The Adoption Process for Prospective Parents

Parenting through adoption is a life-changing experience. In fact, it may be the biggest life-changing experience you will ever have. And possibly the most rewarding.
Adoption provides so many benefits and unique opportunities to both change children’s lives and to enrich the life of the adoptive parent or family.
By adopting a child, you are giving that child a chance to live a fuller, better life. You are in effect, giving life to a life.
For all the good that comes through adoption, the adoption process can be confusing and frustrating. Our firm specialized in adoptions. We provide the support, knowledge, expertise, and attention to help make your adoption as smooth as possible. We’ve been here before, we know what to expect, and we know that even the small details matter.
The adoption process can be long and emotional. Below is a brief summary of what will occur during the adoption process.

  1. Application and Interview

You will need to fill out an application about your family, the type of child you use to adopt, and why you wish to adopt. This application will be used to create a biography that will eventually be given to a birth mother.

  1. Home Study

A home study determines the suitability of the intended adoptive parents. It can be completed prior to identifying the adoptive child. It is valid for one year after the date of its completion. A child cannot be placed in a home until a favorable home study is reached.

The Home Study must include:

  • An interview with the potential adoptive parents
  • Record checks of the central abuse registry and criminal records check
  • An assessment of the physical environment of the home
  • Determination of the financial security of the intended adoptive parents
  • Documentation of counseling and education on adoptive parenting
  • Documentation that information on support services are available and have been provided to the potential parents
  • A copy of each signed acknowledgement of receipt of Florida adoption disclosure

Issues that may be explored during an adoption study:

  • Ability to provide for a child’s physical and emotional needs
  • Feelings about parenting an adopted child and the ability to make a commitment to a child placed in the home
  • Type of child family seeks to adopt
  • Family’s child rearing practices, experiences and beliefs
  • Information concerning marital relationship, emotional and financial status, etc.
  • Description of the family’s home and community

Who can perform a home study?
Florida law states that only certain professionals can perform a home study. These include a licensed child-placing agency and licensed clinical social workers. Stephanie has a list of home study providers that she recommends.

  1. Match with a Family

A birth mother and father will choose a family that they would like to adopt their child. Depending on the type of adoption, you might be able to meet the birth mother and birth father.

  1. Prepare for Baby

You will need to prepare your home and family for a new addition. You will also need to talk to your insurance company as to coverage for your newborn.

  1. Baby is Born

This is the day you have been waiting for! The birthday is an exciting yet emotional day. The birth mom will have made a hospital plan prior to birth as to whether she wants to see the baby, hold the baby, feed the baby, and when she wants to allow the baby to be with you.

  1. Consent is Signed

The birth mother has to wait 48 hours after the birth of the child or until discharged until she can sign the consent to adoption.

  1. Released from Hospital

The baby discharged to me, as the Adoption Entity. I will in turn, release the baby to you. I will be the guardian of the child until the court grants you guardianship.

  1. Filing of Paperwork

As your attorney, I will file the necessary paperwork with the court. There are about 24 required documents and petitions that are necessary to file with the court for an adoption!!!
Within two days of birth, I will file the initial pleadings notifying the court that you are the adoptive parents and petition the court to grant you guardianship.   I will also file a petition to terminate parental rights for the birth parents.

  1. Hearings

There will be two hearings before the adoption is finalized.
First, the court will grant the petition to terminate the parental rights of the birth parents. You will not need to attend this court hearing as some of this information may be confidential, such as names of the birth parents.
After the judge signs the termination of parental rights order, I will file a petition for adoption. Before we can have the final hearing on the adoption, we must wait 30 days after termination of parental rights is signed. In addition, the child must have been in your home for 90 days.
You can bring your family and friends to the final hearing on adoption. It is a day to celebrate!!
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