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Below is information about Florida state laws and regulations regarding minors (under 18 years old) seeking abortion care.  We encourage you to discuss your decision process with a parent/guardian, but if you do not feel safe doing so, we have provided information below about how you can get a Judicial Bypass so you don't have to get your parent's consent to have an abortion.

Our reproductive health care services are affordable, confidential and judgment-free. Expert staff members are available to answer any questions you may have regarding the process. Call us at 941-567-3800 to make your appointment today.

Florida Laws and Policies:

You have the right to decide to have an abortion if you are under 18. But Florida state law requires most young people under 18* to involve a parent or legal guardian in their decision. If you can’t involve your parent or legal guardian, you have the option of asking a judge to let you get an abortion without involving a parent. This process is called judicial bypass. You can find more information below.  

*See drop down below: “Who is exempt from parental notification and consent?” 

Florida state law requires that if you are under the age of 18, your parent or legal guardian must be notified of your plan to have an abortion (parental notification) and give their permission (parental consent) for you to have an abortion. Your parent or legal guardian will need to sign specific forms provided to you at the health center, and the forms must be notarized. All Planned Parenthood health centers have a certified notary on staff to assist. 

Florida is one of only six states that require both consent and notification.  However if you get consent from your parent or legal guardian, or a judicial waiver, that will also automatically satisfy the notification requirement. 

Beginning July 1st, 2020, young people under the age of 18 who wish to obtain an abortion must have notarized consent and notification from one of their parents or legal guardians. 

Notarized consent and notification can only be given by a legal guardian or parent- this means that a step parent, grandparent, or anyone who is not your legal parent/guardian can not give you consent and notification.

What is parental consent and notification?

Parental consent and notification is a Florida state law that requires you to have written and notarized permission from one of your parents/legal guardians in order to obtain an abortion if you are under the age of 18. This means that your parent/guardian has to fill out paperwork for the health center that says they know and consent to your abortion procedure.

Who is exempt from parental consent and notification?

Parental consent to your decision to get abortion care is not required IF:

  1. There is a medical emergency (certified by an attending physician) and there is insufficient time to obtain consent 

  2. A court has emancipated you 

  3. You have a minor child dependent on you 

  4. You are or have been married 

If you are exempt from parental notification, the following documents will be required at the clinic:

  • If married or divorced: you must bring a state issued marriage license or divorce certificate.

  • If you have a dependent child: you must bring the child's birth certificate.

  • If emancipated: you must bring court documentation

What if I can't tell my parents?

We encourage you to talk to your parent/guardian about your decision, if you can do so safely. If you are worried about telling your parents, it can help to first confide in other people that you trust, like a friend, sister, teacher, aunt or grandparent. This not only gives you some practice in telling people, but it’s also important not to go through this alone. It is important to remember that under Florida’s law, only your legal parent or guardian can give consent on your decision to obtain an abortion, unless you get a judicial bypass.

If you can’t tell your parents about your decision to have an abortion, you can still get access to the abortion care that you need. 

There is an option for young people who can't tell their parent about their decision to have an abortion. It is called a judicial bypass.

What is a judicial bypass?

If you cannot tell your parent or guardian about your pregnancy and decision to obtain an abortion, you can ask for an order from a judge to allow you to have an abortion without involving your parent or legal guardian. 

Teens who are legally emancipated do not need to have permission from a parent or guardian to obtain an abortion. If you are legally emancipated you must provide proof of emancipation to the health center staff.

There are no legal fees for applying to get a judicial bypass for abortion in Florida. If you want the court to assign a lawyer to help you, that will be at no cost to you.

How do I get a judicial bypass for abortion?

If you need a judicial bypass to get an abortion you should first find out what circuit courthouse covers your county. You can then call the Clerk of Courts, they will be able to answer questions, guide you through the process and refer you to court-appointed lawyer to help you at no cost. 

Florida counties are grouped together to form 20 circuits, find your county on the map here to determine which circuit you live in and then scroll down to view the address, contact information, and specific instructions available for each courthouse.

You will be required to appear in person at the courthouse to apply for your judicial bypass. If you are concerned about privacy you can go to a courthouse in another county, but it still must be in the same circuit where you live. 

What happens after I contact the Clerk of Courts?

After you contact the Clerk of Courts you will be connected with a court-appointed lawyer, upon your request and at no cost to you. You will meet with your lawyer, either virtually or in person to discuss next steps, including preparation for your hearing.

Florida law does not require you to have a lawyer to file a petition for a judicial bypass. However, you do have the right to request a court-appointed lawyer, at no cost, in order to guide you through the process and accompany you to the hearing. Most people opt for the court-appointed lawyer’s help. You can also choose to undertake this process by yourself, without the help of an attorney (see next dropdown for these steps).

