How do I give my baby up for adoption in Florida?
Are you experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and living in Florida? This can be an incredibly scary time for you. You are faced with decisions you might never have considered before. Your plans are now in limbo. You do have options, and we’re here to help you find the right one for you and your baby. While you have several choices regarding your pregnancy, we hope you seriously consider giving birth and placing your baby with a forever family. By no means is this “giving up” your child. That is an “old school” way of thinking and it is a phrase from the past. No matter your age, race, or whatever you may currently be doing in your life, if you find yourself pregnant without warning this will undoubtedly throw your life…whether carefully planned out or still undecided…into upheaval. Adding a baby to a life that is still a work in progress will change things completely for you. Making the careful and unselfish choice to place your child with a loving family will result in many positives for you both. Your baby will be loved by a wonderful family and you will get to move forward with working to meet your goals and establish a career and a good life for yourself.
1. Choose an Adoption Agency or Professional
Choosing an agency or professional to help you navigate this process is a must! It would be a good idea to research and meet with a few options before you make your choice. Even if you have not yet made the decision on adoption, or are still weighing your options, it would be a good idea to start the process as soon as possible. Every agency or professional will be slightly different. Meeting with an Adoption Advisor will give you an idea of what to expect during your adoption progression. This is the person who will be your advocate through it all. She will be your constant support, helping you over hurdles and cheering for you every step of the way. Getting to know an Adoption Advisor can be very helpful. You will want to make sure you like this person and they are easy to talk to. They will also need to be easy to get in contact with, as you will have many questions and concerns through this. They will help you sort through paperwork. They know the rules and regulations. They understand adoption laws and what is and isn’t allowed. You will be able to look through family profiles. When you find a possible family for your child, your Adoption Advisor will schedule a time for you to talk with them. Your Adoption Advisor will be your friend, counsellor and support during this stressful time.
2. Your Adoption Plan
Once you have chosen an agency or professional to work with, they will begin the process of helping to identify what it is you may need. They will need you to fill out paperwork to learn your needs and specifics. Do you have insurance? If not your Birth Mother Specialist will help you to figure out what the best options may be for you. Include in your answers anything you feel will help you through everything. You will want to include some interesting facts about yourself, fun things you like to do and places you’ve been. All of this information will help your specialists get to know you and that will help them support you and find the best family for your baby. They will help you with prenatal care, including finding an OBGYN, food stamps if needed, help you register for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). WIC provides Federal grants to states for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant women. You will also get help with finding housing if needed. You will be able to count on your Adoption Advisor to make sure you have pregnancy musts, such as appropriate clothing, guidelines for eating healthy foods, doctor appointments and anything else that you will need throughout the process.
Deciding what kind of adoption you want to go with is another very important step for you to consider. There are 3 different types of adoption – closed, open or semi-open adoptions.
- Closed Adoption is the type of adoption where the mother and the baby have no interaction after the baby has been placed with the adopting family. Both parties will go forward living their lives separately. The Birth Mother will receive no information on her baby, no pictures, no communication at all. This is sometimes easier for the Birth Mother as she moves forward with her life and concentrates on herself.
- Open Adoption is when the Birth Mother and the Adopting Family or couple continues to be in each other’s lives. The amount of open communication will need to be something that is talked about and included in the adoption plan before the baby is born. This will ensure everyone stays on the same page. Some like to communicate frequently and meet every so often. Sometimes the family will share with the Birth Mother pictures and major milestones in the child’s life. Sometimes the Birth Mother will attend birthday celebrations or be included in holidays. Whatever the nature of the open adoption, make sure it is well documented in your plan. Planning ahead will help create a wonderful relationship between you, your baby and the adoptive family.
- Semi-open Adoption is a type of adoption where there will be limited contact between the Birth Mother and the Adoptive Family. Before the baby is born it will be good to decide on how much contact everyone will want to have. Sometimes the family will send the Birth Mother pictures, videos, letters and emails, or make an occasional phone call to keep her updated on the child. Usually with this type of adoption there will be no face to face interaction. Most Birth Mothers will only want an occasional update on the developments of the baby. Knowing her child is happy and loved is enough to help her move on with her life.
3. Choosing a Family
You have the right to choose the family that will love and raise your child. The adoption professional you choose to work with will have profiles of families for you to look at and review. Initially there will be questions for you to answer that will narrow down what kind of a family you are looking for. Once there is a general idea, they will find adopting families that best fit the profile you are interested in. Meeting prospective adopting families will give you a good feel for what they are like and what a life with them would be like for your baby.
4. Hospital Plan
Your Adoption Advisor will also help you put together your hospital plan. A hospital plan is specific to you and your child’s birth. This plan will ensure that everyone stays on the same page for your baby’s delivery and your hospital stay before and after, no matter where you deliver in the state of Florida. Do you want to see the baby after the birth? How long do you want your baby to be with you? Do you not want to see the baby at all? Do you want the Adopting Parent(s) to be with you during labor? Delivery? Or do you want them to come to the hospital after the baby is born? All these questions need to be addressed before you go into labor, so the hospital experience is as smooth as possible.
5. Your Health
Taking care of yourself and your baby will be extremely important throughout your journey. You will want to find a good quality OBGYN in Florida to help you do just that. If you need help with this, your Adoption Advisor can assist you in finding a doctor you can trust. One that will help you learn how to take care of yourself and your baby throughout your pregnancy. This will be an important step in the beginning stages of caring for your baby and starting their life off in the right direction. If you have already chosen a family to raise your child, they too can be involved in your doctor’s visits if that is something you would like. It will be important for the Adopting Family to understand you and your baby’s medical history so if anything were to come up in the future they can be prepared.
6. Financial Assistance for Birth Mothers
If you are a Birth Mother in the state of Florida and are worried about your current financial status there are a number of ways to find help. You will want to talk to your Adoption Advisor as they can get you the information and help you need. Programs that offer financial assistance with expenses such as food, rent, utilities, transportation, maternity clothes, free counseling, medical care and other expenses related to your pregnancy are available. The purpose of these programs is to provide financial stability for Birth Mothers and to give you hope that you are not alone and will not go through this without a helping hand.
7. Birth, Placement and After
The birth of your baby will be an emotional experience for you and the Adopting Family. After the baby is born, you will have the chance to spend some time with him or her before handing them over to their forever family if you choose to. This will all be laid out in your hospital plan. Because you took the time to put one together, everyone will be on the same page, which will make it a smooth process and transition. There will be paperwork the hospital will want all parties to sign. It will be important to know what to expect as far as hospital procedure goes in the Florida hospital where you deliver. This is something your Adoption Advisor or birth mother specialist will go over with you prior to your delivery. Once this is done, and depending on exactly what was laid out in the adoption plan and hospital plan, the baby will be handed over to the adopting parents who will carry them out of the hospital and take them home with them.
The days following the birth may be emotionally draining and hard on you. Give yourself time to grieve. By doing this the healing will come… and with it peace. Consider taking advantage of the counselling that is offered to you. It will be important to remember why you made the decision you did. You love your baby want what is going to best for them. You have made the incredibly selfless and loving act of finding a family who will love your baby beyond measure and provide stability and comfort to them while growing up. Never forget that you are the true hero in all of this. Your baby will grow into a beautiful, capable and amazing human being because of the one choice you made.
If you would like to be connected with one of our Birth Mother Specialists to discuss placing your baby for adoption in Florida, please call 1-866-596-7824 or contact us here and we would love to help you get started.