Most women aren’t sure about their decision when they contact us. We can help you get information so that you can take your time to decide if adoption is a good choice for you and your baby.
How soon do I have to decide?
You can take all the time you need to decide. Getting information is the first step. We get calls from women at every stage of pregnancy and after the baby has been born. Sometimes a mother realizes that parenting isn’t the best solution after she has taken her baby home from the hospital. It is never too late to choose adoption.
Who chooses adoption?
Women of all ages and stages in life choose adoption. For some this is their first child, others are parenting older children right now. Both single women and married couples choose adoption when they believe it is the best way to provide what they dream of for their child.
I already have a child. Can I choose adoption?
At times women consider adoption during their pregnancy but in the end they decide to parent their child. For some, parenting is a good decision but others realize that adoption may have been a better choice based on their circumstances. Whatever the circumstances, women who choose adoption do so because they love their baby and want the best for him/her. It is never too late to choose adoption.
Those who choose adoption for an older child are still able to choose and meet the family and receive exchanges throughout the child’s life.
What if my baby is born with a disability?
Whatever the circumstances, there is a family who will want to adopt your baby. In over thirty years of providing adoption services, every baby including those with disabilities or health problems has had a family eager to adopt him/her.
Can I choose a family for my baby?
Yes! You can choose the family for your baby and have the opportunity to meet them if you wish. You also get pictures and letters throughout the years with updates from the family that you choose to parent your child.
How do I know the family I choose will be a good family?
All families go through a lengthy home study process to qualify to become parents:
Interviews with caseworker – psychological evaluation by a psychologist
References from friends and family
Verification of income and employment
Criminal and child abuse background checks
Medical evaluation / Physical exams
Will my child know that he/she is adopted?
Adoption has changed from secrecy to openness. Now adoptive parents learn how important it is for a child to know from the beginning how he/she joined their family through adoption.
What will my baby know about me?
Your child will know what you want him/her to know about you and your reasons for choosing adoption. He/she will know that you made this decision because you loved him/her. We will ask you for information about yourself and your medical history to share with the adoptive parents and your child. You will have the opportunity to write a letter to your child if you wish that the adoptive parents will share with your child one day. You can also keep in touch with your child and the family through letters and pictures for 18 years.
Will I be able to see my baby in the hospital?
Yes. You can see your baby as much or as little as you choose. We will help you work through your hospital plan based on the things that are important to you.
Can the agency assist me with expenses?
Yes. We can to help with pregnancy-related expenses, necessary living expenses and help you access medical care.
Does the birth father have any rights?
Yes, he does have rights. The law honors you and we are able to help you even if he isn’t supportive of the adoption plan. If he disagrees about adoption or if you no longer have a relationship with him, we will work with him and/or the courts to satisfy the requirements of the law.
Is adoption permanent?
Yes, and because adoption is permanent we will do everything we can to prepare you so you can be sure of your decision before you sign any of the adoption paperwork. Because adoption is such an important decision, we will meet with you throughout your pregnancy as you personalize your adoption plan.
Can my child find me in the future?
In Florida, a child can find his/her birth parents through the Florida Adoption Registry after he/she reaches 18 years of age. Any contact must be mutually agreed upon by you and your child. You can contact the Florida Adoption Registry for more information at www.adoptflorida.org. Adoption by Shepherd Care will also maintain records for you in order to facilitate a reunion if mutually agreed upon.