Are you living in Florida and considering adoption for your baby? Whether you just found out you are pregnant, are in your third trimester, or have recently given birth, adoption is still an option for you. It is also a very positive choice. If you are thinking about giving your baby up for adoption in Florida, the first thing to know is that you are not giving up.
While many people say, “give up for adoption” and “put up for adoption,” these phrases are outdated and wrong. The truth is, adoption is a brave, selfless, and loving act. It is one of the most caring and courageous choices a mother can make for her baby when she is not ready to parent. Those who choose adoption do so knowing that it will be difficult and emotional, but will also bring a lifetime of love and opportunity to their baby over the years. Today, those in the adoption community would say that you are placing your baby for adoption in Florida, or making an adoption plan.
You may not have chosen this situation, but you can make a positive plan for yourself and for your child. In this guide, we will outline how to start the adoption process in Florida, including Florida adoption laws and rights to know as an expectant/birth mother.
How Does Adoption Work in Florida?
Making the right decision starts with being informed. It is important to find an experienced adoption agency with a network of knowledgeable attorneys in Florida. This will ensure you have a full understanding of the adoption laws, and how it the process works in Florida. Below is some basic information regarding the process of making an adoption plan in Florida.
In the State of Florida, the expectant/birth mother is able to make an adoption plan during her pregnancy or after the birth of her baby. To finalize the adoption, she must provide written consent to terminate her parental rights. This can be done 48 hours after the birth of her baby, or until her discharge from the hospital (whichever comes first). This gives the birth mother enough time to think about her decision and ensure adoption is the right choice. Once the adoption papers are signed, a birth mother cannot change her mind. For this reason, it is important to take advantage of the time provided and make sure you are confident, comfortable, and at peace with the decision to make an adoption plan.
Florida maintains regulations on allowable expenses that are reimbursed to the expectant/birth parents choosing adoption. These include:
- Living costs (rent, utility bills, etc.) during pregnancy through 6 weeks postpartum
- Legal fees related to the adoption
- Professional adoption services
Adoptions With Love covers all these expenses and offers expectant/birth mothers free counseling services before and after birth.
6 Steps to Giving a Baby Up for Adoption in Florida
1. Do your research about adoption.
Placing a baby for adoption is a big decision. It is a positive and loving choice, but it is not one that you can take lightly. If you are considering adoption for your baby, you likely want to give them the best possible life. Still, you may have questions, such as:
- Does it cost money to give my baby up for adoption in Florida?
- Can I stay connected with my child’s adoptive family after the adoption?
- Will my child be happy, healthy, and successful if I choose adoption?
- What will my child think of me over the years?
These are all valid and important questions, and you may have a million more to ask. The next step, therefore, is for you to contact a reputable adoption agency in Florida. An adoption agency is the best possible resource for you to get the information you need, to learn about your options, and to understand the adoption process in Florida. Choose an agency that you trust you can talk to, and that will not pressure you into a decision. Do not be afraid to walk away from an adoption agency if you feel uncomfortable. This brings us to our next step.
2. Find a reputable adoption agency in Florida.
If you are thinking about giving your baby up for adoption in Florida, you should contact an adoption agency that is reputable in the state. Contacting an adoption agency does not mean you are obligated to choose adoption or to work with that organization. You can still reach out for professional guidance and information.
The best adoption agencies in Florida will meet you with compassion, understanding, and the respect you deserve.
At Adoptions With Love, you can get answers to your questions without pressure or judgement. Our compassionate staff is available 24/7 to help you understand your options and how the adoption process works. All of the services available to expectant/birth mothers is always free of charge, so there is never any risk in reaching out for help. In fact, Adoptions With Love offers financial support to expectant/birth mothers in Florida:
- Financial assistance with utilities, phone, maternity clothing, and other necessities, as needed.
- Designing your adoption plan. Each person has different needs. You have the opportunity to choose and meet the family that will adopt your baby.
- Housing assistance. Get help paying a deposit and several months of rent.
- Complete counseling services by compassionate and experienced professionals to assist you in planning for your future and that of your baby.
- Medical care. Medical care is a top priority. If you do not already have a doctor, we can help find a doctor who understands your emotional and physical needs.
- Legal assistance provided by experienced lawyers who specialize in adoption. Making sure that the rights of all those involved in the adoption process are respected and upheld is our utmost priority.
- Ongoing contact throughout the years.
Adoptions With Love can meet you wherever you are to go over your rights and guide you through the adoption process. Whether you are living in Tampa, Naples, Orlando, Pensacola, Palm Bay or anywhere in between – we can meet you at a time and place that is convenient for you.
