Bringing a child into the world is a momentous event, but not every birth parent is prepared or able to take on the responsibilities of parenting. Many Florida mothers who recently gave birth but lack the resources or desire to parent or experienced an unplanned pregnancy wonder what options they have under Florida law. If you just gave birth but are unable to parent your child, it is in your best interests to meet with an experienced Pensacola adoption attorney to discuss your options.
Finding yourself in a situation where you cannot parent a child you have just given birth to is undoubtedly challenging. It is essential, however, that women faced with such circumstances understand their options under Florida law so that they can make an informed decision.
In Florida, a birth parent may voluntarily relinquish their parental rights through a legal process known as voluntary termination of parental rights. By doing so, the birth parent permanently gives up their rights and obligations to the child. This option is typically chosen when the birth parent believes it is in the child’s best interests to be raised by someone else, such as a family member or adoptive parents. It’s crucial to understand that once parental rights are terminated, the birth parent has no legal rights to their child. Therefore, it’s essential for birth mothers to understand the legal implications before making the decision to terminate their parental rights.
One of the most common options for birth parents who cannot or choose not to parent is adoption. Adoption is a legal process that involves transferring parental rights and responsibilities from the birth parents to the adoptive parents. There are various types of adoptions available in Florida, including relative and private adoption.
In private adoptions, the birth parents work with an adoption attorney, which facilitates the placement of the child with the adoptive parents. The birth parents directly connect with prospective adoptive parents through an adoption attorney. The birth parents are given profile books of waiting families that meet the specific criteria they are looking for in potential adoptive parents. They are able to interview and hand-select the adoptive parent(s). This allows the birth parents to be confident and comfortable with the adoption plan and the post-placement contact they would like.
Additionally, Florida, like many other states, has a Safe Haven law that allows birth parents to leave an unharmed newborn baby, up to seven days old, at a designated Safe Haven location without fear of prosecution. These locations include hospitals, fire stations, and emergency medical service stations. The intention behind Safe Haven laws is to protect newborns from harm and provide an alternative to unsafe methods of abandonment.
If you just gave birth but cannot parent your child, you have options, and you should meet with an attorney as soon as possible. Clay H. Whittaker of Gulf Coast Adoptions is a skilled Pensacola adoption lawyer dedicated to helping people navigate the emotional and legal complexities that arise after unplanned pregnancies and births, and he is available to help you find a solution that best suits your needs. Our office is in Pensacola, and we frequently represent parties in adoption in cities in Florida and throughout the Gulf Coast. Gulf Coast Adoptions is available 24/7 and has a no-judgment policy. You can call or text us anytime at (850)999-7977. Services are free of charge to women considering their unplanned pregnancy options.