Adoption in Florida

Lifetime Adoption – Licensed Adoption Agency in Florida, Home Studies and More

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Adoption Services for
Birth Parents and Adoptive Families

Lifetime Adoption is a licensed adoption agency in Florida. Additionally, we have over 35 years of experience to guide you through your adoption. Whether you are considering placing a child for adoption or are interested in adopting a child, our adoption coordinators are available to answer all of your questions and provide all the information you need to work through your decision-making process.

Pregnant and Considering Adoption in Florida

Silhouette of woman by the ocean in Florida

If your pregnancy test came back positive, and it’s not what you were expecting, then the emotions can be overwhelming. As a result, figuring out your next step can be hard. Furthermore, if you share your news with friends, family, and the baby’s father, you may get a wide range of opinions which can make you feel even more confused.

Take a deep breath and contact Lifetime Adoption, a licensed adoption agency in Florida. We have caring and non-judgmental coordinators that can help you calmly consider all of your options. You can call, text (or video chat), or fill out our online form 24 hours a day, and a coordinator will be there for you. She can even put you in touch with a professional counselor or peer support who can help you work through the pros and cons of each option you have.

What is the Adoption Process in Florida?

For over 35 years, Lifetime Adoption coordinators have been guiding expectant mothers through the adoption process in Florida. Your first step is to call, text, or fill out our online form. Then, a coordinator will find out not only what your wishes are but also what resources and support you need.

Looking through adoptive family profiles and choosing a family for your baby is normally the next step. Our search filters let you choose what’s important to you. For example, you may be looking for a family from Florida, a family with at least one stay at home parent, etc.

Deciding how much contact you would like with that family during your pregnancy is next. If you are placing a toddler or older child, a professional counselor will help with the plan to make the transition healthy for you, your child, and the adoptive family. Then it’s working with the adoptive parents and your coordinator to create a post-adoption contact agreement that everyone is comfortable with.

If you are pregnant, you will also work with your adoption coordinator to make a hospital plan. This will cover, for example, who will be in the delivery room, who will hold the baby, who will cut the cord, who will leave the hospital first, and other details. You will have your own attorney, at no cost to you, who will ensure you understand your rights and take care of all the documents and court filings for you.

Open Adoption in Florida

Generally, modern, open adoption is a subject most people don’t know a lot about. Choosing adoption means you are in the driver’s seat. You make all the decisions, such as who will adopt your baby and what kind of contact you would like to have in the future. You can expect your adoption coordinator to ask a lot of questions so that she can create a perfect adoption plan for you and your baby. These are just a few of the questions you will get so that the adoption of your child goes just the way you want.

  • Do you want to choose the parents or have a coordinator choose for you?
  • Would you like to have contact after the adoption is final?
  • What kind of contact would you like and how often?
  • How would you like your hospital stay to go when you deliver?
  • Would you like the adoptive parents to go to doctor’s appointments with you?
  • Do you need help with pregnancy-related expenses?

If you are not ready or in a position to parent, placing your baby for adoption with an adoptive family that is ready and excited to grow their family is a loving and brave choice. Further, that does not have to mean saying goodbye to your child forever. You can receive updates, pictures, and even meet up for visits. Many of our birth mothers have wonderful relationships with their child’s adoptive parents. Recently, one of our birth mothers got married. Not only did her daughter attend, but also the adoptive father she chose for her daughter walked her down the aisle.

Help With Pregnancy Expenses & More!

Emily called our Florida office and had decided on adoption for her baby. She was still in school. Her parents had kicked her out on account of finding out she was pregnant. Because of her pregnancy, she had no idea how to pay for these new expenses and her new situation. In the state of Florida, pregnancy-related expenses can be covered by the adopting parents. The expenses include:

  • Maternity-related medical and hospital costs
  • Temporary living expenses of the mother during pregnancy
  • Counseling fees
  • Attorney and legal fees and guardian ad litem fees
  • Travel costs, meals, and lodging when necessary for court appearances or accessing services

At Lifetime Adoption, both professional and peer counselors are available at no cost. You can speak with a professional counselor to help you with the emotions and decision-making processes. Similarly, she can guide you as you plan for the future. Peer counselors are birth mothers who have been through the adoption process. At this time, they have decided to share their stories and help you with your journey.

Pregnancy Options in Florida

As the landscape changes with abortion options in Florida and across the country, women may view their pregnancy choices differently. There are only three choices for pregnant women: having an abortion, placing a child for adoption, and parenting. And as technology evolves and women can actually see what their baby is doing at 12 weeks along, it may cause them to reconsider even chemical abortions. Understanding that a baby by that age has fingernails, a beating heart, and brain waves has led women to explore other options.

