Adoption Services for
Birth Parents and Adoptive Families
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Pregnant and Considering Adoption in Florida
If that pregnancy test comes back positive, and you were not expecting that result, then the emotions can be overwhelming. As a result, figuring out your next step can be hard. 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. You will find a caring and non-judgmental voice that can help you calmly consider all of your options. You can call, text, or fill out our online form, 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 30 years, Lifetime Adoption coordinators have been guiding expectant mothers in Florida through the adoption process. 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. You can choose a family from Florida or from another state. 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
- 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!
- 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
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:
- 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.
Families Wanting to Adopt in Florida
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 three decades. 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 Adoption Process
As a result of learning about Lifetime, you might wonder how to get started. Your first step 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. For this purpose, our professionals will guide you on 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. The program has now been successful for over 30 years. Our experienced and very caring coordinators will guide you through this program so that you have a successful adoption journey.
Cost of Adoption in Florida
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Florida Home Studies
A home study includes the following:
- Background checks
- Medical reports
- Employment verification
- 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.
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Lifetime Adoption, Inc. is a Licensed Florida Child Placing Agency. (License #100084254)
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