Our Home Study process provides education on safety issues within the home. Our educational portion will allow families to explore their thoughts, feelings, and fears. During the training sessions, we explore different types of adoptions, Closed, Semi-open, and Open, to help families decide which is right for them. We discuss cultural issues, how other family members might react to a child from a different racial or ethnic background, and whether their feelings might make this adoption difficult.
Adoption is not something that should be entered into lightly. Families must consider all implications before making such a huge, lifelong commitment. To prepare our families for adoption, we offer training opportunities.
During the training, which may include individual, group, and online sessions, we offer the opportunity to examine the subject of adoption and face fears and expectations. We will also allow Adoptive Parents to meet and talk with other Adoptive Parents who are waiting to adopt, Adoptive Parents who previously adopted, Expectant Mothers who have placed before, and adult adoptees.
Once we have explored the subject of adoption, we will also cover topics such as:
At-Risk Adoption- Disruption/Legal Process of Adoption- TPR- FINALIZATION
Florida law deems all infant adoptions “At-Risk” Adoptions. It is essential to know an infant adoption always carries the risk of disruption. In layman’s terms, all adoptions are at risk until finalization. Regardless of the adoption circumstances, they are considered At-Risk in Florida until the finalization hearing, and a court order has been issued.
At times expectant parents may change their minds and decide to parent after being matched; we call this a “disruption.” A disruption occurs before or soon after the child’s birth and before the expectant mother signs the Consent for Adoption. After an expectant (now birth) mother has signed her consent for the adoption, which can occur 48 hours after the birth (or when the birth mother is discharged from the hospital, whichever occurs first), the consent cannot be reversed unless a court order overturns it. However, in some cases, there may be a birth father who has not yet come forward. If a birth father does come forward late in the process, it can cause a delay in the adoption proceedings. By law, expectant/birth mothers have a right to confidentiality and don’t always name a birth father.
The legal process with the adoption starts with a court case number. Often an expectant family needs help with financial expenses throughout the adoption process. The law clearly states that accepting financial assistance does NOT obligate the expectant families to sign the consent for adoption. Once the Consent for Adoption is signed and the birth father’s rights have been addressed, the first court hearing is the Termination of Parental Rights. At this hearing, the biological parent’s parental rights are legally terminated. The agency has legal custody of the child once the adoption consent is signed. At placement, the adoptive parents are given physical custody of the child until finalization. At finalization, the Court deems adoptive parents’ permanent legal custody, and a new birth certificate is ordered with the name picked by the adoptive parents and their last name with their names as parents.
At The Hospital
Our pre-adoption training prepares Adoptive Parents for what will happen at the hospital. We prepare Adoptive Parents so they know the hospital procedure, what to expect, what to say, and what not to say. An expectant mother may decide to allow Adoptive Parents into the birthing suite, or she may not want any contact in the hospital. An Expectant Mother may decide she wants the Adoptive Parents to have the opportunity to bond with the baby on their own, or she may only want the baby to spend time with the Adoptive Parents when she is present. If she wants you to be at the hospital, we will explain your role and the dos and don’ts, but whatever happens, we will explain the procedure and ensure a good line of communication between both parties. In short, we will prepare you for the experience and continue supporting you through the process.
As previously stated, the selection process will vary depending upon the type of adoption chosen (open, semi-open, or closed). Prospective Adoptive Parents produce a Profile Book to present to the expectant parents for match considerations. The Profile Book allows the Expectant Parent/s a “snapshot” view of the Adoptive Family’s daily life and family history.
Adoptive Parents may want to show Expectant Parents how they spend family holidays, where they went to school, do on the weekends, or do for fun. In addition, they may want to write the Expectant Parent a letter introducing themselves. Adoptive Parents should share as much or as little information as they are comfortable sharing. However, it should be noted this may be the only opportunity to present themselves to the Expectant Parents as suitable prospective parents for their child.
The selection process is a joint exercise. Adoptive Parents are also able to state their preferences. It is essential to carefully consider whether the Adoptive Parents are only willing to consider a child from their racial background or whether they are open to adopting a child of a different race from their own. Adoptive Parents willing to adopt a child of a different race or a mixed-race child will have a shorter wait time. However, they must consider whether family and friends will be as accepting as they are of a child from a different racial background. It is also important to note that preferences will be included in the Home Study report, which a Judge will eventually review.
Florida Adoption Center is committed to open disclosure. The issue of babies being exposed in-utero to illegal drugs, alcohol, and prescription drugs is a growing problem. Prospective Adoptive Parents must consider whether they are willing to adopt a child who has been drug or substance exposed. Babies who have been exposed to drugs in-utero may experience life-long effects. It is important to be educated on the subject and realize there are currently no long-term studies on the outcomes for these children. As an Agency, we take steps to gather as much information from Expectant Parents on which Adoptive Parents can base their decision. This information can include, Expectant Parents’ psychosocial histories, medical records (past and present), drug tests, and self-reports (not always accurate or complete).