Only you know why adoption is the best choice for your child. Perhaps you feel you’re too young to be a parent or you’re in an unsafe relationship. Whatever your reason, thinking first about what’s best for your child is an amazing and loving thing to do.
Begin the adoption process
Your first step is to find a reputable agency, lawyer, or another adoption coordinator to work with. No trustworthy adoption specialist should ever ask you to pay for their services. Everything should be completely free.
Have them explain the entire adoption process for you under Florida law. You need to know the legal requirements, how to create an adoption plan, and the timing of events. No one can force you to choose adoption and you don’t want to be surprised by last-minute situations.
Create an adoption plan
Four types of adoptions exist in Florida: Entity adoption (This means an agency or some other coordinator facilitates the adoption for you), stepparent adoption, close relative adoption, and adult adoption. Each type of adoption has a unique procedure.
As you learn more about adoption, you’ll start to put together a plan that you’re comfortable with. You’ll be asked how much involvement you want to have in the future and what type of adoptive family you’re looking for.
Based on the amount of contact you’re comfortable with, you will choose a closed, open, or semi-open plan.
Closed adoption plan
If you decide you want to remain anonymous, you choose a closed adoption plan. Your adoption specialist will choose the adoptive family based on your requests, and take care of the details.
Some women feel remaining anonymous helps them move on with their lives.
Open and semi-open adoption plans
If you would like to have ongoing contact with the adoptive family and your child, you will make an open or semi-open adoption plan.
These plans involve exchanging personal information like full names, addresses, emails, or even phone numbers with the adoptive family you choose.
In an open adoption, you would have direct contact with them. Together, you would arrange meetings and communicate regularly.
With a semi-open adoption, you would have contact, but it would be through a third party such as the adoption agency or lawyer.
None of these plans are better than the other. You choose based on what’s most comfortable for you and your baby.
Finalizing the adoption
Florida treats all parties involved in the adoption (the biological parents, the adoptee, and the adoptive parents) equally. However, the biological parent’s rights are primary until they voluntarily surrender those rights under Florida law.
You don’t need to worry if you are no longer involved with the birth father. Although there are exceptions, an unmarried biological father must register his paternity with Florida’s Putative Father Registry.
The purpose of the registry is to permit a man claiming to be the biological father of a child to assert his parenthood, independent of the mother, and preserve his rights as a parent. If he doesn’t register, the court will not require his consent before proceeding to complete an adoption plan.
After your baby is born, you must wait a minimum of 48 hours or on the date of your discharge from the hospital or birth center before you can give your legal consent to the adoption. This gives you time to make sure adoption is the right choice for you and your child.
Is adoption right for you?
Although you may feel like you’re giving up or giving away your baby through adoption, you’re not. You’re choosing to think of your child first which is the bravest decision anyone can make.
Find out more about the adoption process here. While we are not an adoption agency, we can refer you to local agencies to discuss the process and help you decide which option is right for you and your child.
Contact us to schedule your confidential appointment at one of our Palm Beach County locations today. Together, we’ll find out if adoption is right for you.