Our attorney Aaron Irving had the pleasure of sitting down with Missy Davenport from JALA to discuss her role within the organization, the various ways JALA provides legal assistance, and the ways they are always looking to give back within the community.
The mission of JALA is to provide high quality legal assistance to low income and special needs groups – to empower them to accomplish energetic and affirmative advocacy, all to alleviate the circumstances, incidents and causes of poverty and discrimination. To learn more, click here.
The Most Common Adoption Questions, Answered
Adoption law is a tricky and complex— there are several different routes to choose from, each with its own set of complex rules and price points. Our attorney Troy Farquhar is helping answer some of the most common misconceptions surrounding adoptions.
Adoption always costs a fortune and takes forever.
The kind of adoption you pursue will greatly impact the cost. If you adopt from the foster care system, there is often no cost to you and there are benefits you will receive from the state. Step-parent and family member adoptions are more expensive but usually can be done for under a few thousand dollars. If you are pursuing a private adoption, meaning you are adopting a non-relative, then the costs can escalate. Typical costs include home-studies, birth mother expenses, court costs, fees paid to social workers and attorney’s fees. Our office always offers a free consultation to prospective adoptive parents. We are also always available to assist birth mothers figure out their options.
2. The biological mother can come back at anytime and take her baby.
The birth mother can choose not to go forward with the adoption anytime up until she surrenders her parental rights. She cannot surrender her rights until either she has been discharged from the hospital or until three days after the baby’s birth, whichever comes first. As long as your attorney has followed the law and best practices concerning the birth parent’s consent for adoption, it’s not possible for the birth parent to revoke their consent to the adoption. If the proper procedures are not followed, then in some cases, a birth parent would have an argument for revoking their consent to the adoption. This is a complex area of law, so it is imperative you work with an experienced adoption attorney.
3. What are the cost differences in private and public adoptions?
I think of a private adoption as when the adoptive parents are adopting a child outside of the foster care system and when they are not related biologically or by marriage to the child. These adoptions typically involve costs for home-studies, birth mother expenses, social worker expenses, court costs and legal fees. When I hear “public adoption,” I assume you are referring to adopting a child out of the foster care or dependency system. Those adoptions are typically free in the State of Florida. Therefore, the cost differences are substantial. However, it is not possible to say exactly how much different because the costs of a private adoption have many variables, mostly dependent on birth mother expenses.
4. All birth mothers are all irresponsible teenagers.
I would correct anyone I heard say this. In the first place, not all birth mothers are teenagers. Secondly, a birth mothers facing an unplanned and/or unwanted pregnancy has options. Deciding to place a baby for adoption is almost always an emotional and difficult decision. I think someone contemplating adoption does so because they think it is in the child’s best interest. Considering the needs of the child over one’s own needs is about as responsible as one could get.
5. Why do I need a lawyer for an adoption?
Adoption laws are complex. An experienced attorney who is knowledgeable in this area is a must.