“I’m considering giving my baby up for adoption. If I do, will I ever see my baby again?”
This is one of the most common questions that women who are pregnant in Florida ask when considering adoption. We understand how scary this thought can be, but in today’s world, adoption isn’t always the end. Expectant mothers who make a Florida adoption plan with The Law Offices of Berkowitz & White PLLC have the ability to choose whether they’d like an open, semi-open, or closed adoption. This choice is 100% up to the mother, and we encourage them to take some time to consider what sort of relationship they want to have with both their baby and the adoptive family.
Like every individual, every adoption situation is different. The needs and desires of one expectant birth mother will differ from another. So rather than sharing which option we think is best, we’ll simply explain the differences between open, semi-open, and closed adoption.
Open and Semi-Open Adoption:
If you’re considering “giving my baby up for adoption,” it’s important to know that placement day doesn’t have to be the last time you see your baby.
Most adoptions today are semi-open. This means that the adoptive parents know the birth mother’s first name, and vice versa. It also means that the birth mother will receive letters and pictures of her child throughout his/her life, until the age of 18. The expectant mother may also elect to send letters and pictures to the adoptive family so that her child can get to know her too.
In a fully open adoption, everyone involved is well-acquainted with one another; names are exchanged, as well as phone numbers and other personal information. There is often a free-flowing line of communication after the birth of the child, which may evolve organically over time. However, each post-adoption relationship is unique and varies based on the comfort level of both the birth family and the adoptive family.
Common Types of Communication in Open/Semi-open Adoption
- Periodic visits
- Updates with letters + photos
- Talking / Texting on the phone
- Sending emails
- Connecting via social media or sites like AdoptSwap
Closed adoption is an arrangement in which no contact takes place between the adoptive family and birth family. There is also no identifying information exchanged between the two parties. However, the expectant mother will typically be expected to share some basic, non-identifying information about her family and her child. This exchange of information takes place before the consent for adoption is signed, and it allows the adoptive family to learn more about the child and his/her background. For instance, adoptive parents need to know if the child has been exposed to drugs or alcohol, or is predisposed to any sort of disease, such as autism, cancer, or even type two diabetes.
It’s also important to know that all court records are sealed in a closed adoption. No one will be able to access those records. This is to protect the birth mother’s right to privacy. However, if a birth mother would like for her child to be able to find her after the age of 18, there is the Florida Adoption Reunion Registry, or a document can be signed stating that the adoption entity can provide specific information to the adoptee after their 18th birthday.
Making the Right Choice
If you’re creating an adoption plan or considering “giving my baby up for adoption,” then you’ll need to make a decision about what sort of post-adoption relationship you’d like to have with the adoptive family. This is not a decision we can make for you, and there are certainly pros and cons to each type of arrangement. Only you know which path is the right one to take. If privacy and a sense of closure are important to you, closed adoption may be the right choice. However, if you want to watch your child grow, open or semi-open adoption might be the better route.
No matter which decision you choose, it needs to be a well-informed choice. Do your research well ahead of time, talk to a counselor, and feel free to talk to us about the right choice for you. The Law Offices of Berkowitz & White PLLC are here 24/7 to provide you with the resources, support, and counsel you need to get through this difficult time.
Call us Toll-free at (877) 777-5070
Text us at (561) 841-3065 or (850) 610-4166