10 Oct Process for Placing a Child up for Adoption in Florida
If you are researching the process of putting a child up for adoption in Florida, you might be feeling overwhelmed by the information available. Fortunately, you do not have to be alone in the process, and with some guidance, you can make the best decision for you and your baby.
The following is a guide to the legal steps you can take if you decide to give your baby up for adoption. The process might be slightly different for every woman, and the professionals at Brickell Legal can guide you through the process and make sure you have a plan that fits your needs and your pregnancy.
As soon as you have a confirmed pregnancy, the adoption process can begin. However, you cannot finalize your adoption plan until after the baby is born.
Choosing a Type of Adoption
There are three types of adoption for you as the adoptive parent to choose from.
- Open Adoption: In an open adoption, the birthmother (and sometimes the father) and the adoptive family have a relationship after the baby is placed. The relationship can include phone calls, visits, and pictures. The amount of contact can be decided between you and the adoptive parents.
- Semi-Open Adoption: The adoptive parents can send you pictures, letters, or emails, and maybe speak to you on the phone. This type of adoption usually doesn’t include visits with the child.
- Closed Adoption: Closed adoption does not include any contact with the child or adoptive family after the baby is placed.
Choosing the Way to Place Your Child up for Adoption
As a birthmother in Florida, there are three ways to place a child up for adoption:
- A licensed private adoption agency
- An attorney
- The Department of Children and Families (usually only used in instances when children have been abandoned or neglected)
Understanding Legal Fees & Financial Assistance
If you use an attorney for the adoption process, all fees and expenses are paid for by the adoptive parents. You can receive assistance for medical and living expenses throughout the pregnancy as well. Things like OB and hospital care, medications, counseling, rent, etc. As the birth mother, you are not required to pay anything.
If you are a birthmother between the ages of fifteen and eighteen, you have the power to consent to the adoption of your child without parental consent. Your parents or other family members do not need to be contacted in order for you to consent to an adoption plan. However, if you are 14 years or younger, your consent of non-paternity must be witnessed by a parent, legal guardian, or court-appointed guardian-ad-litem.
Choosing the Adoptive Parents
As the birth mother, you are encouraged to give the characteristics of the family you prefer to raise your baby. These characteristics can include age, religion, hobbies, and more. You may speak with adoptive families on the phone, or you can meet them in person and ask questions. It is important for you to feel assured that you have chosen the right family for your baby. It is also acceptable and encouraged to communicate with the adoptive family throughout the pregnancy through either personal meetings or correspondence.
Signing the Consent For Adoption
The consent for adoption is not signed until after the birth of the child. Usually, before you are discharged, you will sign the legal papers that will surrender your parental rights to the child. A consent for adoption, once signed, is generally binding and irrevocable.
Knowing Your Rights
As a birth mother, you have certain rights in the adoption process that you should be aware of. These rights include:
- The right to participate in all of the phases of adoption planning
- The right to counseling
- The right to request financial aid within the limits of the law
- The right to meet an interview prospective parents, ask questions, and receive information before deciding the placement of your child
- The right to select the adoptive family who will raise your child
- The right to an open relationship with the adoptive family
- The right to ongoing counseling and support throughout the adoption process and following birth
- The right to have an independent lawyer represent you
Making the choice to give your child up for adoption can be a selfless and loving act that should be treated as such by everyone involved. If you are uncertain about the adoption process, or if you are ready to move forward with placing your child up for adoption, give us a call.