Section 63.142, Florida Statutes 2009
63.142 Hearing; judgment of adoption.--
(1) APPEARANCE.--The petitioner and the person to be adopted shall appear either in person or, with the permission of the court, telephonically before a person authorized to administer an oath at the hearing on the petition for adoption, unless:
(a) The person is a minor under 12 years of age; or
(b) The appearance of either is excused by the court for good cause.
(2) CONTINUANCE.--The court may continue the hearing from time to time to permit further observation, investigation, or consideration of any facts or circumstances affecting the granting of the petition.
(a) If the petition is dismissed, further proceedings, if any, regarding the minor must be brought in a separate custody action under chapter 61, a dependency action under chapter 39, or a paternity action under chapter 742.
(b) If the petition is dismissed, the court shall state with specificity the reasons for the dismissal.
(4) JUDGMENT.--At the conclusion of the hearing, after the court determines that the date for a parent to file an appeal of a valid judgment terminating that parent's parental rights has passed and no appeal, pursuant to the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure, is pending and that the adoption is in the best interest of the person to be adopted, a judgment of adoption shall be entered. A judgment terminating parental rights pending adoption is voidable and any later judgment of adoption of that minor is voidable if, upon a parent's motion for relief from judgment, the court finds that the adoption substantially fails to meet the requirements of this chapter. The motion must be filed within a reasonable time, but not later than 1 year after the date the judgment terminating parental rights was entered.
History.--s. 14, ch. 73-159; s. 3, ch. 77-140; s. 26, ch. 2001-3; s. 28, ch. 2003-58; s. 20, ch. 2008-151.