When women come to us to explore Florida adoption as an option for their child, they often have questions about the types of families who adopt children. They are also often fearful of their child having some involvement with Florida’s foster care system or DCF. This may be because they have previous experience or involvement with the state. We have even heard women say, “I do not want my child end up in Foster Care.”
Private adoption in Florida is a much different experience than Foster Care Adoption. You see, in public adoption, if your rights have been terminated, the state will choose who parents your child and it is unlikely that you will have future contact with that child. However, in private adoption you are making a plan to place your child, no one is taking your child from you. You are in charge. You choose the family and the type of openness you want to have with that family. In private adoption, a family is paying for the adoption process, which is not cheap. They are not being paid to adopt.
We have been asked, “what happens if I test positive for drugs at the birth of my child, will DCF step in? Will DCF take my baby?” While a report may be made to DCF, if you have an adoption plan in place, and follow through and place your child privately, DCF will not be involved.
Sometimes we are asked, “how will I know an adoptive family will take care of my child?”
That’s a good question too. Any family looking to adopt in Florida must have a home study completed and the approval from a licensed provider in order to adopt a child. This home study is not one conducted by DCF. The adoption home study is a comprehensive review of the adoptive family’s life. It’s goal is to ensure that they will be able to properly and appropriately care for a child.
The Adoption Home Study Includes:
- Local, state and federal background checks
- DCF abuse registry check
- Sexual abuse registry check
- Letters of references
- Education on adoption
- Review of their home for safety and space for a child
- Report from their doctor stating they are physically and mentally able to parent a child
- Financial record check to ensure they can financially support and provide
- Letters of reference that support their decision to adopt a child
In addition to the home study approval process, there are several other important things to consider when you are exploring private adoption through our office.
In private adoption, you are able to:
- Choose the adoptive family. The “state” is not making that choice for you
- Have an open adoption, if you wish
- Determine how your hospital stay plays out and who spends time with the baby
- Receive free counseling, before and after, to process the experience
- Receive financial support to cover pregnancy-related expenses
- Receive assistance from our knowledgeable and trained staff members, who can help assess your short term and long term needs and assist you in applying for services such as Medicaid, WIC, healthy start and more.
- Work with a personal, professionally trained, mental health advocate available to you 24/7
These are just some of the similarities and differences when it comes to private vs. public adoption.
If your child has been removed from the home, but your parental rights have not been terminated and you are unable to work your case plan for reunification, private adoption is still an option for you and The Law Office of Madonna Finney can help.
If you’d like to learn more about creating a private adoption plan so that your child does not have to continue to be in foster care, contact us today. We’re available 24/7, 365 days a year.
Call (Toll-Free): 1-888-883-6830