The journey of adoption is riddled with many questions and concerns. It is a complex process that involves the lives of so many people. Many hopeful adoptive parents want to know the chances of a child entering their home only to be taken away later. So, can a birth mother change her mind after adoption?
The simple answer is no, but there are some special circumstances.
Under Florida law, a birth mother cannot consent to the adoption until the day she is discharged from the hospital or the baby is 48 hours old. So, if the adoption agency contacts you to come to the hospital for a newborn, there could be a window of time when everything is not finalized. This is often the most challenging part for adoptive parents who want to be there at the birth but understand that the birth mother could change her mind in the hospital.
Once the birth mother is discharged from the hospital, she can consent to the adoption. After the baby is 48 hours old, she can also consent to the adoption if she is still in the hospital. Sometimes a c-section can prolong this timeline as the birth mother must be off narcotics when she consents.
Some birth mothers may want those first two days with their baby alone, while others may sign off on the adoption beforehand if they are discharged. Once she signs the document, it is binding and immediately effective.
In cases when the child is over six months old, the state of Florida requires a three-day waiting period from the time that the mother consents to the adoption to the time that it is binding and effective. This allows everyone involved to make sure that this is the best choice for the child.
The birth mother could withdraw her consent if the process were done fraudulently or under duress. In this case, the birth mother would need to prove her case in court to receive parental rights. While this does affect a small percentage of adoptive families, most birth mothers are well prepared by both their adoption attorney and the adoption agency of their rights and freedom to choose.
Every care and consideration is taken by the adoption agency in a fragile situation of newborn adoption. There are many emotions involved that can cause both parties to question the decision. Understanding Florida law and doing what is best for the child is an important part of adopting a newborn or infant. Newborn adoption is never guaranteed, but it is crucial to remember that most birth mothers do sign consent in the appropriate timeline allowed by law.