For Birth Parents
We are a dedicated firm offering adoption services with integrity, care, concern, and a personal touch. We will endeavor to provide you with the information you need to make the decisions that are right for you and your child and to ensure your child is raised in a secure, loving home. Birth parents, as well as adoptive parents, create their own adoption plan.
Deciding to place a child for adoption is a not a decision that anyone reaches lightly. We urge to you call and become aware of your rights, options, and avenues available to you. Your phone call is confidential and free of charge. We can also meet with you in person.
We are also affiliated with Heart of Adoptions, Inc., fully licensed adoption agencies, and encourage you to visit their sites at www.heartofadoptions.com and www.heartofadoptionsalliance.com for more information.
FAQ - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FROM BIRTH PARENTS
Below is a list of frequently asked questions for prospective birth parents. It is important to note that this list is a very brief introduction to a complex topic and is not tailored to any specific case. The Florida Statutes govern the requirements for adoptions in the state of Florida, and, therefore, if you currently reside in another state, the answers to the questions may be different because each state has enacted its own set of adoption laws.
However, we often work with birth mothers from other states and will be able to provide you with the help you need.
Please contact us with specific questions or for further information.
How can adoption be good for my baby and me?
Adoption is a very loving and unselfish decision. There are many women, of all ages, who have an unplanned pregnancy, and do not feel they are ready to parent. They know there are countless couples who cannot conceive a child, and who have a loving home ready for a child. The greatest dream of these couples is to be parents and make a child the center of their lives, as every child deserves.
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 so choose, you can get updates on your child's progress or have ongoing visits throughout your child's life while you continue your education or career goals. Finally, you can be proud that you chose life for your baby.
Does the birth mother have to pay legal fees or expenses?
No. All fees and expenses, including medical expenses, are paid by the prospective adoptive parents. The birth mother is not required to pay anything.
Is the birth mother required to appear in court?
No, unless the Indian Child Welfare Act applies.
How much financial assistance may the birth mother receive?
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, not to exceed six weeks. 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 eighteen?
A birth mother under the age of eighteen 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 birth mother choose the adoptive parents?
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 parents 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 will I know the adoptive parents will take care of my child?
Prospective adoptive parents 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.
Can the birth mother see the 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 does the birth mother 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 can 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 parents can take the baby home directly from the hospital. The baby is not required to be placed in a foster home.
Can the birth mother receive pictures and updates after the baby is born?
Yes. We require the adoptive parents to provide the birth mother with pictures and updates for a period of at least five years after the baby is born. The adoptive parents send the pictures and updates to us for forwarding to the birth mother. If you would like pictures for a longer period of time, please let us know.
How much will my child know about me?
That depends on what type of adoption plan you choose: open, semi-open, or confidential. 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.
Can my child 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.
Is the birth mother required to appear in court?
Does the birth mother have to live in or move to Florida in order to work with you?
No. If the birth mother lives in another state, we will coordinate efforts with another attorney, counselor or licensed child-placing agency to provide the best services possible to the birth mother. If the birth mother lives in Florida, we will meet with her in person, either at our office, her home or at any other place that is convenient for her. A birth mother may also choose to relocate.
What about birth fathers?
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 birthfathers who do not timely register. We are available to speak with birth fathers and help foster a mutual understanding of adoption.
What is an open adoption?
Many different relationships may develop between the birth mother and the adoptive family. In closed adoptions, the birth mother chooses to have little or no information about the adoptive parents and the adoptive parents receive little information about the birth mother. The birth mother may choose to delegate the selection of the adoptive family to the adoption professional.
In an open adoption, the birth mother and adoptive parents exchange comprehensive information. The birth mother receives a family profile and pictures of the adoptive parents, as well as non-identifying information about the adoptive parents' marriage, education, career, religion, hobbies and interests. The adoptive parents receive family, medical and social information about the birth mother. In addition, the birth mother may prepare letters or a scrapbook for the adoptive family to share with the child.
What are my rights?
- The right to participate in all phases of adoption planning.
- The right to counseling.
- The right to request financial assistance (within the limits of the law) with adoption and pregnancy related expenses; such as medical care, maternity clothes, housing, transportation and counseling services.
- The right to have an independent lawyer represent your interests, if you desire.
- The right to meet and interview as many prospective families as you choose, in order to make the best decision for you and your baby.
- The right to ask questions of the adopting family, and to receive information before deciding to place your child with them.
- The right to select the family who will raise your child..The right to an open and honest relationship with the adopting family.
- The right to receive ongoing counseling and continuous support throughout the adoption process and following the birth of your baby.
- The right to be treated with dignity and respect for your selfless and loving decision.