Broward 
County Public Schools Student Services Department

Abandonment

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As stated in Florida Statute 39, “abandoned” means a situation in which the parent or legal custodian of a child or, in the absence of a parent or legal custodian, the caregiver responsible for the child’s welfare, while being able, makes no provision for the child’s support and makes no effort to communicate with the child, which situation is sufficient to evince a willful rejection of parental obligations.  If the efforts of such parent or legal custodian, or caregiver primarily responsible for the child’s welfare, to support and communicate with the child are, in the opinion of the court, only marginal efforts that do not evince a settled purpose to assume all parental duties, the court may declare the child to be abandoned.  The term “abandoned” does not include an (abandoned) newborn infant as described in s. 383.50, a “child in need of services” as defined in chapter 984 or a “family in need of services” as defined in chapter 984.  The incarceration of a parent, legal custodian, or caregiver responsible for a child’s welfare may support a finding of abandonment.

Chapter 984 deals with truancy and minors who are considered to be ungovernable… children who refuse to obey the reasonable expectations of their parents or caregivers.

Chapter 383 establishes the means by which a parent of a newborn infant (up to 7 days after birth) may leave the infant at a hospital or fire department without giving identifying information and without being subject to charges of neglect or abandonment.

   PHYSICAL             PSYCHOLOGICAL MALTREATMENT
   DOMESTIC VIOLENCE            NEGLECT            ABANDONMENT
   THREATENED HARM           SEXUAL ABUSE
   CHILD ON CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

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