The Florida Department of Education's Office of Choice used to say, in their Home Education FAQ, that home educated students do not receive diplomas but could seek GEDs. I challenged that when the FAQ pages were being updated in October 2020 because home education students DO receive diplomas. They don't receive diplomas from local school districts because--as state law says--home education programs are not school district programs. Of course a school district won't give
a diploma for a program that isn't theirs. But home education students can, and do, receive diplomas from their home education programs--that is, their parents can grant them. (See question 13 in the FAQ.)
A parent running a home education program is directing an official educational program in accordance with Florida law, and therefore has the right to issue a diploma when the program is fully completed. Yes, a parent can legally issue a diploma.
A diploma is basically a fancy certificate. A parent can use a template for a certificate on a word processing program, change it a bit to say that it's a diploma, print it, and sign it. Many parents have printed their own and those have worked just fine. After all, most people never have to show their diploma to anyone. They just have to be able to check a box on job applications or surveys or such confirming that, yes, they have earned a high school diploma.
There is at least one huge exception to that, though. Those joining the military are required to bring their diploma with them to be vetted as part of the in-processing that all go through. Today's military doesn't often accept people without a high school diploma. I've heard some tout that a GED is just as good as a diploma and some homeschool students do take the GED test to get a state-issued diploma but the GED does have a negative connotation to it. After all, most who take the GED dropped out of school first. They are often seen as quitters or troublemakers who couldn't abide by the rules. In fact, the military accepts only a few GED holders, whom they consider lower than Tier One, because they've found that GED holders don't do well in the military, and their promotion potential is negatively affected by that GED for years to come if they do manage to enter the military. Because of this, I don't recommend seeking a GED. Instead, a parent-issued diploma is a much better idea in most cases.
Knowing that the military would closely examine my son's high school diploma, I opted to order his professionally done. I looked at the diplomas available through HSLDA which many had recommended, but in the end, I went with one from homeschooldiploma.com which allowed me to enter the words "in accordance with Florida Home Education law" on it. I wanted the military to know that we'd followed all of Florida's laws and it was legitimate. Likely I didn't need to go to that extra effort, but I made sure an amateurish diploma wouldn't be a problem for him.
My daughter was going off to college. Florida public colleges are required, by law, to accept a home education student as a high school graduate if a parent signs, in front of a Notary Public, an "Affidavit of Completion" certifying that the student completed high school as a home education student. (Note: I've not heard of private colleges nor out-of-state ones having problems accepting a homeschool diploma. Most colleges are used to homeschool graduates and readily accept them.) Instead of ordering an expensive diploma from an online service or printing our own, we opted for a third choice: She wanted to participate in the huge graduation ceremony that the Florida Parent Educator Association has held every May in Orlando. Along with the price for participating in the graduation ceremony which often has over 300 participants, and the optional dinner-dance, the graduate receives a lovely ceremonial diploma for the parents to sign. We were thwarted somewhat by COVID which caused the ceremony to be rescheduled a couple of times, until we weren't able to attend the ceremony, but she still received her diploma.