By: Moki Murillo
“I want to put my baby up for adoption, but I don’t know where to start.”
If you are a woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, you may find yourself having this thought. It is not an unreasonable question to ask. After all, having and raising children is hard enough for parents planning for it. Being hit with this news unexpectedly has its own potential to upend your life and any of your plans. Thankfully for those of you wanting to know how to put your newborn up for adoption, you have options.
In the state of Florida, there are multiple institutions that facilitate child adoption. The best option for a birth mother seeking adoption for their baby would be a private adoption agency. Despite how exclusive it sounds, private adoptions don’t charge a premium to facilitate adoptions. In fact, this service is actually free for birth mothers.
Private adoption agencies like Adoption Choices of Florida are merely licensed by the government to perform this service. We work to ensure that the baby is delivered safely and legal custody is transferred to the adoptive family. As a private adoption agency, we also provide more freedom to the birth mothers and assist them through pregnancy.
But how does this process work?
If you are seeking a child adoption, then your first step is to contact an adoption agency. For Adoption Choices of Florida, this means calling us through the number on our website. Our representative on the other line will then schedule a meeting with one of our adoption specialists. After providing proof of pregnancy, your specialist will help you form an adoption plan.
Your adoption plan is what allows you, the birth mother, to personalize your adoption process. You can customize the openness of the adoption with closed adoptions meaning no contact with the adoptive family. If you select an open or semi-open adoption, however, you can choose which family gets to adopt your child. You can even screen through the adoptive families on our website, even interview them yourself.
Additionally, your adoption plan can allow you to receive financial assistance through your pregnancy. We understand that pregnancy can be a difficult time, so our adoption services are designed to accommodate you. If you are eligible, your adoption plan can cover reasonable living and medical expenses. This can include your bills, your utilities, basic needs like groceries, and even prenatal care. If you don’t have a good living situation, we could even provide free temporary housing.
From there, you must wait for your due date and keep up with your medical and legal appointments. Once the baby has been delivered at the hospital, the adoptive parents will take your child home. Your adoption specialist will then schedule a date for you to officially give up legal custody at court. After that, you can begin contact with the adoptive family if you have chosen an open or semi-open adoption. We will even continue paying for your expenses for six weeks after placement.
When it comes to adoption in Florida, the birth mother gets the most agency in the adoption process. This means that the birth mother gets the most input when forming the adoption plan. That being said, the birth father is by no means unimportant.
While the birth mother starts the adoption process, we still need the legal consent of the birth father. If the birth father is absent, we will have to conduct a search for them. Even if the birth father can’t be found, we would still need to terminate their parental rights in court. The birth father can even contest the adoption at court if they are present. In that case, we would also need to contest them at court for the adoption process to proceed. Fortunately, Adoption Choices of Florida can cover these legal expenses, even providing you counsel, if you are eligible.
We hope, however, that your child’s birth father is present and consents to the adoption. In the best case scenario, the birth father should be a supportive voice to you in the adoption process.
In contrast to private adoption, public adoption often provides little agency for the birth parents. This system usually deals with parents who are deemed unfit and have their children taken away by child services. As such, the birth parents have no say about where their children would be going. It will also take a lot of legal work for those parents to see those children again.
This is why most birth parents prefer to seek private adoption. Private adoption agencies actually allow birth mothers to have a say in their child’s future. Our agency even supports birth mothers through pregnancy, providing resources when necessary. While we can’t guarantee that adoption will be painless for you, we can at least help reduce your burden.
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