The Florida Adoption Center
Is a full-service adoption agency licensed by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and the State of Florida? Our adoption program, The Florida Adoption Center provides Home Study Services, Training, Birth Mother Matching, Post Placement Supervision, Coordination of Interim Care, Search Services, Guidance, and Emotional Support for our Adoptive Families. We believe open communication is vitally important during every step of the adoption process. We also recognize adoption is an emotional and often nerve-wracking journey and we are committed to supporting you through the experience.
Home Study Services
In order to be able to adopt, Adoptive Parent must have an Adoption Home Study. The Home Study incorporates information on the applicant’s moral character, criminal history, background checks, references, familial status, health information, and much more. In addition, the Home Study includes a detailed psychosocial assessment and a site visit to the Adoptive Parent’s home. All the above adoption program information is incorporated into one document for presentation to the Court. Based on the Home Study Report, and other factors such as Post Placement Supervision reports, the Judge will make a final decision on whether the Adoptive Parent is fit to adopt the child. The Adoption Home Study is such a complex document and procedure we invite you to read about it in more depth in the section entitled “Adoption Home Study.”
The Florida Adoption Center believes our Adoptive Families should be as prepared as possible for the arrival of their new family member. Our aim is to get our family’s Adoption Ready! 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 kind of adoption difficult.
Birth Mother Matching
Birth Parents have the right to choose a family for their child. However, as Adoptive Parents, you have the right to be provided with all available information to enable you to make an informed decision. The Agency gathers all available information on Birth Parents’ physical and mental health history and that of direct family members. Some of this information is self-reported, but we also obtain medical records where possible and require drug testing of our Birth Mothers. We encourage Birth Parents to provide information about illegal and prescription drug use, and alcohol use, both prior to conception and during pregnancy.
Birth Parents are encouraged to take an active part in the selection process of the Adoptive Family. We encourage all members of the Adoption Triad to meet, get to know each other, and form a bond. We will provide guidance to help you in the preparation of your family profile which we will use to present you to the Birth Parents.
Types of Adoption
There are several different types of adoption, which we will explain to you in more detail during your initial consultation. It is important for Adoptive Parents to decide which type of adoption is right for their family. Birth Parent/s, are offered the opportunity to select a family for their child. The type, or types, of adoption you are willing to consider, will determine whether or not a Birth Parent feels you are the right fit for their Adoption Plan. In addition, consider whether you want a child that shares your racial background, or whether you are open to considering a child of mixed race or a different racial background to your own.
The Types of Adoption You Will Have To Decide Upon Are:
Where there is zero disclosure of information shared between Adoptive and Birth Parents. In a closed adoption, the Birth Mother and Adoptive Parents will know each other only by first names. The Agency will notify the hospital of the fact that the Adoption is a Closed Adoption and baby’s armband will be covered and all identifying information will be kept confidential.
Where Birth and Adoptive Parents mutually agree to ongoing contact between members of the triad. Identifying information (first and last names) is disclosed and known by all parties. In an Open Adoption, all members of the Adoption Triad (Birth Parent, Adoptive Parents, and Baby) understand that contact between the parties will continue after the formal adoption process is finalized and throughout the child’s life.
Where Birth Parents are able to select the Adoptive Parents, information sharing and meetings take place, but no contact occurs after Consent papers have been signed. The agency acts as an intermediary to facilitate the sharing of information.
Adoption of Children with Identified Special Needs:
Refers to babies who are physically disabled or suffer from some sort of major mental impairment. A child who has established emotional ties with their caregivers, developmentally disabled, physically or emotionally handicapped, or a member of a sibling group of any age, provided two or more members of a sibling group remain together for the purpose of adoption. In addition, babies who are drug-exposed will be considered Special Needs children.
