Who can help me learn more about adoption?
It is important that you review your parenting options and
community resources available to you before committing to
an adoption plan. In Florida,
adoption agencies and attorneys are qualified to place a child for
adoption. In selecting
which is right for you, ask what services they provide, their training
and expertise, how involved you can be in making your adoption plan and
if they provide you with an independent counselor or attorney to
represent you. You should not involve an adoptive couple into the
process until your have had adequate counseling to determine that
adoption is the right choice for you. For a list of agencies, contact
us at 1-800-96-ADOPT (1-800-962-3678).
Options for Pregnant Women
Adoption? Adoption is a deeply personal life long decision affecting you,
your child, the birthfather, your families and the adoptive
family. It involves making
a parenting plan for your child that includes terminating your parental
rights as the parent and choosing
What are my rights?
You are entitled to copies of all
documents that you will be signing throughout the process to have them
reviewed with your attorney, counselor, family or advocate before you
sign them. You have the
right to choose an independent witness of your choice be present when
you sign the consent to adoption.
You have the right to obtain independent counseling from a
trained qualified licensed adoption professional who can prepare you
for the many emotions you may experience through the adoption process.
What about the father?
is known and locatable, the adoption agency or attorney you are working
with must give him notice of your intended adoption plan.
If you are not married to him, he must take additional steps to assert
his right to further notice or to require his consent to the
adoption. If you have
concerns about your safety such as if he was abusive or you were raped,
talk to your adoption professional to keep your location confidential.
Is there any cost to place my child for adoption?
No, there is no cost to you.
What financial assistance is
The adoptive family, through the agency or
attorney chosen by you, can provide medical assistance for your
prenatal medical care. If
you are unemployed or underemployed as a result of the pregnancy,
financial assistance may be available for your living expenses. You should discuss your needs
with your counselor or attorney.
What other support services
You have the right to request an attorney
and independent licensed counselor to represent you through the
adoption process at no expense to you.
How do I
choose an adoptive family?
You should select an adoptive family that
reflects your values
and lifestyle as to how you want your child raised. Once you have a list of your
criteria, an adoption professional can assist you by reviewing profiles
of adoptive families that match your criteria. You may also choose a
relative or a friend to adopt your child,
There are specific laws that must be
complied with to formalize an adoption such as requiring that adoptive
families have an approved home study that includes physical exams,
visits to their home, good references, criminal records checks
(including the FBI), abuse registry checks, plus adoption education and
preparation to ensure the home is safe for the child.
want a more open or more closed adoption?
You should consider what openness you want
in an adoption before selecting an adoptive family. Once you select
a family, you have the
option of meeting them. If you want to stay in touch after the child is
adopted you should put your agreement for future contact in writing to
be incorporated into the court record.
If you do not want the adoptive family to
know your name, but you want your child to be able to contact you in the future,
you can register with the Florida Adoption Reunion Registry. For more information, call 1-800-96-ADOPT.
When does my
adoption decision become binding?
Nothing that you sign prior to the
birth of your child obligates you in any way to place your child for
adoption, including having received financial assistance. If you are
unsure, you should not sign any documents and should consult with an
independent attorney, counselor or hospital social worker as to your
parenting and placement options as a consent
for adoption of a child under 6 months is binding and irrevocable once
signed unless you can prove it was obtained by fraud or duress. If the child is over the age of
6 months, you have 3 days to reconsider your decision.
What happens at the
There are many important decisions you
should make prior to giving birth such as: Do I
want to see or hold my baby? Do I want the
adoptive family present at the hospital? Can I
pick the name for my baby?
Can my family visit? Can I take pictures? These are your decisions to
decisions/choices are involved in making an adoption plan?
WhWhat are my parenting
WhWhat are the community resources available if I chose to parent?
What services do I want
from an adoption agency or attorney?
What counseling do I
want before, during and after my pregnancy and adoption to help me
consider the lifelong impact of an adoption plan?
What is my criteria for
an adoptive family?
What contact do I want
with the adoptive family before and after the baby is born?
Should I have my own
attorney assist or review the legal process of an adoption with me?
What financial support do I
What contact do I want
at the hospital with my baby?
Is adoption the right choice for me?
I have all my questions answered and the support I need to make an
adoption plan before I sign a consent to
terminate my parental rights?
What if I’m
not sure, but I want to explore adoption as an option?
Talk to a licensed counselor, family
member, birthfather, doctor, and other community resources through your
church or synagogue, pregnancy centers, maternity homes, adoption
attorneys or agencies.
Asking questions does not obligate you to make a decision. Get counseling to make sure this
is the right decision for you and your child before signing any
What if I
don’t want to place my child for adoption, but I need help? There are agencies and maternity
homes throughout Florida
that will provide you with assistance and possibly a place to live
during your pregnancy and after the birth of your child. Call for
Where can I find out more information
American Adoption Congress
Child Welfare Information Gateway
Evan B. Donaldson Institute
Contact us today
For more information on your
community’s adoption information services, counselors, maternity
homes, adoption agencies and other resources.
Adoption Information Center
Out of Florida
Florida’s Adoption Information
4203 Southpoint Boulevard