For Birth Parents
We are a dedicated firm offering adoption services to all members of the adoption triad with integrity, genuine care, and a personal touch. We endeavor to provide you with the all the information you need to make decisions that are right for you and your child. We will work with you to find a forever family for your child and ensure your child is raised in a safe, stable, and loving home. You, as a birth parent, can create your own individualized adoption plan that suits your specific needs and desires. You are in the driver’s seat! We can help you navigate this important decision.
Deciding to place a child for adoption is not a decision that anyone reaches lightly. We encourage you to call and become aware of your rights, options, and avenues available to you as you navigate this decision. 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. and Heart of Adoptions Alliance, Inc., fully licensed adoption agencies, and we encourage you to visit their sites at www.heartofadoptions.com and www.heartofadoptionsalliance.com for more information.
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FAQ 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.
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.
No. All fees and expenses, including medical expenses, are paid by the prospective adoptive parents. The birth mother is not required to pay anything.
No, unless the Indian Child Welfare Act applies.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 provide pictures and updates to the birth parents. If you would like pictures for a longer period of time, please let us know.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you have questions about adoption, or if you are interested in adoption information, please contact Jeanne T. Tate, P.A. ([email protected] or 813.258.3355). The attorneys at Jeanne T. Tate, P.A. have focused their practice on adoption law for a combined total of over 120 years and have helped complete adoptions for thousands of pregnant birth mothers.