Adoption Choices of Florida is a dedicated adoption agency offering adoption services with compassion, integrity, care, professionalism, expertise, and a personal touch. We are committed to providing you the information you need to make the best decisions for you and your child. We advocate for our birth mothers and help you create your own adoption plan.
Choosing to place your baby for adoption is not a decision that you reached lightly. We know that it is crucial that you are fully aware of your rights, options, and resources available to you. Your inquiry with us is always confidential, at no obligation, and free of charge to you. We will talk with you on the phone, via text, email, or in person - we will come to you!
That said, here are a few frequently asked questions with answers for prospective birth parents. It is important to note that this list is a very brief introduction to a complex subject and is not tailored to any specific case.
Is adoption right for my baby and me?
Adoption is a very unselfish, loving, and giving decision. There are many women, of all ages, in a variety of situations, who have an unplanned pregnancy, and do not feel ready to parent.
If you are not ready to be a parent, you can still give your baby the gift of life by choosing adoption. We will work with you to select a stable, loving family to care for your baby. After birth, you can see your baby, name your baby, and spend time with your baby. If you choose an open adoption, you can get updates on your child or have ongoing visits throughout your child's life. You can be proud that you chose life for your baby.
How much does adoption cost? (for the birth mother)
Nothing. All fees and expenses, including medical expenses, are paid by the prospective adoptive family. The birth mother is not required to pay anything.
Do I have to go to court?
No, unless the Indian Child Welfare Act applies.
How much money do I get paid for giving up my baby for adoption?
While she does not get paid for adoption nor for her baby, a birth mother is permitted to receive financial assistance for her actual living and medical expenses during the term of the pregnancy and for a period after the child is born. This includes OB and hospital care, prescription medications, counseling, living expenses (rent, food, phone, utilities, toiletries), insurance, clothing and transportation.
What if I am under the age of 18?
A birth mother under the age of 18 has the power to consent to the adoption of her child without parental consent. It is not necessary to contact the birth mother's parents or other family members in order for the birth mother to consent to an adoption plan. If a birth parent is 14 years or younger, their consent or affidavit of non-paternity must be witnessed by a parent, legal guardian, or court-appointed guardian-ad-litem.
Can the I choose the adoptive family?
Yes. A birth mother is encouraged to specify the characteristics of the family (age, religion, hobbies, length of marriage, etc.) she prefers to raise her baby. She may speak with the adoptive family by telephone or meet them in person and ask questions, so she feels assured that she has chosen the perfect family for her baby. The birth mother is also encouraged to freely communicate with the adoptive family throughout the pregnancy, through either personal meetings or by letter and telephone. Through communication, a warm bond can be established between the birth mother and her chosen family.
How do I know the adoptive family will take care of my child?
Prospective adoptive families must go through an extensive screening process before they are approved to adopt. The adoption process includes social worker visits to their home, interviews, criminal background investigations, child abuse checks and references - this is called a Home Study.
Can I see my baby after birth?
Yes. The birth mother determines how much contact she would like to have with the baby. Some birth mothers desire to "room in" with the baby at the hospital, while others choose to have very limited or no contact.
When do I sign the adoption papers?
After the birth of the child, usually, before the birth mother is discharged from the hospital, she will sign the legal papers which will surrender her parental rights to the child. A consent for adoption, once signed, is generally binding and irrevocable.
How soon after birth does my baby go to the parents I choose?
As soon as you desire. In fact, many birth mothers request that the adoptive mother be present in the delivery room so that the adoptive mother may be with the baby from the moment of birth, but that is your option. The adoptive family can take the baby home directly from the hospital. The baby is not required to be placed in a foster home or middle care.
Can I receive pictures and updates after my baby is born?
Yes. We require the adoptive family to provide the birth mother with pictures and updates for a period after the baby is born. Future contact will be agreed on between the birth mother and adoptive family before the baby is born.
How much will my child know about me?
That depends on what type of adoption plan you choose: open, semi-open, or closed adoption. We encourage you to provide your complete medical and social history to your child, no matter what type of adoption plan you make. You may choose to share your identity and where you live with the adoptive family. If you've made an open adoption plan, you may have ongoing, direct contact with your child and the adoptive family.
Is there an adoption registry in Florida where my child can find me if he or she wants to search someday?
Florida has an adoption registry that will allow your child to locate you if you so choose. We will give you detailed information about the registry.
What about birth father?
Florida law requires birth fathers to provide financial and emotional support to the birth mother during her pregnancy and after birth to be able to interfere with the birth mother's adoption plan. In addition, Florida has a paternity registry that cuts off the rights of unmarried birth fathers who do not timely register. We are available to speak with birth fathers and help foster a mutual understanding of your adoption plan.
What is an open adoption?
Open adoption is an agreement in which a birth mother continues to have a relationship with her birth child after placing the child for adoption. The openness in your adoption will differ from another birth mother depending on your desires matched with the family desires. Your openness may change throughout the relationship as well, perhaps becoming less or more with time. Read more about open adoption here.
What are my rights?
You have the right to honest answers to your questions, support, guidance, and counseling throughout the adoption process. You have the right to participate in all phases of adoption planning, choose your adoptive family, meet your baby, and choose the level of openness. Read more about birth mother rights here.
We know you have more questions and we are here to help! We want you to be fully informed throughout the adoption process. Contact Adoption Choices of Florida now by calling 800-985-8108 or emailing us!