Adoptions For Life

904-900-2717

“Adoption is not a birth mothers rejection but an unconditional love that inspires her to put herself last and do all she can for her baby.”

Claude Greenfield grew up with four adopted siblings, two brothers and two sister and a biological sister.  He always said “we didn’t think we were adopted, we were just family.” He knows adoptions are an important and critical step in the life of child and in the life of the family.  That’s why it’s important to have the right attorney to guide you through the process.  Whether you are the birth mother or the adoptive parents, you need someone who understands the situation from the heart.  Claude Greenfield is just such a person.

  • How long will it take to adopt a child?

    There is a wide variety of waiting periods dependent upon a host of controllable and totally uncontrollable factors. Generally, the average waiting period to be matched with a birth mother is less than two years. However, waits can be dramatically shorter or longer depending on individual situations and the restrictions you have on the type of child wish.

  • How much does adoption cost?

    The costs of adoption are wide-ranging, primarily depending on the birth mother’s living and medical expense needs. If you are matched early in the pregnancy birth mother expenses will be much higher due to the length of time involved. The general average is from $5,000 (shorter period with birth mother expenses) to $10,000+ (depending on many variables and situations.) This might be more but requires Court approval. There are other costs also listed below.

  • What other costs are there?

    Attorney’s fees, court costs, etc. Mr. Greenfield charges a very reasonable flat fee for adoptions. Various other costs apply: filing fees to the court, locating the birth father either by advertising or his being served by process server, and various other miscellaneous expenses. Call for an appointment and all this will be explained in detail.

  • What is a home study?

    An independent investigation to verify your suitability as adoptive parents. They are valid for one year in Florida and can be updated easily. If you need assistance in obtaining a home study, we have a social worker to help you, Click here for home study info in depth. The price of the home study varies. The person who helps us with home studies is very competent and reasonable. Please call us for contact information.

  • Will you work with out-of-state families?

    Yes. We process many Interstate Compact cases and will assist getting all records necessary for the receiving state. See below for the ICPC information for out of state adoptions.

  • Where do birthmothers come from?

    We work with birthmothers locally and all over Florida.

  • What information will I have on the birth mother?

    A lengthy family, social and medical history compiled by the birth mother, is done at the intake interview. We also ask the birth mother to sign permission to obtain medical records from the OB/GYN and the hospital. Any information obtained about the biological father will also be shared with you if any is available.

  • What information will the birth mother have about me?

    Your birth mother letter and family profile that you have provided to us. Much depends on whether the adoption is open, semi open or closed.

  • What is an open, semi open or closed adoption?

    The birth mother decides when she comes to us if she wants an open, semi-open, or fully open adoption. We then show her information on prospective adoptive parents who also want the same type of adoption. Closed means little information is shared. Semi-open is usually pictures of the baby provided on special occasions. Fully open can be anything from pictures and phone calls, Facebook, to actual visits after the baby is placed.

  • What tests will be done on the birth mother?

    All the normal OB/GYN tests. You can usually ask for any other type of testing, excluding amniocentesis which the doctors will only perform for a medical reason. Sonograms are also routinely done.

  • What tests will be done on the baby?

    All the normal tests done by the hospital when the baby is born. Special tests are done if needed.

  • What kind of contact will we have with the birth mother?

    Again depending on what type of adoption you have chosen. Pre-birth you will meet the birth mother and possibly go on doctor visits with her. Phone calls are possible if you desire them. If both agree to an open adoption any arrangement is acceptable, This is agreed upon by both parties at the first meeting after you are matched.

  • What should we say or not say in communicating with the birth mother?

    You should focus on being yourselves, letting the her get to know you and establishing a comfort level. You want to show concern and empathy for her situation, and for her to understand yours. You should not be interrogative, ask for personal or confidential information or question medical history. If you have specific questions after meeting with her, let us handle it.

  • When will the consent for adoption be signed?

    Pursuant to Florida law, 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 any medication before she signs any documents.

  • Can a birth mother change her mind once a consent for adoption is signed?

    Pursuant to Florida law, a birth mother who executes a consent for adoption involving a child six months or younger, does not have a grace period in which to change her mind. The consent for adoption is permanent and irrevocable from the moment it is signed, and can only be overturned based on fraud or duress. In cases of a child older than six months, 3 business days are allowed to revoke.

  • What rights do birth fathers have?

    In Florida, if able and aware of the pregnancy, a birth father that desires to establish and/or protect his rights is expected to pay a fair and reasonable amount of the expenses incurred in connection with the mother’s pregnancy and the child’s birth. We attempt to locate and contact birth fathers to see if he will voluntarily cooperate with the adoption and sign a consent or affidavit of non-paternity. For unmarried biological fathers who are located and will not cooperate, we serve them with a notice of the birth mother’s intended adoption plan. The notice gives the potential father a period of 30 days to respond. If the unmarried biological father fails to timely complete the required actions, a court order is filed that he has no rights to the child.

