Q. What is adoption?
A. Adoption is a legal process which permanently gives parental rights to adoptive parents. Adoption is forever, unlike temporary foster care.
Q. Will you pay for my expenses?
A. By Florida adoption law, the expenses we are permitted to provide are “reasonable and necessary maintenance and support.” This can include: rent, money for groceries, medical care, utilities (including phone/cell phone), transportation, and a clothing allowance.
Q. Can I choose a family for my baby?
A. Absolutely! We will work together with you and our prospective adoptive families to find the best possible match for you and the baby!
Q. Do I have to tell my parents?
A. In Florida, if you are over the age of 15, you do not have to tell your parents or have parental consent. If you would like our assistance in telling your parents, we will be happy to help you, but the decision is yours. You choose who to tell and when to tell them. We keep your adoption plan confidential.
Q. Can I choose between an open adoption and a closed adoption?
A. Technically, there is no such thing as “open” and “closed” adoption in Florida, but we work with you to come to a level of openness or confidentiality that suits you, individually. The great thing about it is that you’re not locked into an “open” or “closed” adoption. If you want pictures and contact, we will arrange it for you, even if you had originally wanted something different. Pictures, letters, videos and updates throughout the child’s life are available to you, all you have to do is ask!
Q. Will the adoptive parents be present at the baby’s birth?
A. Once again, that is a decision the birth parent and the adoptive parents make collectively. If you want the adoptive parents at the hospital during your delivery, we will plan for that in advance. You can have whomever you want at the hospital, subject to the hospital’s rules.
Q. What if I have used drugs or alcohol during my pregnancy?
A. We will find an adoptive family that is comfortable with your medical history and will get you the prenatal care to help both you and the baby be as healthy as possible.
Q. What if I change my mind about the adoption AFTER I deliver?
A: While you have the legal right to change your mind prior to legally consenting to the adoption, it becomes a tragedy for the family who has been hoping to adopt. We therefore URGE you to know in your heart that you are going to complete your adoption plan before you commit to a family. You’re always welcome to call us, meet with us and ask us questions, if that helps you decide whether or not to go forward with an adoption plan.
Q. As a birth mother, do I need a lawyer?
A: You don’t need your own lawyer, but if you feel like you need independent legal advice we can help arrange that for you. Jeff and Robert are the lawyers for the agency, not for the birth parents, but it rarely comes up that the birth parent(s) need their own lawyer.
Q. What do I do if my child’s adoptive family does not live up to our post adoption contact
A: This happens so rarely that it’s hardly worth mentioning. The families are more than delighted to honor their agreement. If there is a problem, it’s usually that they send pictures too often!