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Understanding Your Rights as a Birth Mother in Florida

Understanding Your Rights as a Birth Mother in Florida

When it comes to the legal aspects of placing a child for adoption, things can get tricky, which is why it’s extremely important for birth mothers in the state of Florida to understand their rights related to the adoption process. As you may know by now, gathering information about the adoption process is an essential part of finalizing your decision to place your child for adoption, and this is no different in relation to the legal side of adoption. But as important as it is for you to do your own research, Adoption Choices of Florida highly recommends reaching out to our agency, so we can help you get in contact with an adoption attorney. 

Your adoption attorney is going to be a critical part of your adoption team, as he or she is going to educate you on all you need to know about your rights as a birth mother in Florida. Until you get in contact with an adoption attorney, we’ve created a blog listing four of the most important birth mother rights to be aware of, so you can get started in understanding why these rights are so vital to your adoption journey.   

So, what are your rights as a birth mother in Florida? Here are four of the most important ones to be aware of.

Birth Mother Rights in Florida

  1. Deciding Whether or Not You’d Like to be a Part of the Adoption Process

As the birth mother, you have the right to decide whether or not you’d like to be involved in your child’s adoption process. Most birth mothers prefer to be a part of their child’s adoption process, however, it’s not uncommon for birth mothers to choose not to. Placing a child for adoption is one of life’s most incredible journeys, but it’s not without its difficulties. It’s up to you to determine whether or not you feel emotionally strong enough to handle the ups and downs of your own adoption journey. Additionally, adoption is a huge commitment if you choose to be a part of the process. Consider how it would fit in with your career and your social life if you chose to be involved. 

If you decide that being involved in the adoption process isn’t right for you, that’s OK, but if you do choose to be a part of it, prepare yourself for an incredible journey! As aforementioned, those who choose adoption get to experience one of life’s greatest, most life-changing adventures.   

  1. Choosing Which Type of Adoption You Want

Birth mothers also have the right to choose which type of adoption they want/which type they think is in their child’s best interest. Out of the three types of adoption in the state of Florida, open and semi-open adoption are most preferred among birth mothers and adoption families alike, however, closed adoption isn’t uncommon. Once you choose an adoption agency -- like Adoption Choices of Florida, for example -- and get connected with an adoption professional, they’ll be able to help you understand the differences between the three types of adoption. 

If you’re interested in learning more about each type of adoption on your own, please visit Adoption Choices of Florida’s blog on the three types of adoption.

  1. Choosing Your Child’s Adoptive Parents

A birth mother also has the right to choose her child’s adoptive parents/family. After you’ve chosen an adoption agency and created a team of adoption professionals to guide you on your adoption journey, you’ll be asked to create your child’s adoption plan. Put simply, an adoption plan consists of your preferences regarding your child’s adoption and includes information such as which type of adoption you want, your preferences regarding your child’s adoptive parents/family, and so on.

Your preferences regarding your child adoptive parents can be as broad or as specific as you wish to make them. Preferences include, but aren’t limited to the following:

  • Your child being raised in a single-parent household or two-parent household

  • The sexuality, race, ethnicity, or religion of your child’s adoptive parent(s)

  • The occupation(s) of your child’s adoptive parent(s)

  • Where your child’s adoptive parent(s) live/the community your child is to be raised in

  • If you prefer your child to grow up with a sibling or siblings

  • What you want your child’s future to look like -- do you want them to go to college? Have the opportunity to travel?

Creating/completing your child’s adoption plan is an important milestone in your adoption journey, but don’t let yourself be intimidated by it. Remember, your adoption agency and the rest of your adoption team will be by your side the entire time to guide you and give you advice. For more information on creating your child’s adoption plan, please read Adoption Choices of Florida’s blog on what to include in your child’s adoption plan.  

  1. Changing Your Mind at Any Point in the Adoption Process

Unless she’s already relinquished her parental rights, a birth mother has the right to change her mind about placing her child for adoption at any point in the adoption process. This is one of the most important rights to be aware of as a birth mother because it’s fairly normal to have second thoughts or wonder whether or not you’re making the right decision. 

If you are having second thoughts and are considering raising your child rather than placing him or her for adoption, stop for a moment and think about why you chose adoption in the first place. Maybe you aren’t financially stable enough. Maybe you’re working towards certain career goals, have dreams of going back to school, or are in the midst of making exciting travel plans. Maybe you’re a survivor of sexual assault and need to focus on the your path to recovery. Whatever your reasoning is, it’s important for you to remember why you originally decided you aren’t the parent that your child needs. 

If things have changed for you and you feel confident in your ability to raise your child, good for you! But if you aren’t, remind yourself that your child’s best interest is of utmost importance and that perhaps there’s a family out there who can give your child a better life and future than you can.   

Finding the Right Adoption Attorney

As aforementioned, an important part of your adoption journey is to get connected with an adoption attorney who can help you to understand your rights as the birth mother of a child you’ve decided to place for adoption. Getting in contact with a good adoption attorney can be a challenge, as adoption attorneys are busy people. However, once you’ve selected an adoption agency you’d like to work with, an adoption professional within the agency may be able to recommend an adoption attorney for you. If you’d prefer to find an adoption attorney on your own, it’s important for you to be thorough when doing your research. Make sure the websites you’re looking on are legitimate and that each attorney you consider comes with stellar reviews from other birth mothers and/or adoptive families who’ve worked with them before! 

Most importantly, you should seek out an adoption attorney who you believe is truly a decent human being. Your adoption attorney should care about you, your child, and your adoption journey, rather than concern themselves with the size of their next paycheck. Keep this in mind when searching for the right adoption attorney for you. For more information on adoption attorneys, visit Adoption Choices of Florida’s guide to finding the right adoption attorney.

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