Women dealing with unplanned pregnancies are often uncertain about whether they want to be a parent. Until recently, women throughout the United States had a federally protected right to obtain abortions. Due to the recent Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, though, many women in Florida wonder whether they still have access to abortions and what other options are available if they unexpectedly find themselves pregnant. If you have questions about your options with an unplanned pregnancy, you should consult a Pensacola adoption attorney as soon as possible.
In July 2022, the Florida legislature enacted Statute 390.0111, defining women’s abortion rights. Specifically, it prohibits doctors from performing abortions after a fetus’ gestational age is more than 15 weeks, with few exceptions, such as when it is necessary to save the pregnant woman’s life or prevent her from suffering serious harm or the fetus is not viable. The pregnant woman’s written consent is also necessary to perform an abortion.
In 1973, the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade barred states from regulating first-trimester abortions. In 2022, however, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturned Roe v. Wade, freeing states to outlaw abortions. Shortly thereafter, Florida Statute 390.0111 modified the existing law in Florida with regard to abortion in that it shortened the amount of time women get abortions from 24 weeks down to the 15 week gestational age period.
In addition to choosing to terminate their pregnancy, women dealing with unplanned pregnancies have other options. For example, they can opt to give birth and raise the child. If that does not align with their plans and they do not wish to obtain an abortion, they may want to consider placing their child for adoption. Essentially, there are three types of adoption available in Florida: private adoption, identified adoption, and relative adoption.
In a private adoption, the birth mother will place the child directly with a family. The pregnant woman may meet the prospective parents online, through acquaintances, or via word of mouth. Private adoption is where an expectant mother works with an adoption attorney or agency. Most adoption attorneys and agencies have a wide variety of waiting potential adoptive parents that the pregnant women can hand select. During the selection process, she will have the ability to interview prospective families so that she can find a family that meets the criteria she is looking for in prospective adoptive parents. The attorney or agency will help the expectant mother throughout her pregnancy and post pregnancy. Private adoption allows assistance with medical care, living expenses, maternity clothing, food, transportation, and most importantly counseling.
Identified adoptions are similar to private adoptions in that the birth mother independently chooses the adoptive parents, but the parties only use the adoption attorney to complete the legal work as the birth mother has already selected the adoptive family.
Finally, in a relative adoption, as the name suggests, the birth mother will choose relatives to adopt her child. Regardless of what type of adoption a birth mother chooses, it is prudent for all parties involved the opportunity to retain independent counsel to ensure their rights are protected.
Florida women who find themselves pregnant but are not ready to be parents have multiple options, including adoption and, in some instances, abortion, but they have a limited time to choose what choice is best for them. If you have questions about your rights with regard to your pregnancy, it is wise to talk to an attorney. Clay H. Whittaker of Gulf Coast Adoptions is a trusted Pensacola adoption lawyer who can explain the adoption process to assist you with making the best decision for your needs and goals. Gulf Coast Adoptions helps expectant mothers/birth mothers throughout Florida and Alabama. You can contact Attorney Whittaker by calling or texting 850-999-7977 to set up a confidential and free meeting. Assistance to new expectant mothers is available 24/7.