Only in the past decade or so has adoption become a common and normalized way to build families in Florida. But still just as common are the many myths that surround adoption.
Bryan McLachlan is working to educate Florida families about the realities of adoption and to help people like you to become parents.
Contact Bryan today at (727) 398-0086 to learn about the adoption process or to begin your adoption now. In the meantime, read below to learn the truth about some of the most common and persistent adoption myths:
“Pregnant women are paid to place their children for adoption.”
It’s illegal to pay a woman to place her child for adoption. However, adoption is 100 percent free for pregnant women who need to place a child for adoption in Florida.
A prospective birth mother’s medical bills, attorney and court fees and pregnancy-related costs are all taken care of for her by the adoptive parents through their adoption professional. Additionally, potential birth mothers may be able to receive financial assistance for things like their rent and utilities, groceries and maternity clothes.
These living expenses are determined by the potential birth mother and her adoption professional and approved by the Florida court.
Pregnant women choose adoption for their baby because they want to provide that child with a future that they feel they’re unable to provide for them — not because they get “paid” to do so.
“Most women who place their children for adoption are pregnant teenagers.”
While prospective birth mothers come from all walks of life, the majority of women who place a baby for adoption in Florida are 20–30 years old and are often already parenting at least one child. These women feel that raising another child at this point in their lives just isn’t an option for them, and they want to provide their baby with a loving, safe and stable home.
While some pregnant women considering adoption are teenagers, most aren’t. Prospective birth mothers can come from any background and each woman will be in a different situation that led her to choose adoption for her child.
“I’m too old to be a parent and definitely too old to adopt.”
While you’ll need to be an adult in order to adopt by Florida law, there’s rarely an age limit for potential adoptive parents. Even if you’ve struggled with infertility due to age, adoption is still an option for you.
Bryan has helped older couples and single parents to realize their dreams of becoming parents through adoption. He can do the same for you.
“I can’t adopt as a single parent.”
Some adoption agencies may not work with single parents; many prospective birth mothers in Florida cite one of their reasons for choosing adoption is because they want their child to grow up in a two-parent home.
However, many adoption agencies do welcome single parents, and Bryan works directly with many individuals who want to become parents through adoption. Bryan has helped many men and women to become parents on their own with adoption.
“Gay couples or individuals can’t adopt in Florida.”
Gay couples are equally welcome to adopt in Florida with Bryan’s help!
“The only children available for adoption in Florida are older, sick or have other special needs.”
Many people considering adoption believe that they have to adopt internationally in order to adopt a healthy infant. But there are thousands of healthy children waiting to be adopted in the U.S.
Most U.S. adoption agencies specialize in the domestic adoption of infants if you have your heart set on adopting a baby.
While there are many children available for adoption that are considered special needs because they’re older, part of a sibling group or have physical, mental or behavioral conditions that require some level of extra care, the choice to adopt one of these children is up to you.
No matter what age your adopted child is or what unique needs he or she has, Bryan can help you complete the adoption process.
“I can’t adopt because I have a criminal record.”
Criminal backgrounds, fingerprinting and checks for child abuse and neglect are required steps in every Florida adoption. But just because you have a criminal record doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t be able to adopt.
Bryan will pass your criminal history to the Florida court to review, but unless the court considers your criminal offense to be of a nature that could pose a possible threat to a child in your home, it’s likely that your criminal record won’t affect your ability to adopt.
“Adoptions are closed; we’ll never see the birth parents after the adoption is complete.”
Most adoptions are actually open adoptions.
This doesn’t mean that you’ll be co-parenting with the birth family; it simply means that the adoptive and birth families maintain some level of contact after the adoption is complete. That contact could involve exchanging letters, photos, emails, phone calls, or even arranging visits. That’s all up to the parties involved in the adoption.
Adoptions have transitioned to greater levels of openness over the years because of the positive effects they have on everyone involved in the adoption, as well as the lifelong negative effect that fully closed adoptions had. Having some kind of relationship with their birth parents is incredibly important for adoptees.
Open adoptions are beneficial for many reasons, the most important being the emotional happiness of adopted children and birth families who benefit from a more open adoption.
“Younger children don’t know that they’re adopted. I should wait until they’re old enough to understand to tell them that they’re adopted.”
Again, because almost all adoptions are open adoptions, adoptees are fully aware of their adoption and who their birth parents are. Experts highly recommend that you begin telling your child of their adoption story from infancy, before they even have language skills.
As your child grows, they’ll continually develop new understandings and emotions regarding their adoptive roots. This is natural. As long as they understand that adoption is a cherished and normal part of your family’s story, they’ll feel comfortable with their adoption — regardless of whether or not they fully “understand” it all just yet.
Celebrating and normalizing adoption is essential for your child’s sense of self and will strengthen your bonds as a family.
“It takes several years to adopt a child in Florida.”
With the help of Bryan and his partners at American Adoptions, 75 percent of adoptive families are placed with a child within a year.
The Florida adoption process is streamlined by professionals who are experienced with Florida adoption law and the steps of the adoption process.
“I can’t afford to adopt a child.”
Adoption can quickly become expensive for prospective adoptive parents because there are so many steps and people involved in completing the adoption process. But professionals like Bryan are working to help you to adopt within your budget so that every hopeful parent can become a family through adoption in Florida.
There are also many ways to finance your adoption. Bryan can help you to explore those financial options so that you can begin your journey to becoming a family.
“The birth parents will want to take the baby back.”
After the birth parent(s) have signed their consent to the adoption (no sooner than 48 hours after the birth of the child), their parental rights are legally terminated. Up until that point, they’ll have the option to reconsider the adoption if they feel that it’s no longer the right choice for them. But after that consent has been issued and the adoption decree has been finalized in court, the adoption is final and the birth parents have no legal rights to the child.
But, beyond the legalities, birth parents typically understand that this decision is what’s best for the future of their baby and therefore have no desire to “take back their baby.” Even though they’ll grieve the loss of their child and may express a desire to maintain contact with you after the adoption, that doesn’t mean that they regret their decision.
Being able to see their child grow up happy and healthy through the communication that open adoption provides, birth parents often feel comforted and are able to have more tangible proof that this was a loving choice for their situation.
“I don’t know anything about adoption — it’s just too complicated to be an option for me.”
Adoption isn’t as complicated or as rare as many people think. Most importantly, you’re not alone in the adoption process.
Bryan can help you to navigate your Florida adoption with ease. Contact Bryan now to get started.