Openness in Adoption: Open: https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubpdfs/openadoption.pdf
Openness in Adoption: From Secrecy and Stigma to Knowledge and Connections on the Donaldson Adoption Institute website: https://go.usa.gov/xPSNF
Helping Your Adopted Children Maintain Important Relationships With Family: https://www. childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets-familiesmaintainrelationships/
Impact of Adoption: https://www. childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets-familiesadoptionimpact/
Florida law means all infant adoptions are “At-Risk” Adoptions. During our training, we will explain this in more detail, but it is important to know an infant adoption always carries the risk of disruption. Simply put, Birth Parents may change their minds and decide to parent. A disruption most commonly occurs soon after the birth of the child, and before Birth Mother signs the Consent for Adoption. After a Birth Mother has signed her consent for the adoption programs, which can occur no earlier than 48 hours after the birth (or when Birth Mother is discharged from the hospital, whichever occurs first), the consent cannot be reversed unless it is overturned by a court order. 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 be an issue as far as the adoption proceedings are concerned. Our adoption programs training classes will explain the procedures and prepare you for all eventualities.
Post Placement Supervision
The adoption programs laws require us to provide Post Placement Supervision. Once a child is placed in the Adoptive Parent’s home we will schedule post-placement visits. The purpose of the visits is to ensure the child’s safety. During the post-placement visit Adoptive Parents will be asked to report on baby’s doctor visits, feeding and sleeping schedules, weight gains/losses, and any health issues noted. In addition, Post Placement Supervision also examines the family’s adjustment to the addition of a new family member. During Post Placement Supervision visits the Adoptive Family will be encouraged to discuss any adjustment problems or other issues of concern so that resources can be provided to help the family with the adjustment.
When families arrive at the decision to Adopt they have often spent years trying to conceive a biological child. Adoption is a way to fulfill the dream of parenthood. We recognize many prospective Adoptive Parents have already experienced a roller coaster ride of hopes, dreams, and disappointments. This range of powerful emotions, and often years of hoping and wishing can be mentally and emotionally exhausting, which is why we are committed to providing emotional support throughout the process. It is our goal to create families in a loving and nurturing way, and we commit to providing ongoing emotional support for our families whenever needed.
RESOURCES ABOUT ADOPTION:
Considering Adoption/ Adoption Plan: https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/factsheets_families_adoptionplan.pdf
For Expectant Parents Considering Adoption and Birth Parents, https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/ adoption/birthfor/plan/
Laws Related to Adoption, https://www. childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/laws/
National Foster Care & Adoption Directory Search, https://www.childwelfare.gov/ nfcad/
American Adoption Congress, http://www.americanadoptioncongress.org
American Pregnancy Association, http://americanpregnancy.org/adotion/ adoptionfaq.html
Concerned United Birthparents, Inc., http://www.cubirthparents.org
National Council For Adoption, IChooseAdoption.org, http://ichooseadoption.org/
Legal Considerations for Expectant Parents Considering Adoption webpage https://www.childwelfare.gov/topics/ adoption/birthfor/legal/
Postadoption Contact Agreements Between Birth and Adoptive Families: https://www. childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/lawspolicies/statutes/cooperative/
Child Welfare Information Gateway’s Lifelong Impact of Adoption webpage: https://www. childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/adoptpeople/impact/
Impact of Adoption factsheet: https://www.childwelfare. gov/pubs/factsheets-familiesadoptionimpact/
Changing your mind: Information Gateway’s Consent to Adoption: https://www.childwelfare.gov/ topics/systemwide/laws-policies/statutes/ consent/
Kinship/Relative Adoption webpage: https:// www.childwelfare.gov/topics/permanency/ relatives/adoption/
National Foster Care & Adoption Directory Search: https://www.childwelfare. gov/nfcad
How to Assess the Reputation of Licensed, Private Adoption Agencies: https://www.childwelfare.gov/ pubs/twenty/
Finding an Adoption Agency or Lawyer webpage: https:// www.childwelfare.gov/topics/adoption/ birthfor/lawyer/
Providing Adoptive Parents With Information About Adoptees and Their Birth Families: https://www.childwelfare. gov/topics/systemwide/laws-policies/ statutes/collection/
American Bar Association’s Find Legal Help website: https://www.americanbar. org/groups/legal_services/flh-home/
Considering Adoption website: https:// consideringadoption.com/adopting/openadoption/adoption-interview-questions