If you decide that you want a lawyer, you can contact your local courthouse and they will give you the information for the lawyer to contact.

You will tell the lawyer all of the reasons why you want to terminate your pregnancy. Everything that you tell your lawyer will be kept secret, the lawyer will not tell anyone what you tell them, unless you say it is okay. 

If the lawyer prepares your petition, you have the right to review the petition before it is filed. In some counties, you must be present at the courthouse when the lawyer files the petition.

Once your petition is filed, Florida law requires a judge to meet with you, and your lawyer if you have one, to hear about your request and make a final decision within three business days to either grant or deny the waiver.

Can I obtain a judicial bypass without a lawyer?

You have the right to request a court appointed lawyer, at no cost to you, in order to guide you through the process and accompany you to the hearing. Most people opt for the court-appointed lawyer’s help.

If you decide that you do not want a lawyer, that is okay. You do not need a lawyer to file the petition or to meet with the judge at your hearing. You can follow the steps listed here to write your own petition.

Consent, Notification & Judicial Bypass Forms:

If you plan to seek a judicial bypass, you can save time by filling out some required forms that can be found here. In many counties, these forms can be completed ahead of time for you to give to the clerk. In other counties, a clerk will assist you with completing the forms, while in others a court-appointed lawyer will help you or even do it on your behalf after talking with you. More information on how forms are handled in your county may be available on the chart on the page, “Where do I go to get a judicial bypass?” of the TeenAbortionFlorida.com website, which is also hyperlinked below under the FAQs tab.

The two forms attached above are:

  1. “Sworn Statement of True Name and Pseudonym” – This document makes sure that no one finds out about you going to Court to get this waiver. It lets you choose a different name for the Court to use, instead of your real name. Once this is filed, the Court will refer to you by the initials or pseudonym that you chose. It protects your right to have the abortion without your parents or guardians knowing. 

  2. “Judicial Bypass Petition” – This paper is a request of the judge. You can choose to write your own petition and bring it with you, or you can fill out this form. Your petition should include:

  • Your pseudonym or initials (whichever you choose to use on your Sworn Statement of True Name and Pseudonym)

  • Your age

  • A statement that you are pregnant and that your parents do not know about your abortion and have not agreed to allow you to get an abortion

  • A statement that you want to terminate your pregnancy (get an abortion) without telling your parent or legal guardian

  • An explanation of why you want to terminate your pregnancy. There are 3 ways that you can get a judicial waiver from the judge. You have to prove at least 1 of those 3 reasons. If more than one applies to you then you should explain each reason that applies. The 3 reasons are:

  1. You are sufficiently mature to decide on your own whether to have an abortion;

  2. You are a victim of child abuse or sexual abuse by one or both of your parents or guardians; or

  3. Notifying a parent or legal guardian would not be in your best interest.

What to expect on the day of your appointment:

On the day of your appointment, you will fill out paperwork; have lab work done; have an ultrasound to determine gestational age, and meet with an educator. The educator will discuss all of your options with you, as well as, the entire abortion process, after-care instructions, birth control options and to address any and all of your concerns/questions. Generally your appointment will last 2-3 hours.

Due to COVID-19, you may experience certain parts of your appointment, such as education, via a telehealth appointment prior to your abortion appointment. We are doing this in an effort to reduce the time that patient spend in our health centers to decrease exposure risk for our patients and staff.  

What to bring the day of your appointment if you have your parent's consent:

Both you and your parent/legal guardian will need to bring identification with you to the health center. Your parent/guardian must sign a form saying that they know and consent to you receiving abortion care. 

Acceptable Forms of ID & Approved Documents:

  • Parents must prove identity by providing 

    • Photo ID** with name

    • Child’s birth certificate 

  • Legal guardians must prove identity by providing: 

    • Certified letter of guardianship 

    • Photo ID with name matching guardianship papers* 

    • Child’s birth certificate

  • Young people under the age of 18 must prove identity and age by providing photo ID; driver's license; or school ID with birth certificate.


* If last name is different than child's, then provide proof for difference in name (i.e. marriage certificate or other state issued document showing name change)

**This can be a state issued ID; driver's license; passport, green card or certificate of naturalization.

What to bring on the day of your visit if you have a judicial bypass:
  • Your Sworn Statement of True Name and Pseudonym.

  • A copy of your judicial bypass approval from the judge.

  • State issued photo ID OR driver's license OR passport, green card OR certificate of naturalization OR school ID WITH birth certificate.