In the state of Florida, there is something called “Safe Haven Abandonment.” While often confused with private adoption, the two are vastly different. While private adoption is a planned-out, regulated process, Safe Haven abandonment allows for a newborn child, seven days or younger, to be left at an approved Safe Haven facility such as a hospital or fire station with medical staff without the threat of criminal prosecution.
Some other key differences include:
Foster Care vs. Adoptive Family
When you leave a baby at a Safe Haven facility, he or she may be adopted after 30 days. However, these babies are often in the foster care system for much longer. Conversely, when choosing private adoption, you have the opportunity to select the family to adopt your child – you can even meet them or speak with them if you’d like. If you would like a completely closed adoption, you don’t have to select the family, but you can be assured your child will not languish in temporary or foster care, but will immediately be placed with a loving family.
Medical and Social History
Babies who are left at a Safe Haven location have no formal birth parent history. This means the child lacks medical and social history that may be critical to their well-being in the future. With private adoption, the adoptive family will receive a complete medical and social history, ensuring the child’s well-being for years to come.
With Safe Haven abandonment, the birth mother has already gone through her entire pregnancy and given birth to the child. In some cases, she may have done so without the resources she needed to have the healthiest pregnancy possible. Women who choose private adoption in Florida can be legally provided with support during their pregnancy and up to six weeks after birth. This support may include housing, food, clothing, transportation, medical care, and counseling.
Future updates or contact
Once you’ve left your child in a Safe Haven abandonment, you will not have access to any information about your child. There will be no opportunity to see pictures of your child or see your child in person. By choosing private adoption, it’s up to you to decide how much you’d like to know about your child going forward – this could include phone calls, Skype calls, photos, updates, or even meetings in the future.
If you’re experiencing a crisis pregnancy or already had your baby and don’t know what to do, The Law Office of Madonna Finney is here to help. We’re available 24/7. You can call or text us at (850) 308-1836. Your call is always without charge and is completely confidential.