Are you facing an unplanned pregnancy and not sure if you are prepared to be a parent at this time? Are you considering “giving your baby up for adoption” in Florida? Is adoption one of the options you are considering, and do you have questions? We hope that this guide on how to give your baby up for adoption in Florida will help answer some of your questions.
You can reach out to us any time by calling or texting The Adoption Law Offices of Madonna Finney at (850)308-1836. We work with women facing unplanned pregnancies to evaluate their options and if interested, to make an adoption plan with a family of their choice. There is no cost to you to give your baby up for adoption. Birth mother benefits are available; it is never too late to plan.
Angela is our Social Work Director, a licensed mental health professional, and a counselor with years of experience in adoption. Madonna is one of the few attorneys in Florida board-certified in Adoption Law.
Your call or text is confidential. We treat each woman who reaches out to us with respect. While we see the phrase “give my baby up for adoption in Florida” used often, we do believe that adoption is not “giving up.” A mother is not giving up; she is making the best plan for her child.
Are you pregnant? Have you confirmed your pregnancy and begun prenatal care?
If you think you are pregnant, it’s important to know for sure so that you can begin your prenatal care as soon as possible. You can visit your doctor, medical care provider, pregnancy clinic, or health department, or even take an at-home test. Once you have confirmed you are pregnant, seeing a health care provider such as a doctor, nurse midwife, or P.A. is important to discuss how you can best care for yourself and your baby. You can receive advice regarding medications, both prescription and over the counter, and drugs that are not prescribed for you, as well as the use of alcohol and tobacco. Your medical provider can also discuss the importance of prenatal vitamins and any foods or substances you should avoid while pregnant. If you need help locating a place to confirm your pregnancy in Florida, call or text us at (850)308-1836.
Evaluating your Unplanned Pregnancy Options in Florida
Our professional social work staff is available to meet you and provide options counseling, helping you to evaluate all of your pregnancy options., without cost to you. Our counselor can help you consider parenting, allowing the child to be raised by a friend or family member, foster care, abortion, or adoption in Florida. You are really in the best position to decide what is right for you and we are here to walk with you and support you in your decision.
Making an Adoption Plan in Florida
Should you decide adoption is best for you and your child, we’re here to help you make an adoption plan that meets your needs. We aren’t here to judge you; we will walk with and support you during and after your pregnancy.
We work with women all over Florida, including Tallahassee, Pensacola, Milton, Crestview, DeFuniak Springs, Marianna, Panama City, Lake City, Palatka, Gainesville, and Ocala.
Pregnancy-related medical expenses
If you do not have insurance or Medicaid, our counselor can help you apply for Pregnancy Medicaid in Florida. If you don’t have a medical provider, our counselor can also help you find someone in your area to provide medical care during your pregnancy.
Pregnancy-related living expenses
Our counselor will also help evaluate the pregnancy-related financial needs you are unable to provide for. These could include:
- Living Expenses for food, toiletries, and clothing
- Telephone and service
- Medical care
- Maternity clothing
These benefits that you are unable to meet are available up to six weeks after your child’s birth as postpartum support.
Openness in Adoption
Before we help you identify families to adopt your child, we want to know what kind of ongoing contact you would like to have with the adoptive family. Openness in adoption is not static, not one thing; we think of it as a spectrum from a closed adoption to an open adoption.
Many women want to know at least something about the adoptive family to adopt their child, and many wish to select that family themselves. Openness in adoption can mean many things, but it can include your opportunity to speak with or communicate with the family, to meet the family in person, and to establish an ongoing relationship with the family, which can include contact after the birth of your child. Today, many families have ongoing, open relationships with the birth mother of their child.
On occasion, a woman does not want to select the adoptive family or have ongoing contact with them, wanting a closed adoption, one with no contact. We respect this and will help find a family we believe will fulfill your desires, even if you don’t want to meet the family.
Choosing your adoptive family
Once you have decided what type of relationship you would like with an adoptive family, you can work with your counselor to decide what type of family you would like. If you do not want to select the family, you can still have input into what type of family you would like. There are many characteristics you can consider when looking at families. These could include:
- The religion and religious practices of the family
- The race of the family
- If the family already has children in the family
- If it is a one or two-parent family
- If there is a large or small extended family
Once you’ve decided what type of family you would like to adopt your child, we will gather “family profiles” or picture books for your review. These profiles will give you insight into each family, and you can pick the family you believe best suits your needs. If you don’t want to select the family, we can do that for you with as much or as little participation as you would like.
Making an Adoptive Birth Plan
After you’ve selected your adoptive family and before your time to deliver your baby, your counselor will assist you in putting together your plan for how you would like your hospital and delivery experience to progress. We call this your Hospital Plan. You can decide who you would like to be with you while you are in labor and while you deliver your child and what type of contact you would like to have with your child and with the adoptive family, if any. There are no “right” or “wrong” plans, it is about what makes you most comfortable and what feels right to you.
What happens after birth, signing the documents
Florida adoption law allows you to sign the legal documents, the consents for adoption, after 48 hours since birth, unless you receive a written medical discharge earlier. The document must be notarized and witnessed by two people, one of whom you can select if you would like. These are important legal documents; we want you to be clear when signing them. A consent for adoption in Florida is binding and irrevocable once it is signed and can only be overturned after proving in court by clear and convincing evidence that the consent was obtained by fraud or duress.
After the documents are signed
After your baby is born, the consent documents are signed, and you are discharged from the hospital, we are still there to help you during this postpartum recovery period and beyond. You may elect to participate in counseling and our birth mother support group. You are still entitled to receive needed birth mother benefits up to 6 weeks after birth.
What if I’ve already had a baby?
If you’ve already given birth, even if you’ve already taken your baby home, you need to know that Florida adoption is still an option for you and your baby. While it might feel strange to make an adoption plan for a baby who has already been born, adoption is a loving, selfless decision that could provide your baby with a safe and secure home and a life full of opportunity if you’re not able to parent. Post-birth adoptions are similar to newborn adoptions.
You can choose the adoptive family for your child and meet with them as soon as you’d like. You can also choose how you would like the adoption to proceed. Like all birth mothers, you will receive free-of-charge counseling.
If you would like to explore your unplanned pregnancy options and speak with a social worker, you may call us anytime. We’re available 24/7, every day, 365 days a year. Call or text us at (850)308-1836.