Adoption Training and Counseling for our Adoptive Families
Adopting a baby is a serious commitment that requires a great deal of thought and consideration from a prospective Adoptive Family. Families must work through many considerations before making such a huge, lifelong commitment. To prepare our families for adoption, we offer training and counseling which we consider a vital part of the adoption process. Our Home Study process provides education on safety issues within the home. Our adoption counseling and education process allows families to explore their thoughts, feelings, and fears to help them become emotionally prepared for the journey ahead.
You can expect to discuss the following during our initial training/ counseling sessions:
we will also Explore Adoption Considerations such as:
Our ongoing adoption training and counseling may include individual, group, and online sessions. We will use these sessions to examine the subject of adoption and explore fears and expectations. We will also encourage 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.
At-Risk Adoption- Disruption/Legal Process of Adoption
Florida law deems all infant adoptions “At-Risk” Adoptions. It is essential to understand that infant adoption always carries the risk of disruption. The “At Risk” status of adoption in Florida continues until a finalization hearing declares that the adoption is final. Until this finalization occurs there is always the risk of a “disruption”. A disruption occurs any time an expectant parent changes their mind and decides they want to parent their child instead of giving them up for adoption. A disruption can occur at any point before the expectant mother signs the Consent for Adoption.
The legal process of 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. The birth mother signs the Consent for Adoption form 48 hours after the birth or upon discharge from the hospital (whichever occurs first). After signing, there is no reversal of the adoption unless a court order overturns it. 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. After the signing of the adoption consent, the adoption agency assumes legal custody of the child
Upon completion of the Consent for Adoption form, assuming there are no remaining issues with the birth father there is a court hearing for the Termination of Parental Rights. Termination of the biological parents rights occurs in this hearing. The physical custody of the child is now with the Adoptive Parents. There are a few more steps to compete. Post-placement visits and contact continue over the next few months. The courts need to receive the resulting reports before a finalization hearing of the adoption can occur. During the finalization hearing, the Court grants the Adoptive Parents permanent legal custody of the child. Part of this process involves ordering a new birth certificate for the adopted baby. The new birth certificate will state their new name as well as the names of their Adoptive parents.
At The Hospital
Our pre-adoption training prepares Adoptive Parents for what will happen at the hospital. We prepare Adoptive Parents so they understand the hospital procedures, 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. She may also decide she only wants the baby to spend time with the Adoptive Parents when she is present. The birth mother is entitled to make decisions for herself and the baby until the consent for adoption form has been signed. If she wants you to be at the hospital, we will explain your role and the dos and don’ts. Whatever happens, we will explain the procedure and ensure a good line of communication between all parties. In short, we will prepare you for the experience and continue supporting you throughout the process.
The selection process will vary depending upon the type of adoption chosen. In an open or Semi-open adoption, the expectant parents review profile books to help them learn about prospective Adoptive families. Prospective Adoptive Parents produce a Profile Book to present to the expectant parents for match considerations. The Profile Book allows the Expectant Parent/s to create 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, or what they like to do on the weekends 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. Note that this may be the only opportunity for adoptive Parents 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. There is always a chance that a baby has been exposed in-utero to illegal drugs, alcohol, or prescription drugs. Prospective Adoptive Parents must consider whether they are willing to adopt a child who has been drug or substance exposed. Babies exposed to drugs in-utero may experience life-long effects. 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 as possible. This information can include, Expectant Parents’ psychosocial histories, medical records (past and present), drug tests, and self-reports. We divulge any risks that there may be to our Adoptive Parents. However, we can not guarantee that the information we receive is accurate or complete.
Some Adoption Training can also be completed online at Adoption Learning Partners.
Services throughout Central Florida. Including but not limited to Melbourne, Orlando, Palm Bay, Apopka, Altamonte Springs, Kissimmee, St Cloud, Vero Beach, Fort Pierce, Daytona Beach, St Augustine, Lakeland, Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Tallahassee, Gainesville, All Florida.