For women in states where abortion is restricted, they also may be looking into abortion alternatives, including modern adoption. Modern adoption allows women to have choices, such as who adopts their baby, how much contact they wish to have in the future, and even how things go at the hospital. Women are able to receive help with pregnancy related expenses (rent, transportation, food, and more!) and be a part of their child’s life if they wish. Adoption can be a positive option for an unplanned, unexpected, or unwanted pregnancy. Many people today are not aware of all the choices available in modern adoption. Basically, they see it as an alternative to abortion in Florida. However, women from all walks of life are choosing adoption today, right here in Florida!

Florida Adoptive Families

Use the button below to search for the perfect family for your baby or child. Our family profile pages will show you the family’s:

  • Lifestyle
  • Home and neighborhood
  • Values and religious beliefs
  • Reasons for adopting
  • And much more!

Regardless of what you’re looking for in an adoptive family, you deserve to find the perfect match. Lifetime Adoption provides more adoptive family profiles for you, giving you a greater chance of finding the right fit for your child.

For Those Wanting to Adopt in Florida

African American adoptive family holding their adopted baby

Are you considering adopting a newborn, toddler, or child up to the age of 6 in Florida? As one of the leaders in modern, open adoption, Lifetime Adoption can make your adoption dreams come true. Further, our adoption coordinators have been matching birth mothers with hopeful adoptive families for over 35 years. We are dedicated to caring for our birth mothers as well as creating strong and happy matches between them and the adoptive family of their choice.

Starting the Florida Adoption Process

Step one is to fill out our short online application. Not only is it free to apply, but also filling out the form does not obligate you in any way. If you are pre-approved, then an adoption coordinator will walk you through the entire adoption process. In addition, our professionals will guide you through the creation of a profile for birth mothers to view, assist in setting up your home study, and grant you access to the education, blogs, and resources on our membership site.

Mardie Caldwell, the founder of Lifetime Adoption, created the Lifetime Adoption program out of the experience she had when navigating the adoption of her son. And Lifetime Adoption has been one of the most successful adoption agencies in Florida for over 35 years.

Cost of Adoption in Florida

The cost of adoption in Florida varies depending on the circumstances of the adoption. For example, do you plan to adopt through a licensed adoption agency in Florida, foster care, or international adoption? Or are you planning to adopt a child who is in Florida or is in another state? Every US state has unique adoption laws that will affect your adoption budget.

Home Study

Every family hoping to adopt will need to have a home study performed. You will hire a home study provider who will charge around $2,000 to $4,000 to complete the process. The home study fees generally cover financial verifications, background checks, and the home study provider’s expenses incurred for visits, research, and creating the home study document.

Adoption Agency in Florida

Another important adoption choice is whether to hire an adoption agency. An adoption agency serves many functions. An agency helps families connect with expectant mothers or parents looking to place their infant, toddler, or child up to the age of five for adoption. In addition, they screen birth parents to help protect adoptive families from those who may try and take advantage of a family’s dream to adopt.

A reputable adoption agency will guide adoptive parents through the process and support birth mothers placing their children for adoption. Agencies will provide the education and tools a family needs to achieve a successful adoption. They also support birth mothers by providing counseling, connecting them with the local resources needed, and matching them with the right adoptive family. You can expect agency fees to range from $25,000 up to $50,000.

Legal Representation

Once you and a birth mother are matched, you will need to hire an adoption lawyer for yourselves as well as legal representation for the birth mother. Budgeting around $8,000 to $15,000 for legal expenses is a good estimate. Your total legal costs will depend on the lawyer you choose, what state the child you are adopting is in, and any other individual factors that are part of your adoption.

Pregnancy-Related Expenses

Sometimes birth mothers need some assistance with pregnancy-related expenses. In Florida, this can include medical costs, legal fees, maternity clothes, rent, food, utilities, transportation to doctor appointments, and more. Generally speaking, a reasonable budget for birth mother expenses is around $5,000. The legal expenses that an adoptive family can pay differ greatly from state to state, so they must be approved and distributed legally. Your attorney and adoption coordinator will work with you and the birth mother to monitor any payments.

In Florida, you can expect the cost of domestic adoption to be around $38,000 to $70,000. It is important to be prepared for all potential expenses and budget for them.

Other Forms of Adoption That Cost Less

The foster system or AdoptUSKids is another avenue to adopt if you are looking for a lower-cost option. There are many children waiting to be adopted in the foster care system. With foster care adoption, the state takes care of adoption costs. It is important to understand that most children available for adoption in foster care are generally older (over eight years old) and may have special needs. It is not common to adopt a newborn from foster care.

