Birth mother FAQs If you’re thinking about placing your baby for adoption, you may have lots of questions. While we can’t anticipate everything you may want to know, we’ve listed many of the questions, along with the answers, we get asked most often. Feel free to contact us if you have questions that are not listed here. If you live in another state, some of the answers may be different. Because adoption law is so complex, please contact us for answers that apply to your specific case. Why do people adopt? The reasons vary. In many instances, couples can’t have children because of medical reasons. There are also reasons such as testing and surrogacy processes that aren’t effective. And sometimes, while they physically can conceive, they choose adoption because they believe in societal good. How much will an adoption cost me? Nothing. All expenses are paid by the adoptive parents. Birth mother expenses may include medical care, counseling, living expenses, transportation and other things. Do I have to pay anything? No. Your living expenses, transportation, counseling and medical costs are provided to you at no cost. The adoptive parents pay all fees and costs of the adoption. Can I get help paying my bills? Yes. While you’re pregnant, and for up to six weeks after the child is born, you get adoption support and financial assistance for actual living and medical expenses. Reasonable living expenses may include: RentUtilitiesBasic telephone serviceToiletriesNecessary clothingTransportationInsuranceYou may also receive payment for other expenses if the court decides they are necessary for your (or your unborn child’s) health and wellbeing. Can I place my baby for adoption if I’m pregnant and not 18 yet? Yes. If you’re over the age of 14, you have the legal right to place your child for adoption without the approval of your parents or any other family member. If you’re 14 or younger, the law requires you to get assistance and advice from a parent, legal guardian or guardian ad litem (a person appointed by a court to look after your interests). Can I place my baby for adoption without the cooperation of the father? Yes. If the birth father is given proper notice of the adoption plan, and he fails to respond in a timely manner, his parental rights will be terminated by the court. There are other legal channels to terminate the birth father’s rights without his signature. Contact us for a free, complete evaluation of your situation. What are the legal rights of the birth father? In Florida, the rights of the birth father vary depending upon his legal classification: legal father or unmarried biological father. A legal father normally pertains to a situation in which the birth father is married to the birth mother. An unmarried biological father refers to the child’s birth father who is not married to the birth mother at the time of conception or on the date of the birth of the child, or is not otherwise a legal father.The primary legal difference between the classifications is that an unmarried biological father must act immediately in order to protect his rights. There are many complex and intricate distinctions that may apply to each adoption plan. As such, each case is evaluated so that all major risk factors can be identified and disclosed to you at the earliest possible time. Contact us for a free complete evaluation of your situation. If I don’t live in Florida, can you still help me? Yes. Can I have an open adoption? Yes. You may choose between one of our many open adoption, semi-open or closed adoption plans. The main difference between the plans is the extent of communication, contact and information shared by everyone.For a fully open adoption, you may select and meet the adoptive parents and have extensive communication during the pregnancy and for years into the future. For a closed adoption, some birth mothers choose to have little or no contact, communication or information about the adoptive parents. Then, there are many versions of semi-open adoptions where the amount of contact and communication is tailored to the specific needs and desires of the birth mother and the adoptive parents. How do I choose the adoptive parents? You will be provided extensive information about several families who meet criteria that you define. You’ll be able to select from our profile books so that there’s no pressure to choose any particular family. What information about adoptive parents do you provide to birth parents? A written profile describing details about their family, their hopes for the baby and resources that they’ll provide. How long are the adoptive parents usually waiting? It varies. Can I choose adoptive parents who live outside of Florida? Yes. Am I allowed to meet the adoptive parents? Yes. Unless you specifically request a closed adoption, you will be asked to meet the adoptive parents shortly after becoming matched. For years, other birth mothers have indicated that meeting the adoptive parents was the most significant factor in solidifying their adoption decision. Can I see the baby at the hospital? Yes. You can have as much or as little contact with the baby as you want at the hospital. Where do I sign the final adoption papers? At the hospital. When do I sign the final adoption papers? Normally the day you are discharged from the hospital. Is a consent for adoption binding and irrevocable once I sign it? Yes. In Florida, for a child under 6 months of age, a consent for adoption is binding and irrevocable from the moment it is signed unless it can be proven in court that it was obtained by fraud or duress. After the child reaches 6 months of age, the consent for adoption is valid from the moment it is signed; however, it may be revoked up to 3 business days after it was signed. How soon can the adoptive parents start bonding with the baby? Immediately. You can invite them into the delivery room so that they can start the bonding process at the moment of birth. How much communication should I have with the adoptive parents during the pregnancy? For most adoptions, regular, positive communication with the adoptive parents is one of the most important aspects for a successful open adoption plan. Will the adoptive parents tell the child about the adoption? Yes. We only work with families that promise to be open, honest and fully committed to informing the child about being adopted. Will my child be able to find me in the future? Yes, if you register with the Florida Adoption Reunion Registry. We’ll provide you with the detailed information and help you register. Will I get pictures and updates of the child after the adoption? Yes, for at least 18 years. Why would I use an adoption attorney, instead of an adoption agency? Adoption law changes often, and Michael, his partner, and their staff are up to date on all legal changes––so your rights and your unborn child are protected. Working with an attorney dedicated solely to adoption law is a primary benefit for birth mothers. Michael puts the needs of the birth mother and birth parents first, and cares that all the legal aspects of the adoption are met. An adoption agency does not provide every birth mother with an attorney. Are you a Florida board certified attorney? Yes, Michael is a board certified adoption attorney. Board certification is the highest level of evaluation by The Florida Bar. To be a board certified adoption attorney, along with superior professionalism and ethics in their practice, it means an attorney has demonstrated exceptional knowledge, abilities and expertise in adoption law and is licensed by The Florida Bar to practice law in the state. The information provided above is based on Florida’s adoption law. This is not a complete dissertation of the law, and is not tailored to a specific case. This information may change based on your specific situation. If you have questions regarding your adoption plan, please give us a call.