  • Can birth mothers receive living expenses?

    Yes. Florida law permits adoptive parents to pay the actual and reasonable living expenses during the pregnancy and up to a maximum of six weeks following delivery. This is all determined during the visit with the birth mother and the adoptive parents at the first visit they have together with Mr. Greenfield. This was discussed above.

  • What happens if the birth mother does not place?

    This is a very sad situation. Everything is done in the initial intake interview with the birth mother to make sure she is firm in her decision to place. However, it is legal for her to change her mind, barring some type of scam was not perpetrated. And, Mr. Greenfield does not charge his fee if this should happen.

  • Will I receive a refund if the birth mother does not place?

    Mr. Greenfield will refund his fee if it was paid in advance. This is a policy he has had all during his adoption cases. We have the birth mother sign a financial agreement, which obligates her to repay such monies if the placement does not take place. Very few have any funds to repay – this you will know as you will have been paying her expenses during the pregnancy. There are tax laws allowing you to deduct the loss in the next calendar year on the books now.

  • When will my adoption be finalized?

    Florida law permits finalization once the 90 day post-placement supervision period has expired, however, the Petition for Adoption cannot be set for final hearing until 30 days after entry of the Final Judgment Terminating Parental Rights. This is why we attempt to locate the birth father and get all paperwork needed completed in advance.

  • What is post placement supervision?

    Florida law requires monthly post placement supervision visits for a minimum of 90 days and this is usually done by your home study person. Be sure to let them know when you take the baby home as the first home study is due within 30 days and it needs to be sent to Mr. Greenfield as soon as you receive it.

  • Is there a tax credit for adoption?

    The adoption tax credit is adjusted each year. As of now the maximum credit is still $12,650, if your adjusted income is $189,710 or less up to $229,710. Please consult with your tax advisor or the IRS to determine information about this tax credit. Adoptive parents must keep records of their expenses.

  • When and how can I take the dependency deduction?

    Usually in the year you accept placement of the child.

  • Is the earned income credit and child tax credit available for adopted children?

    Yes, if you otherwise qualify. Note these are two different credits so check on both.

  • Should I update my will?

    Once the adoption process is complete and you have welcomed your son or daughter home, take a few minutes to let it all sink in, and then make an appointment with your attorney to revise your Last Will and Testament. Having an up-to-date Will is important for all of your children whether they came to you through birth or adoption. Mr, Greenfield does wills.

  • IF YOU ARE AN OUT OF STATE PROSPECTIVE ADOPTIVE PARENTS READ THIS:

  • What Is the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children?

    The ICPC (Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children) is a uniform law drafted in the 1950’s, which today has been enacted in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The ICPC contains 10 articles, which establish the procedures for interstate placements and assign responsibilities for all parties involved in placing a child for adoption. The ICPC applies only to children who are placed for adoption across state lines, but not to placements made with a parent, stepparent, grandparent, or other close adult relatives.

  • How does the Interstate Compact work?

      If an adoptive family is from state A (receiving state) and the baby is born in state B (sending state), ICPC applies. In this situation:

    1. The family would travel to the sending state for the adoption of the child.

    2. Before they are allowed to leave the sending state, the adoption agency would submit (by Federal Express) the ICPC paperwork to the sending state’s ICPC office.

    3. After the sending state has approved the adoption, all of the paperwork would then be forwarded (by Federal Express) to the receiving state’s ICPC office.

    4. Once the receiving state has approved the paperwork, the family is notified of the approval, and only then can they return to their state. Florida law allows for the adoptive family to stay with the child during the wait, but one parent can return home if necessary..

  • What are the ICPC Safeguards?

    • The ICPC offers safeguards to all parties involved in the adoption, especially the child.

    • Requires both a home study of the adoptive family and that an evaluation of the interstate placement be completed.

    • Ensures the sending and receiving state’s laws and policies are followed before it approves the interstate placement.

    • Assigns responsibility to the sending agency, thus guaranteeing the child’s legal and financial protection.

    • Allows the prospective receiving state the opportunity to consent to or deny the adoptive placement.

    • Provides for continual supervision and regular reports on each interstate placement.

    • Ensures the sending agency does not lose legal jurisdiction of the child after moving to the receiving state.

  • What time is needed to process ICPC?

