Adoption Process for Birth Mother in Florida (2023)

Adoption provides an amazing opportunity for individuals seeking to add children to their homes to raise and love. In Florida, there are many different types of adoption. Regardless of the form of adoption, there are certain laws in place to protect the rights of the birth mother. As a birth mother, you have a vital role in the adoption process. Understanding your legal rights and obligations before and during the adoption process can help ease any fears or concerns you may have.

Are You Ready to Pursue Adoption?

Choosing to adopt is a permanent, lifelong decision. Careful consideration is vital before determining if this is the ideal route for you. Emotions can be high, especially in the early stages of pregnancy. It is ideal to take several days or even weeks to consider the various options. If a birth mother chooses adoption, contacting an adoption attorney or agency is the next important step. A professional can better help the birth mother understand her rights and how the adoption process works in Florida.

Adoption Process For Birth Mother in Florida

What Adoption Process Is Right for You?

There are several benefits associated with choosing adoption. In Florida, the main forms of adoption are open, semi-open, and closed. The various options provide the opportunity to find the situation that would be right for you as a birth mother. Some birth mothers want to maintain some form of relationship with the child. In this instance, an open adoption or semi-open adoption would be most beneficial. However, some birth mothers may decide not to stay in contact. In this instance, a closed adoption would be the right choice.

In addition to the type of adoption, a birth mother may select her child’s new parents. A birth mother can choose to work with an adoption agency or an attorney. She could also search for potential parents on her own. This gives the birth mother the ability to choose parents based on important factors that will shape the child’s future. In the state of Florida, background checks are conducted to ensure that potential parents meet certain standards that prove their ability to properly care for the child.

Starting the Legal Process

The real legal process of adoption begins once the birth mother is matched with a family. Once the match is found, an adoption attorney can file the adoption with the local court. The adoption process itself can take several weeks. The legal process includes seeking and receiving approval from the court for any expenses over $5,000. This also includes drafting consent documents for the birth mother to sign. Depending on the situation, this part of the adoption process may also include speaking to the birth father concerning his rights. Once everything is in place, the adoption will be finalized.

Consider Pre-Placement Contact

In many adoption situations, the new parents and birth parents choose to get to know one another before the birth of the child. While this isn’t necessary, it has proven to be beneficial for both parties involved. This pre-placement contact can range from phone calls, emails, and in-person meetings. They can be mediated by an adoption attorney and provide a way to ensure both parties feel comfortable about the match. This is a great way for the birth mother to have the opportunity to get to know her child’s new family before finalizing her decision.

Finalizing the Adoption

All the planning, legal work, and support come together for the birth of the baby. Once a child is born, the birth mother has 48 hours to either change her mind or sign the paperwork that provides legal consent for the adoption to happen. If the birth mother chooses to provide consent, the new parents will receive physical custody of the child.

For the new parents, there is typically a waiting period of 30 to 90 days following the termination of the birth mother’s rights for the adoption to be completely finalized. During this time, the child will be living with their new parents. It is common for there to be follow-up visits and interviews to ensure that the new family is adjusting well.

FAQs

Q: How Long Does a Birth Mother Have to Change Her Mind in Florida?

A: In Florida, a birth mother has 48 hours following the birth of the child to change her mind. The birth mother will need to sign paperwork that clearly states that she is willingly consenting to the adoption. The likelihood of a birth mother choosing to change her mind is statistically low.

Q: Can a Birth Parent Regain Custody After Adoption in Florida?

A: In most cases, a birth parent can’t regain custody. When an adoption is legally finalized, the parental rights of the birth parents are completely terminated and transferred to the new parents. The only exception is if there is substantial proof that there was fraud or duress during the adoption process. With the help of an adoption attorney, birth parents may have the option to get the adoption reversed.

Q: Can a Child Be Adopted Without the Consent of Both Parents in Florida?

A: In most adoption scenarios, the birth mother plays an active role in planning and consenting to the adoption. The birth mother needs to provide consent for adoption to take place. The birth father does need to provide consent in most instances, unless:

  • He has deserted or abandoned the child.
  • He does not respond to a request for consent within 60 days.
  • A court has terminated his rights.

Q: Will I Receive Compensation for Medical Bills as a Birth Mother?

A: In many adoptions today, new families cover the expenses of the adoption. This includes legal fees, medical bills, counseling expenses, and living expenses. In Florida, there are various expenses that can be covered during pregnancy as well as for six weeks following the birth of the baby. This can include rent and utilities, food, transportation, phone services, and other expenses that the court may deem necessary for the mother or child.

Contact Family Ever After

As a birth mother, you are providing a unique opportunity for your child and their prospective parents. No matter what the circumstances may be, it is important to know that you are never alone. The professionals at Family Ever After can provide support and education every step of the way. Contact us to learn more.