Birth Parent FAQs
No. Florida law does not have a minimum age requirement to place a child for adoption, nor does the law require that you notify or obtain consent from your parents to proceed with an adoptive placement. Hopefully, your decision to share your adoption plan with your friends and family will provide you with the support and guidance you need during your pregnancy, placement, and post-placement period.
No. Under Florida law, you may only sign a consent to adoption after the child’s birth. If you wish to place your child with the adoptive family directly from the hospital, the law imposes a waiting period of 48 hours following delivery, or the day of your discharge from the hospital, whichever occurs earlier.
If you place your child, under 6 months of age, for adoption with an adoptive family, and you properly signed an adoption consent, your consent cannot be revoked If your child is over 6 months of age when you sign your consent, you have 3 days to revoke your consent. A court may set aside an adoption consent upon a finding that fraud or duress existed in the adoption.
No. You may choose to waive notice of the court proceedings, or you may choose to receive a notice and appear at the hearing for termination of parental rights, but your attendance at the hearing is not mandatory.
With your consent, the baby may be placed directly from the hospital with the adoptive family. The discharge of a healthy newborn is usually 48 hours following birth.
Private licensed foster care is primarily used in situations when a birth parent is not ready to sign a final consent to adoption, which places the baby in the custody of the adoptive family. In some circumstances when birth parents make a “last-minute” decision to place their child for adoption, a private foster placement allows the parents time to choose the right adoptive family and to assure that the family has completed their home study.
It is best for everyone, especially your child if we can obtain as much information as possible. Future medical treatment will be affected by any medical history obtained from both birth parents. For that reason alone, you should give truthful information regarding his identity and whereabouts.
Florida law requires that every effort be made to notify the birth father of your adoption plan and obtain his consent to the adoption. You will be asked to provide his name, address, telephone number, physical description, and any additional information you have which will assist us in contacting him.
If you are uncertain as to the identity or current whereabouts of the birth father, the attorneys will speak with you further to discover information to assist in contacting him.
If you do not wish to speak personally with the birth father, the attorneys will contact him and make arrangements for him to complete the paperwork.
You should provide the attorneys with all information you have concerning the birth father so they may contact him to request his consent to the adoption or assistance with financial support. The earlier in your pregnancy we make contact with him, the more likely we will be able to work out a successful adoption plan.
If you are not married to the biological father, we may serve him with a Notice of your adoption plan. The law requires that the father provide support for you and the child and that he register his paternity with the Office of Vital Statistics. If he fails to timely respond, his consent to the adoption will not be required.
Florida law permits adoptive parents to assist you with reasonable living expenses during the pregnancy and up to 6 weeks following delivery. Living expenses may include assistance with rent, utilities, groceries, transportation, telephone, and maternity clothes. All expenses must be approved by the Court overseeing your adoption case.
Yes. The law allows adoptive parents to pay for any pregnancy-related medical expenses which are not covered by health insurance or Medicaid. Once the child is born, the adoptive parents are responsible for the baby’s expenses.
Absolutely. This is your pregnancy, your baby, and your adoption plan. You may choose a single parent, same-sex couple, or a traditional family. If you have an age or religious preference, want a stay-at-home parent, or wish for this to be a first child, then this is important to us too. Once you choose the family, you may set a time to meet with them in person or by video chat. Adoptive parents are happy to share photos and update letters after your baby is born. Our office will assist you with these details, and even attend your meeting with the adoptive family to help make everyone feel more comfortable.
This depends on the type of adoption you choose. Frequently adoptive parents and birth parents choose to have a “semi-open” adoption which allows a birth parent to learn personal information including the state in which the adoptive family lives, their ages, length of the marriage, employment, physical description, hobbies and interests, and religion. You may choose to meet the adoptive family, have them attend prenatal visits, or even have them present for delivery. In some cases, families select an open adoption, exchanging identifying information, and having annual visits. If you have additional questions that will help you in choosing the best family for your child, create a list, and ask the adoption professional you consult with for guidance.
Most adoptive parents are referred to our office through prior clients, a local support group, a place of worship, infertility doctors, and other professionals. Prospective adoptive parents initially apply to adopt, and then meet with an attorney for a consultation to discuss the process. The adoptive family must then undergo a “home study” which determines their qualifications to become adoptive parents. Florida law sets standards for this process, including criminal background checks, child abuse clearances, physical evaluations, review of their financial status, and evaluation of their home.
All adoptions are monitored by the family court. Once your child is placed with the adoptive family, the home study process continues as the adoptive family completes post-placement supervision for at least 90 days after they receive custody, and a final report is submitted to the court before they may proceed to finalize the adoption.
Yes. The length of their wait is subject to many variables which include the number of children available to adopt, whether the adoptive family has a specific preference such as gender, race, degree of openness, etc. Answers to these questions may assist you in determining whether this is the right family for your child.
Yes. You have the right to spend as much time with your baby as you wish. Most birth parents will have the baby brought to their room, will spend time with the child alone as well as together with the adoptive parents. This is your birth plan. Tell us your wishes and we will do everything we can to assist.
You may give your child their “birth name” which will be recorded on the original birth certificate and filed in the court file. In dreaming of becoming parents, most adoptive families have considered names for their child and even incorporated names of close relatives. If you have a name that is particularly significant to you, you may wish to share this with the adoptive family and discuss with them your requests.
Yes! All adoptive families commit to providing pictures and letters. In most cases, these are sent via email or a private website. If you are interested in more contact, let us know and we will consider your request when we help you to select the right adoptive family for your child.
All documents you complete regarding the placement of your child, including the personal and medical history of you and the birth father are maintained in the adoption file. Additionally, the file contains a copy of the original birth certificate, physician reports, and birth and delivery information on the child. All documents concerning the adoptive parents which have been filed with and reviewed by the court, including a home study, the Final Judgment of Adoption, are also included.
Adoptions in the State of Florida are confidential. Only the judge presiding over your case can review the file while the case is still open. Any individual who requests access to the court file must first obtain a court order. Third parties such as friends and family members are not permitted to view the file. Once the adoption is finalized (approximately 90 days after custody of your child is given to the adoptive family), the court file is “sealed” and access is prohibited to everyone.
Yes, if you choose. Identifying information remains confidential in an adoption proceeding unless written authorization to release that information is given. When you execute the adoption consent following delivery, our office will offer you a Birthparent Release of Information which, if executed by you, remains in our file and permits our office to open the file to the child when he/she reaches the age of majority. Additionally, you and your child may search for one another using the Florida Adoption Reunion Registry, which acts as an information bank to store the names and addresses of adoptees as well as their biological families. Information regarding the Reunion Registry will be provided and explained to you before signing your consent to an adoption.