    ICPC typically requires the submission of your baby’s discharge paperwork and medical records so only when these items become available can the ICPC package be completed and sent out. Once the ICPC paperwork has been submitted, it takes an average of 7-21 business days to process. This is an average time frame and some ICPC offices can take longer. Adoptive families should make the necessary arrangements to stay in the state for at least 3 weeks. Only one parent must stay with the child or foster care can be arranged if necessary. Adoptive families will be notified immediately upon ICPC approval. We will minimize your wait as much as it is possible for us to do. The process for ICPC approval is generally out of the control of the hands attorneys.

  • IF THE CHILD HAS INDIAN MEMBERSHIP:

  • What is the Indian Child Welfare Act?

    The ICWA is a federal law that was enacted in 1978 to protect American Indian children who are members of or are eligible for membership in an Indian tribe from being placed for adoption with non-Indian families. The ICWA allows for a tribe to intervene in a termination of parental rights proceeding and, in some cases, allows for jurisdiction to be transferred to the tribe. In order to determine that a child placed for adoption does not fall within the ICWA, we request information from the birth parents as to whether they, or their relatives, are eligible for tribal membership. In order to comply with the ICWA, we write to any tribe that the birth parents indicate may have an interest in the child. In most cases, the child does not qualify for tribal membership and the tribe responds that it has no intention to intervene in the placement. An adoptive placement that involves a child with American Indian heritage is at risk until such time as the tribe indicates that it has no intention to intervene and until the birth parents’ rights are terminated.

  • Any other questions please call the office at 904-900-2717 Thank you for visiting our information page.

Self Study Information for Home Study

The home study is to qualify the couple for being prospective adoptive parents.  A home study is required in all states.  It is done by a licensed social worker who is qualified to do such a study.  We have one who works with us and can refer you to her whenever you are ready to start the process.  This sheet just gives you an idea of what information will be needed for the home study.

Full information on your family, age, physical description, etc. Also a short description of each residents likes and hobbies, and a synopsis of how you met and married, etc.  Are there other children and if so their descriptions also. Copies of marriage licenses and children birth certificates. Descriptions of your parents and are they active with your children. If parents are deceased, date and cause of death. A listing of your family history growing up with  your parents. Full data on any siblings for either one of the couple. Were either of you married prior and a reason for divorce. Social and religious background information. Has anyone been arrested and if so what was the charge. Fingerprints and a full FBI background check will be done before approval.

A description of your home will be needed in depth: size, # of bedrooms, back yard fenced or not, pool etc.  Also further details about safety devices, i.e. smoke detectors. How long have you resided there and the neighborhood. Do you have any pets in the home.  Are their immunizations up to date.

What are your reasons for wanting to adopt:  infertility (describe), other reasons.  A short description of what you want from the adoption process. Your parenting  and child care plans.

As you can see from the above this is an extensive study and requires some time to complete.  The licensed social worker qualified for home studies will meet with you and take you through the process.  Gathering all the information above is the most time consuming part of the process.

Please call our office to get started and we will put you in touch with our home study person.  904-900-2717 .

How can adoption be good for my baby and me?

Adoption is a very loving and unselfish decision. There are many women, of all ages, who have an unplanned pregnancy, and do not feel they are ready to parent. They know there are countless couples who cannot conceive a child, and who have a loving home ready for a child. The greatest dream of these couples is to be parents and make a child the center of their lives, as every child deserves.

If you are not ready to be a parent, you can still give your baby the gift of life by choosing adoption. We will work with you to select a stable, loving family to care for your baby. After birth, you can see your baby, name your baby, and spend time with your baby, if you choose an open adoption.  You can get updates on your child’s progress or have ongoing visits throughout your child’s life while you continue your education or career goals. Finally, you can be proud that you chose life for your baby.

Does the birth mother have to pay legal fees or expenses?

No. All fees and expenses, including medical expenses, are paid by the prospective adoptive parents. The birth mother is not required to pay anything.

Where do birthmothers come from?

We work with birthmothers locally and all over Florida.

What is an open, semi open or closed adoption?

The birth mother decides when she comes to us if she wants an open, semi-open, or fully open adoption.  We then show her information on prospective adoptive parents who also want the same type of adoption.  Closed means little information is shared.  Semi-open is usually pictures of the baby provided on special occasions.  Fully open can be anything from pictures and phone calls, Facebook, to actual visits after the baby is placed.

Can birth mothers receive living expenses?

Yes. Florida law permits adoptive parents to pay the actual and reasonable living expenses during the pregnancy and up to a maximum of six weeks following delivery.  This includes OB and hospital care, prescription medications, counseling, living expenses (rent, food, phone, utilities, toiletries), insurance, clothing and transportation.

This is all determined during the visit with the birth mother and the adoptive parents at the first visit they have together with Mr. Greenfield.

Can my child find me if he or she wants to search someday?

Florida has an adoption registry that will allow your child to locate you if you so choose. We will give you detailed information about the registry.