How we can help
We will assist in assuring that you receive appropriate medical care relating to your pregnancy. We will even help you apply for Medicaid if needed.
CFS will assist in getting you to-and-from pre-natal medical appointments. We can also assist with reasonable transportation expenses.
We will not only be with you during the pregnancy, but also at the hospital and more importantly, available to you afterward.
CFS can help you with Food Stamps and WIC, as needed. We can also assist with ongoing grocery expenses.
CFS can assist with addressing your financial needs for safe & adequate housing.
No, CFS is simply here to help you look at all of your options. We want you to make an informed choice regarding your unplanned pregnancy. We will meet with you and discuss all of your options. We want you to understand every aspect of adoption in Florida and not feel pressured from anyone, including family and friends. We want to be a "safe place" for expectant mothers to talk and explore options without fear of judgment or shame.
We want you to be actively involved in determining what your adoption plan looks like. This is unique for every mom. We will work with you to determine what characteristics you would like the adoptive family to have, and the level of openness that you think you would like after the adoption is finalized.
We will show you profiles of prospective families that come closest to meeting your criteria. Once you and the family are in agreement in regard to pursuing your adoption plan with them, we will help you determine what level of communication you want for the remainder of your pregnancy.
We will help you design your own hospital plan. You will be able to decide who you want to be there and when. You will determine how much or how little time you spend with your baby and how much time you want the adoptive family to have.
We will also help construct a Communications Agreement so that both you and the adoptive family will have a written reminder regarding the level of communication after placement and what it will look like. You can specify the frequency of pictures and updates. These may come through the agency, or there may be agreement to have direct contact via email, social media, Skype,etc. There may even be an understanding about potential future visits.
NOTE: You need to know that should you initially decide that you want a CLOSED Adoption, you will not be forced to do any of the above. All of your personal information will be kept confidential. We simply want you to know that these options are available to you. Also know that you can always come back at a later date and ask for at least pictures and updates from the adoptive family.
It is never too late to make an adoption plan for your baby. It is always a very tough emotional choice, but can be less stressful if done before you leave the hospital. That is a major reason we want to work with moms during their pregnancies so that when they get to the hospital, they know what they want to do.
However, some moms don’t come to that conclusion until they are at the hospital and the baby is already here. In that case, normally we can still accommodate mom’s wishes and make everything happen before she and the baby are discharged. That means we can still help her to choose the family and normally she can meet them before she leaves the hospital.
Sometimes a mom takes her baby home, only later to discover that she isn’t able to make it work, or she may simply decide that she wants a better life for her child than she can currently provide. She makes that sacrificial choice by putting the best interest of her child above her own wants. She knows that she is making a loving choice to give her child both a mom and a dad in a good Christian home, and that she will be able to still see and know (through pictures and updates, etc.) that her child is growing and happy.
CFS sets the standard qualifications higher than the state requires in order to assure birth parents that the family chosen is indeed the best family.
All families must go through extensive background checks and screens. They must be cleared by local (city & county), state (FDLE), and federal (FBI) background checks as well as the Child Abuse Registry and Domestic Violence screens.
In addition, we review references from key individuals from every aspect of their lives. A caseworker spends a large amount of time in their home interviewing them and probing every aspect of their lives. This includes their families when they were growing up and their relationship with parents and siblings. We get into how they met and why they are pursuing adoption.
We want to know everything there is about them so that when we present a profile to you, we can answer your questions and reassure you that they are who they say they are.
By Florida law, a mom cannot sign anything legally binding until at least 48 hours after the baby is born. Up to that time, whether during the pregnancy or at the hospital, a mom has the right to change her mind and choose to parent.
When a mom is being discharged and if she says the adoption plan is still what’s best for her baby, she may sign the legal paperwork. At that time she will sign consents terminating her parental rights. Once signed, it is legal and binding and may not be undone.
That is again why we want to work with that mom to help her be absolutely certain that this is what she believes is in the best interest of her child.
In Florida, it matters whether the mother was married at the time of conception and/or delivery of the baby. There are different rules that apply to an unmarried biological father and to one who is married to the mother.
For more information on this subject, we would like to sit down with you and first learn the details of your particular situation. This will help us to give you a more accurate picture of your case. Please call: 1-800-226-2367.
Florida law requires that a known birth father who can be located, must be served with a Notice of Intended Adoption Plan. This is not your responsibility. We will attempt to contact the father, sit down with him and explain what is happening. If he refuses to meet with us, then we will have him served with the legal document. The legal document tells him what he must do in order to protect his parental rights and the limited time that he has to do it in. You do not have to have any contact with him if you choose not to.
If you have another child(ren) in State Foster Care, then there is a good chance that they may not allow you to leave the hospital with this baby. If that is the case and you do nothing, they will place the baby in a foster home and you may or may not be allowed to have any contact.
You can attempt to satisfy DCF by successfully completing a parenting plan. You will not know whether your child stays with the same foster home or ends up being moved to another home while you work your plan. DCF may decide that they do not want to give you any more chances to work things out and will then petition the court to terminate your parental rights without your consent. If the court approves, your rights will be terminated and your baby will be placed for adoption with a family that you do not know and you may never know where your baby is or how they are growing.
Or, if while you are still in the hospital DCF learns that you have an adoption plan, normally they will back off and allow you to follow through on that plan. That means that the baby will leave the hospital with the adoptive family that you have chosen and you will have the peace of mind knowing that you will still have some degree of contact with your child for the next 18 years.
If, you allow DCF to place your baby/child in foster care and they later threaten to terminate your parental rights, you can still contact us and create an adoption plan. This must be done before the hearing actually takes place to terminate your rights. Often times we can intervene in the case and the child will be placed into an adoptive family who will be willing to at least send pictures and updates.