Can I give give my baby up for adoption if I am in jail or prison or about to be sent to jail or prison? Yes. If you are a woman and you are pregnant in jail or prison or you are about to go to prison knowing that you will be giving birth in prison, you may question whether a prison adoption is a possibility for you. The answer is yes.
Like any other pregnant woman, you have the right to make the decision that you feel is best for you and your baby’s future. This includes making an adoption plan that you are comfortable with. While some of your adoption options may be limited, such as visiting with the adoptive family while incarcerated, you can still choose an open adoption. You can also choose a semi-open adoption plan or a closed adoption.
You are not “Giving Up!” You are Giving Your Baby Life.
How does a jail adoption work? Each adoption is unique but most of adoption process in jail remains the same. You will be able to create an adoption plan, choose an adoptive family for your baby, receive financial assistance for your pregnancy-related expenses, share contact with your baby's adoptive family (if you choose an open adoption), and you still have certain birth mother rights as a pregnant inmate. Here are some general steps you will likely take in the adoption process:
Decide that adoption is right for you. If you know that you will be giving birth in prison, you will need to consider how you will provide for your baby. Not all prisons will allow you to keep your child in your custody, especially if you are serving a long sentence. It is important that you make a plan for your baby before they are born, because if you don’t, your child will likely be placed in the foster care system. When you place your child for adoption, you know that they will live with a family that is thrilled to raise an adopted child and excited to build their family. They are able and willing to give your child all the opportunities possible in life.
Step 1 Contact Adoption Choices of Florida. As a prospective birth mother, you always have the right to choose which professional is right for you. Depending on prison regulations and restrictions we may or may not be able to interact with you directly; your point of contact might be your prison caseworker - in this case, your adoption plan choices will still go forward.
Adoption Choices of Florida is committed to our birth mothers, despite your circumstances. We will provide support, gather background information for you, assist you with selecting a family, and help with any pregnancy related needs not met at your jail. We will also handle all of the administrative and legal details of your adoption plan.
Step 2 Choose an Adoptive Family. Like any other expectant woman considering adoption, if you are pregnant in prison, you still have the right to choose the adoptive family. While you might not be able to meet them in person right away and ask them questions directly, Adoption Choices of Florida will work closely with you to find a family that matches your preferences. We will provide you with adoptive family profiles to review. Depending on your level of comfort and openness desire coupled with prison rules, you can contact an adoptive family through letters and possibly phone calls. As part of your financial assistance, the expense of your phone calls will be taken care of as well as mailing materials like paper, pen, envelopes, and stamps.
Adoption Choices of Florida will work with you, the prison staff, and the adoptive family to connect you in any way possible to build a relationship. We encourage this open contact even after your release.
Step 3 Giving Birth and Signing Adoption Consent. While your options may be limited because you are incarcerated, more than likely, you will be moved to a nearby hospital when it is time to have your baby. Adoption Choices of Florida will work with you, the prison staff, and the adoptive family to create an adoption birth plan that is in the best interest of all of you. This can include how long you want to hold your baby, whether you meet the family, and more.While you are at the hospital, you will sign your final adoption consent paperwork. Most of your paperwork will have been completed earlier in your adoption process, but our legal staff will be there to walk you through what you are signing and inform you of your legal rights in a prison adoption. Florida state laws will determine when you can sign your consent for the adoption.
After you sign your adoption consent and are discharged from the hospital, you will return to prison, where your adoption caseworker will continue to work with you for post-placement contact and counseling through any difficult emotions you may encounter.
A prison baby adoption is not much different than any other private domestic infant adoption. Adoption Choices of Florida and your prison caseworker will be there with you every step of the way. We are happy to work with pregnant women in prison or about to go to prison. We can help you decide if adoption is right for you and set up an adoption plan that meets your needs. Most importantly, you can be confident in knowing that your baby, that you gave birth to while pregnant in prison, will live a happy life with a loving adoptive family.