3. Create an adoption plan.
As an expectant/birth mother considering adoption in Florida, you have the ability to customize an adoption plan. Your adoption professional can help you design a plan with which you are most comfortable.
There are three basic types of adoptions you can choose in Florida:
- Open adoption
- Semi-open adoption
- Closed adoption
Open adoption offers many benefits for birth mothers, and it is a popular choice for adoptions today. However, you are the one in charge. You can decide which plan makes the most sense for you, and your adoption counselor can help you create a plan that makes you feel comfortable and confident in your decision. If you would like regular emails or text messages from the adoption parents, that can be arranged. If you would rather keep the adoption closed, or only get updates from the adoption agency, that is okay, too. There is no right or wrong way to make an adoption plan, if it is what makes you and your child happy.
4. Choose an adoptive family.
One of the most important steps in the adoption process is finding the right family for your baby. Many birth mothers report that choosing the adoptive family gave them comfort and peace of mind, knowing that they were able to select a safe, loving, and supportive family to raise their baby.
At Adoptions With Love, we screen all adoptive parents through a comprehensive Home Study, which involves home visits, interviews, background checks, and a thorough exam of medical, financial, and personal documents.
If you would like to take this next step, you can browse profiles of adoptive families who have been approved to adopt. You can even meet with hopeful parents – if you wish – before making your decision. With the help of your adoption professional and the Home Study process, you can rest assured that your child will be placed in safe, stable, and loving home, no matter which family you choose.
5. Choose a trusted hospital in Florida, and create a hospital plan.
If you are pregnant and have not yet given birth, it is important you make a hospital plan (or birth plan). Creating a plan for your time in the hospital or birthing facility can help you feel prepared. As you look to make an adoption plan in Florida, you can ask your adoption counselor for help in creating a customized plan that meets your needs. This will cover considerations, such as:
- Which Florida hospital you would like to deliver the baby
- Who you want in the delivery room
- Whether or not you would like the adoptive parents present
- Who will hold baby first
- How much time you will spend with the baby
This plan can be modified later, even if you change your mind on the plan while at the hospital. If you change your mind on anything regarding your birth plan during your hospital stay, you can let your adoption specialist know and they will handle the changes.
6. Make a plan for after placement.
Last, but certainly not least, it is important to think about life after the birth and adoption. It is important you get the support you deserve. With the help of a caring adoption agency, you can receive one-on-one counseling with licensed professionals. The right adoption agency will provide this counseling in the months following your birth. Your adoption agency may also encourage you to participate in support groups or speak with other birth mothers (including local women in Florida) who have also made an adoption plan.
Adoptions With Love offers support and guidance every step of the way. Our help does not end after the adoption papers are signed. We are here for you long after the adoption is complete, because – as many of our birth parents could tell you – adoption is a lifelong journey. Placing your baby for adoption is not saying “goodbye forever”. It is, in fact, the beginning of a new chapter ahead.
Frequently Asked Questions about Florida Adoptions
How much does it cost to give a baby up for adoption in Florida?
There is never any cost to an expectant/birth mother. In fact, Adoptions With Love offers financial assistance to help with living expenses and medical care as it relates to the pregnancy and adoption process.
How do I know if adoption is right for me?
Adoption is a brave, loving, and selfless decision, but it is not right for everyone. Consider your options and discuss your concerns or desires with an adoption agency you can trust. They will offer you unbiased advice and information about your options.
Can I choose an open adoption in Florida?
Yes, open adoption is a popular choice for birth mothers who decide to place their baby for adoption in Florida. It is also one that offers many benefits to both birth mother and child. Learn about the benefits of open adoption here.
What are my rights as a birth mother in Florida?
It is important to know your rights as an expectant/birth parent. In Florida, no parent can sign legal documents consenting to adoption until 48 hours (about two days) after baby’s birth – or at the time of discharge from the hospital. The birth mother can provide the consent to the adoption. Legally, the biological father should be involved in the decision if he or a court has declared paternity, or if you are married to one another.
Is it too late for me to make an adoption plan?
Whether you have just learned about your pregnancy, are in your third trimester, or you have already given birth, it is not too late to make an adoption plan. Some adoption agencies will work right from your hospital, to ensure you get the help you need. Some will meet you, wherever you are in Florida, to discuss your options. Contact a Florida adoption agency right away to get more information.
If you would like to learn even more about giving your baby up for adoption in Florida, contact Adoptions With Love today. Call us any time of day, any day of the week at 800-722-7731, text us confidentially at 617-777-0072, or contact us online.