I’m pregnant, what should I do?
We know that you are emotionally overwhelmed and unsure of your next move. An unplanned pregnancy brings along the burden of making one of the biggest decision of your life, but don’t worry, we are here to help and guide you through every step.
We believe you deserve to know all options available to you, so you can make a decision that is in the best interest of your child. If you decide to be a parent, there are many support systems available to you in the state of Florida such as Medicaid, AFDC, WIC, Coordinated Child Care, and Food Stamps.
However such an important decision should not be made irrationally. You must ask yourself if you are prepared to be responsible for another life and put their wellbeing before yourself, and whether you are emotionally and financially capable of dedicating the next 18 years of your life to your child whilst meeting your own professional, educational and social needs.
So we ask you to explore all options with a realistic mindset to ensure a loving and secure future for your child.
What is Adoption?
Adoption is a process in which a child is moved from one family to another. The placement of the child is permanent and all parental rights are legally transferred to the adoptive parents. This means the adoptive parents will have all the rights and responsibilities of biological parents. Similarly, the adopted children will have all the legal, emotional and social benefits of biological children.
The adoption process begins when the birth mother gives her consent for the child to be placed in another family and the birth father will have to be notified of this decision even if he does not wish to be involved. Then a couple that is hopeful to adopt will go through a very through screening process which evaluates multiple factors regarding their capability of parenting a child, this includes a criminal background check, a child protective services clearance, a DMV record, a credit report, medical recommendations, employment/income verification, and home safety inspections. All relevant measures are taken before the placement to ensure that the couple will provide the greatest care and love for the child.
What is an open adoption?
An open adoption allows the birth mother to develop an ongoing relationship with the adoptive parents and is based on trust and good communication. The amount of contact depends on what the relevant parties decide. In a lot of cases, the birth mothers develop very strong relationships with the adoptive parents and continue to be part a of the child’s life as they grow up. This includes visits, phone calls, emails, pictures, letters and social media connections. Our councilors will guide you through all the different characteristics of an open adoption.
What services are available to me?
We at heartfelt adoptions provide comprehensive support services to ensure that child placement is made as easy as possible for birth mothers. Our counselors are here to answer all your questions and provide all the necessary guidance. We also provide assistance with medical and living expenses, transportation to doctor’s appointment, personal and professional care. Our individual plans are tailored according to your specific needs. It gives you the option of meeting with the adoptive parent in person and learning about them before the birth of the child, and also continue a relationship afterwards.
Can I choose the adoptive family?
Yes. We have a large number of hopeful couples that are waiting to adopt. This gives you the option of choosing a family which you think is suitable to take care of your child. We also recommend that you meet them in person to reassure yourself that they are loving people who really deserve to adopt your child. This will also allow the adoptive parents to share first-hand information about you to your child.
Is adoption a selfish act?
No. It is one of the greatest acts of self-sacrifice that a person can go through. It would have been selfish for you to keep your child and raise them in an unsuitable environment only because you love them and could not let go. Adoption is a mature act of selfless love which puts the future of your child above emotional attachment.
Does the birth father have to be involved?
No. The birth father does not have to be present. It is preferable to have medical, social, professional and educational information about the birth father in order to provide the adoptive parents with a complete history of the child. If the identity and whereabouts of the birth father are known, then he will have to be informed about this decision but he is not required to be involved.
What will people think of me?
People who truly love you will support your decision. Regardless of this matter, you should make the decision which is best for you and your child. There will always be people who may not approve of the choices you make in life whether they are related to adoption or any other matter. However, this should not deter you from taking a rational approach to a decision that you will have to live with for the rest of your life. Whatever option you choose, you must remain committed to it and reassure yourself that it was your responsibility to secure the future of your child.
What if I don’t want to meet the adoptive parents?
That’s OK. Some birth mothers feel that it may be an uncomfortable experience for them to meet with the adoptive family. You are not required to do so if you are not willing. Our counselors will help you through every decision.
Is there any cost to me?
No. The adoption will not cost you anything. The adoptive parents will pay for all costs related to the adoption process.
Can the adoptive parents help me with my expenses?
Yes. The adoptive parents can help you with your expenses. The Florida statutes allows living (housing, basic utilities, food and transportation), medical, legal and counselling expenses to be paid by the adoptive parent during the pregnancy. However, the amounts when exceeding a certain limit will have to be approved by court.