How Do I Begin the Adoption Process as a Pregnant Woman in Florida?
If you’re experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and are considering placing your child for adoption, your first question is probably, “Where do I start?” As a birth mother in Florida, your adoption process is going to start just like any other birth mother’s -- lots of research! But as most people know, research that begins with a quick Google search can lead you down a rabbit-hole of contradicting and confusing information that ends up leaving you with more questions than answers. To help narrow down your search for information on the adoption process, Adoption Choices of Florida has created a blog to answer one of the most frequently asked questions by birth mothers all throughout the state of Florida -- How do I begin the adoption process as a birth mother in Florida?
Beginning the Adoption Process as a Birth Mother in Florida
Understanding Your Adoption Decision
As a birth mother, it’s extremely important for you to understand the decision you’re making -- placing your child for adoption. Deciding to place a child for adoption is never an easy decision to make, so make sure you fully understand the process of adoption before committing to it. A good understanding of the adoption process comes from research done on your own, as well as gathering information from adoption agencies within your area. Most adoption agencies are available 24/7 to address any questions or concerns you have related to placing your child for adoption, so don’t hesitate to reach out at a time that’s most convenient for you.
As important as it is for birth mothers to commit to the adoption journey, it’s not uncommon for them to have second thoughts. If at any point in the adoption process you decide that you don’t want to place your child for adoption, you have the right to change your mind and stop the process, so long as your child’s adoption has not yet been finalized.
Choosing the Right Adoption Agency
As you’re gathering information about adoption and what your adoption journey might look like, you should also be doing research about adoption agencies within your area. Navigating various adoption agency websites can be overwhelming, so focus your research on the most important information -- what each agency offers in terms of birth mother resources. At Adoption Choices of Florida, with locations in both Jacksonville and Tampa, resources for birth mothers include:
Residency and Safe Housing Services
Most adoption agencies in the state of Florida should offer similar resources for birth mothers, as financial instability is one of the most common reasons women choose to place a child for adoption. Regarding adoption-related expenses, birth mothers shouldn’t have to worry about paying for anything. Generally, adoption agencies -- as well as adoptive families -- are more than willing to cover any adoption-related costs.
Contacting Our Adoption Agency
Once you’ve chosen an adoption agency you feel has the best interest of both you and your child in mind, your next step is to reach out to that agency and get connected with one of its adoption professionals or social workers. You may have already done so if you reached out to the agency and asked questions about the adoption process or support resources for birth mothers. If you reached out before and remember the name of the professional you spoke to, give the agency a call again and ask for the person you previously spoke to by name. From there, you’ll more than likely need to go to the agency so your adoption professional can help you prepare for the next step in your adoption journey.
Creating Your Child’s Adoption Plan
After you’ve gotten in contact with one of our adoption experts or someone within the adoption agency you’ve chosen to work with, you’ll begin preparing your child’s adoption plan with the help of an adoption professional and/or social worker. Your adoption plan should be made with your child’s best interest in mind and consists of your preferences regarding your child’s adoption, including:
The type of adoption you want
Your preferences regarding your child’s adoptive parents/family
Who you want to include in your adoption journey/support group
Your hospital and birth plan(s)
Anything else you’d like to include!
Creating your child’s adoption plan can be an intimidating step in your adoption journey, which is why your adoption professional or social worker will be there to guide you every step of the way. But remember, it’s ultimately up to you to make decisions and determine what you think is in your child’s best interest! To learn more about creating your child’s adoption plan, please visit Adoption Choices of Florida’s blog on what to include in your child’s adoption plan.
Finding a Strong Support System Outside of Our Adoption Agency
Just as important as having a support system within our adoption agency is having a strong support system outside of our agency. Outside support can come from family members, close friends, co-workers, or even a small support group within your community. Though the adoption journey is an incredible one, it’s not without its fair share of emotionally-trying days. At Adoption Choices of Florida, we understand that it’s not just our emotional support that you need to guide you on your adoption journey -- it’s the support from your family, friends, and the rest of your social circle, as well. As valuable as a professional counselor’s insight is, sometimes you just need a little perspective or guidance from a trusted relative or good friend!
Be Confident in Your Decision to Choose Adoption
A lot of birth mothers who choose to place a child for adoption often wonder whether or not they’re making the right decision for themselves and for their child. Again, the best way to know whether or not adoption is right for you is by learning more about the adoption process and remembering that YOU are in control of creating your child’s adoption plan. This might sound intimidating, but think about it for a moment.
By being involved in the adoption process, you have the opportunity to secure your child’s future with a loving adoptive family, who will be able to give your child the life he or she deserves. So, be confident in yourself! And though our team at Adoption Choices of Florida may be a wonderful group of professionals, believe us when we say that only a mother truly knows what’s best for her child at the end of the day.
If you are a birth parent considering adoption, and have any questions or concerns about the process, please don’t hesitate to reach out. For more information on adoption, visit us at Adoption Choices of Florida or call us at: 800-985-8108