Many adoptive families consider international (or intercountry) adoption to grow their families. As with foster care, international adoption generally involves toddlers or older children. If international adoption is your choice, find an adoption agency specializing in international adoption, is licensed in your country of choice, and has a record of successful adoptions. Consider the risks associated with international adoption in each country. A country can change its adoption laws or stop all adoptions due to political, governmental, or legal changes before your adoption is complete. Some families have had this experience when trying to adopt from Haiti and Ukraine. Families have ended up in limbo for months or even years. The fees you pay to an agency and other adoption professionals may not be reimbursed in these cases, causing both emotional and financial stress. The cost of domestic and international adoption are very similar.

Adoption Laws in Florida

Florida adoption laws can seem complex but don’t worry. You will have an adoption attorney to help you navigate the legal aspects of the Florida adoption process.

Typically, in Florida, the timeline for legal documentation and timeline for adoption is as follows.

The birth mother signs papers surrendering her parental rights 48 hours after the birth of the baby or on the date of her discharge from the hospital, whichever is earlier. A birth father may surrender his parental rights by signing an irrevocable Affidavit of Non-paternity at any time, before or after the child’s birth. The adoptive parents cannot finalize their adoption until 30 days after the judgment terminating the birth parent’s parental rights or 90 days after placement of the child in their home.

In addition, a home study is required as well as a hearing after 90 days where a judge will review the home study and other documentation. The judge will then finalize the adoption by issuing a final decree of adoption.

Comparatively, every adoption situation varies. There are exceptions and different legal requirements depending on the individual facts of each adoption. Your adoption attorney is there to ensure your adoption goes smoothly and all legal aspects are done correctly. As a licensed adoption agency in Florida, Lifetime Adoption can help you find the legal and home study referrals you will need.

Florida Home Studies

A home study is a legal document that confirms your ability to parent and adopt a child. Throughout the U.S., a home study is required to proceed with an adoption. Lifetime Adoption, Inc. is licensed in the State of Florida to conduct home studies, and our licensed social worker will work with you to complete your home study. You can get started by filling out our free application for home study services for prospective adoptive families living in Florida.

A home study includes the following:

  • Background checks
  • Medical reports
  • Employment verification
  • References
  • Financial verification
  • Visit of the home

During your home visit, you will be interviewed, as will anyone else living in the home. A social worker will ask for background information and details regarding your family and marital relationships, why you want to adopt, what your parenting style is, your education and more.

Once your child is placed with you, your Florida home study social worker will come back within one week for the first post-placement visit. These visits will continue monthly until your adoption finalization. 

We hope this information and our 35 years of experience puts us at the top of your list when researching adoption agencies in Florida. Whether you are a parent considering placing your child for adoption or are hoping to adopt, Lifetime Adoption looks forward to working with you and providing the information and support you need for a successful adoption.
adoption attorney Florida

Florida Adoption Attorneys

The expertise of an adoption attorney in Florida is invaluable in navigating the complex and ever-changing legal landscape of adoption. In addition, they ensure that the rights and interests of everyone involved are protected. From prospective adoptive parents to birth parents and the child at the center of the process, Florida adoption attorneys provide essential services.

One of their primary responsibilities is to facilitate the legal aspects of the adoption process.. For example, they draft and review legal documents, such as adoption agreements, consent forms, and court petitions. An adoption attorney in Florida ensures that all necessary legal requirements are met and that the adoption process proceeds smoothly and efficiently. This is especially important when an adoption involves two different states (and their laws) in what is called an interstate adoption.

Additionally, Florida adoption attorneys help prospective adoptive parents understand their rights and responsibilities, as well as the legal implications of adoption. For birth parents, adoption attorneys offer assistance in understanding their options, rights, and the legal process involved in placing a child for adoption.

In cases where contested adoptions or legal disputes arise, adoption attorneys are essential advocates for their clients. They represent their clients’ interests in court proceedings, mediation sessions, and negotiations, working tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for all parties involved.

Furthermore, an adoption attorney in Florida plays a crucial role in ensuring that adoptions are conducted ethically and in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. They work closely with adoption agencies like Lifetime Adoption, social workers, and other professionals to uphold the highest standards of ethical practice throughout the adoption process.

For referrals in your area, please contact a Lifetime Adoption coordinator at 1-800-923-6784 or by using the “Text Us” button at the bottom on this page.

 

 
 

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Lifetime Adoption, Inc. is a Licensed Florida Child Placing Agency. (License #100096562)

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Lifetime Adoption, Inc. is a Licensed Florida Child Placing Agency. (License #100084254)

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Small Women Owned Business

Lifetime Adoption's BBB Accredited Business A+ rating

Lifetime Adoption Center is a BBB Accredited Business with an A+ rating

 

Copyright © | Lifetime Adoption

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