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The Florida Senate

2017 Florida Statutes

Permanent guardianship of a dependent child.
F.S. 39.6221
39.6221 Permanent guardianship of a dependent child.
(1) If a court determines that reunification or adoption is not in the best interest of the child, the court may place the child in a permanent guardianship with a relative or other adult approved by the court if all of the following conditions are met:
(a) The child has been in the placement for not less than the preceding 6 months.
(b) The permanent guardian is suitable and able to provide a safe and permanent home for the child.
(c) The court determines that the child and the relative or other adult are not likely to need supervision or services of the department to ensure the stability of the permanent guardianship.
(d) The permanent guardian has made a commitment to provide for the child until the child reaches the age of majority and to prepare the child for adulthood and independence.
(e) The permanent guardian agrees to give notice of any change in his or her residential address or the residence of the child by filing a written document in the dependency file of the child with the clerk of the court.
(2) In its written order establishing a permanent guardianship, the court shall:
(a) List the circumstances or reasons why the child’s parents are not fit to care for the child and why reunification is not possible by referring to specific findings of fact made in its order adjudicating the child dependent or by making separate findings of fact;
(b) State the reasons why a permanent guardianship is being established instead of adoption;
(c) Specify the frequency and nature of visitation or contact between the child and his or her parents;
(d) Specify the frequency and nature of visitation or contact between the child and his or her grandparents, under s. 39.509;
(e) Specify the frequency and nature of visitation or contact between the child and his or her siblings; and
(f) Require that the permanent guardian not return the child to the physical care and custody of the person from whom the child was removed without the approval of the court.
(3) The court shall give the permanent guardian a separate order establishing the authority of the permanent guardian to care for the child and providing any other information the court deems proper which can be provided to persons who are not parties to the proceeding as necessary, notwithstanding the confidentiality provisions of s. 39.202.
(4) A permanent guardianship of a dependent child established under this chapter is not a plenary guardianship and is not subject to the requirements of chapter 744.
(5) The court shall retain jurisdiction over the case and the child shall remain in the custody of the permanent guardian unless the order creating the permanent guardianship is modified by the court. The court shall discontinue regular review hearings and relieve the department of the responsibility for supervising the placement of the child. Not withstanding the retention of jurisdiction, the placement shall be considered permanency for the child.
(6) Placement of a child in a permanent guardianship does not terminate the parent-child relationship, including:
(a) The right of the child to inherit from his or her parents;
(b) The parents’ right to consent to the child’s adoption; and
(c) The parents’ responsibility to provide financial, medical, and other support for the child as ordered by the court.
(7) The requirements of s. 61.13001 do not apply to permanent guardianships established under this section.
History.s. 20, ch. 2006-86; s. 4, ch. 2007-5; s. 19, ch. 2017-151.