we are here to be your guide on
the path to creating your family.
Frequently asked questions
How do we know if adoption is the right choice for our family?
By working with your Adoptive Parent Coordinator, you will be provided education and resources to help you know all of your options. You will discuss things such as your financial ability, living situation, & support system- just to name a few- which can help you decide if adoption is the best option for you and the age and situation of the child you wish to adopt. We will dicuss all of your expectations and answer your questions to create a customized adoption plan for your family. This may include marketing to find the perfect match for you or matching you with one of our expecting mothers.
What is the difference between Open and Closed Adoptions?
After you have decided that adoption is the right choice for you and your child, you may choose whether or not you want to stay in contact with the birth parents. The choice is yours to make and your adoption will be cutomized based on your personal wishes between open, semi-open and closed adoption.
- Open Adoption – comes in many different forms. You will be able to read the adoptive parents’ profile, receive letters and photos from them; communicate by telephone; or even meet them in-person. Some open adoptions may include the exchange of names and addresses of the birth and adoptive parents and visitation. In some cases, the birth mother may invite the adoptive parents to be present during labor and delivery or visit in the hospital afterwards.
- Semi-Open Adoption – Your adoption plans may include reviewing adoptive parents’ profiles, letters and photos; communicating by telephone; or meeting them in-person. You may receive pictures and letters after the adoption regarding the child from the Adoptive Parents through UIL once, twice or three times a year until the child is 18 years old. Many families share holiday cards, gifts and videos. You may also choose for the agency to hold your photos and letters until you feel ready to receive them.
- Closed Adoption – You may choose to have a confidential, private adoption, which means that you would not have any contact with the adoptive family before or after the adoption. You and the adoptive parents will know each other's first names but nothing else identifiying. Florida law requires that your identifying information and the adoptive parents identifying information remain confidential.
Every mother feels differently about future contact with her baby and their adoptive family. There is no right or wrong decision, only what you as the expectant mother are comfotable with. UIL will help prepare a mutual agreement regarding future contact between you and the adoptive family so that everyone understands what will be expected of him or her.
How am I matched with an expectant mother?
The expectant mother will make a list of the qualities most important to her in an adoptive family. She is shown the profiles of families on our list that meet her requests and who have similar adoption goals matching her various social and medical history. She then chooses from those families. Sometimes, expectant mothers who prefer completely closed adoptions will ask us to select the adoptive family, and this is done in order from our wait list, taking into consideration social/medical situations.
What information will I have about the birth parents and the baby?
How much does an adoption cost?
What is a Home Study and what is the cost?
A Home Study is an independent investigation to verify your suitability as adoptive parents. They are valid for up to one year in Florida and can be updated easily. If you need assistance in obtaining a home study, UIL can refer you to a qualified professional who will walk you through the approval process, followed by two follow-up visits once a child has been placed with you. The total cost is between $1,500-$2,000, and your Home Study must be completed before you can take custody of a child.
When can I obtain a birth certificate and a social security card?
We apply for the birth certificate after finalization of the adoption, and it usually takes 4 - 6 weeks to obtain. Not until the adoption is finalized and you receive the birth certificate will you be able to apply for a social security card for your child.
How long will it take for my adoption to be finalized?
Florida law allows finalization of an adoption once the 90-day post-placement supervision period has expired; however, the Petition for Adoption cannot be set for final hearing the until 30 days after entry of the Final Judgment Terminating Parental Rights. Finalization generally occurs within five months after placement, but can be delayed by a birth parent’s failure to cooperate or the court’s crowded docket. We will keep you notified of your cases ongoing court dates and celebrate with you on Adoption Day!
How do I get the baby on my insurance?
All insurance processes very slightly, once the baby is born you will contact your insurance company to add them. We will help you with any documents needed along the way, including permission to transport the child and receive medical treatment for them. Insurance companies are aware that it takes 5 to 6 months to complete the adoption process in Florida. Most insurance companies in Florida are mandated by law to provide coverage for an adopted child. Coverage can exist from the moment of birth if the adoptive family agreed to the placement prior to the child’s birth. Additionally, federal laws, including the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 "OBRA '93" (private employers) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 "HIPAA" (governmental employers), prohibit discrimination against adopted children. Therefore, health insurance coverage for adopted children is available to all families covered by group health plans at the time of placement, which is defined as the time when the adoptive family assumes financial responsibility for the child.
Are there age, marital, religious or other restrictions on adoptive parents?
We believe all people have the right to have a family. There are no restrictions due to religious beliefs and no blanket restrictions on age or marital status, and each case is handled based on its individual merit and the best interests of the child. Each family must pass the Home Study and all background and physical environment qualifications.
Can a birth parent change his/her mind once a consent for adoption is signed?
Florida law states a birth parent who executes a consent for adoption involving a child six months or younger, does not have a grace period in which to change their mind. The consent for adoption is permanent and irrevocable from the moment it is signed, and only can be overturned based on fraud or duress. However, in cases where the birth mother is placing a child older than six months, the birth parents have 3 business days to revoke a consent for any reason.
When will the consent for adoption be signed?
Florida law states the consent will be signed no sooner than 48 hours after delivery unless the birth mother is being discharged earlier by her doctor. With a C-section, the wait may be slightly longer as we must ensure that the birth mother is free of narcotic medication prior to signing. Biological fathers may sign the waiver of paternity prior to birth but a legal birth father must sign consents after the birth. If the birth father is unknown, we will file a claim with the Florida Putative Father Registry with the Vital Statistics Department which takes 2-4 weeks to come back.