Florida minors (under 18) have the right to obtain an abortion but must obtain notarized consent from a legal parent or guardian before obtaining an abortion. For pregnant teens who cannot notify a parent or guardian about their plans to have an abortion, there is a process in place for receiving a waiver (judicial bypass) to this parental notification requirement.
How to Obtain a Judicial Waiver:
1.Minors seeking a waiver must go in person to a courthouse in their county. Click here to find a courthouse in your county or circuit. A map of all courthouses and circuits in Florida can also be found here. If you are concerned about privacy you can go to a courthouse in another county, but it must be in the circuit where you live. Florida counties are grouped together to form 20 circuits, find your county on the map here to determine which circuit you live in. However, such action is not necessary if there is a medical emergency or a teen already has a child.
2.After you contact the Clerk of Courts you will be connected with a court-appointed attorney, upon your request and at no cost to you. You will meet with your attorney, 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.
3.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.
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.