Prior to a child or infant being placed in your home, an adoptive parent/couple must have a valid homestudy. A homestudy is conducted by a licensed approved home study provider, which makes sure your home is safe and secure for any infant or child you accept. A homestudy is not required for relative placements or step parent adoptions. Our office has a list of qualified homestudy providers available or you may use a provider of your choice.
We encourage families to describe for us the vision of the baby or child they are seeking to adopt. For some families, they may want to adopt a child of a specific race or gender but for others they may Have a broader vision of the child they would seek to add to their family. The important thing is to think about the needs of your family and to determine the best fit for your vision. Generally, the more open your vision, the easier it will be to identify a placement.
A profile book is similar to a memory or scrapbook, which allows birth parents to learn about you and why you want to adopt. The books come in a variety of designs but all share information about you and your family in an engaging and informative manner. A profile book contains non-identifying information and pictures about your hobbies and interests, important people and other interesting and informative things about your life. You can create the book yourself or there are professional organizations which can assist you in the preparation of your profile book. Although not required for an adoption, profile books are very helpful for birth parents to review as they often serve as an initial way the birth parent learns about you.
After the baby is born, the legal process may take up to on average 4-6 months but each adoption is different and some may have special circumstances which result in the adoption taking longer to be finalized. Our office will meet with you upon your placement and provide a tentative schedule for finalization of your adoption.
Our office charges legal fees at an hourly rate for our adoption services. There are also legal costs associated with an adoption such as the court fees for filing a petition for adoption. If your birth parent requires living expenses during her pregnancy and for six weeks postpartum, these expenses will be in addition to your legal fees and costs. Our office will work with you to develop a realistic adoption budget. In many cases, your adoption expenses may be taken as an Adoption Tax Credit from your income taxes and many employers offer an employment benefit for reimbursement of adoption expenses.
Florida law requires all known medical history about the birth parents and the child’s delivery be provided to you. Our office seeks to obtain from each birth parent extensive medical history so your family may have as much medical history available as possible about the child you are adopting.
After the consent to adoption is signed by the birth parent, the hospital will discharge the baby and if you have a valid homestudy, the baby may go home with you. Our office will continue to monitor the baby’s progress until the adoption is finalized. Your homestudy provider will also check in on the baby’s health and progress.
For an infant under six months, once the consent is signed, it is binding and irrevocable upon execution. If the infant is over six months of age, the parent has three days to revoke their consent. The consent to adoption is not valid if it was obtained by fraud or duress. The birth parent must prove he/she was under fraud or duress in Court.
Florida law is very specific as to the obligations and rights which and identified father has in the adoption process. An unmarried biological father must undertake specific steps as outlined by Florida law to protect his right to notice and consent to the adoption. The failure to complete these specified steps are presented to the Court as a ground to terminate the father’s rights.
Our office makes every effort to attempt to mediate a contested adoption. However, should our efforts at mediation not be successful, our office stands ready to litigate your case to resolution. In the event a court proceeding is required to litigate your case, we will meet with you to best prepare you for the litigation proceedings.