In Florida, a minor parent, irrespective of age, has the authority to place his or her child for adoption. Even without his or her own parent’s permission, a minor parent’s consent to adoption is valid and binding upon execution, as long as it’s properly executed. See F.S. 63.082(1)(b).
If the minor parent is 14 years of age or younger, his or her signature must be witnessed by a parent, legal guardian, or court-appointed guardian ad litem. See F.S. 63.082(1)(c). This requirement for witnessing is not to be construed as a requirement for permission. If the parent, etc., refuses to witness execution, the minor could request appointment of a guardian ad litem from the court. The sole purpose of the guardian ad litem would then be to report to the court what is in the minor parent’s best interests. If the guardian ad litem believes it’s in the minor parent’s best interests to place the child for adoption, the court can allow the guardian ad litem can to witness the minor parent’s signature.
If the minor parent is over the age of 14, his or her signature does not need to be witnessed by the minor’s parent, legal guardian or guardian ad litem. No matter the age at the time he or she executes the consent, a minor parent cannot revoke the consent upon reaching the age of majority.
The same laws apply to a minor father, except that the minor father may instead execute an affidavit of non-paternity any time before or after the baby’s birth. The affidavit of non-paternity is also valid upon execution and cannot be revoked when the minor father reaches the age of majority.
Coming soon: how to properly execute a consent to adoption or affidavit of non-paternity.