. If you would like to continue your own research, you can review specific statutes in FindLaw’s adoption law section or get a more general overview in our adoption section. You can schedule a consultation with an experienced adoption attorney in Florida if you would like legal assistance with your adoption case.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.