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Can my baby's birth mother change her mind about adoption?

You’ve waited months, maybe even years for the chance to finally have your baby. You’ve gone through the screening process, the home study and the search for an expecting mother. This should be a joyous time as you wait for the ninth month to arrive.

AThroughout the process, you might have had a little voice in the back of your head saying, “what if she changes her mind?”. It might help you to know what right the birth mother has to keep her child or even take her child back. One of the determining factors is when she makes this decision.

Before birth

Anytime during the pregnancy, the birth mother can change her mind. Even though doing so might hurt you, she is within her rights to do so. You may be able to sue for any assistance you have been providing—such as paying the medical bills or living expenses.

Experts encourage birth mothers to seek counselling so that they can work out these feelings early on, instead of suddenly changing their mind at the last minute.

After birth

Once the child is born, Florida law requires the birth mother to wait 48 hours before she can consent to the adoption—unless she is released from the hospital before then. The mother must personally give consent to the adoption by a sworn document, in front of two witnesses and a notary public.

The good news is that once consent is legally given,it is nearly impossible for her to take it back. Whenever you adopt a newborn, this consent becomes legally binding right away. Since you’ll be receiving your child shortly after their birth, you don’t have anything to worry about once the birth mother gives consent.

The only way that the consent can be revoked is if the court gets involved. The birth mother would have to prove that someone committed fraud or forced her into the adoption. In either of these cases, the court could allow her to withdraw the consent and return the child to her. There is a one-year limitations period from the date of finalization in order to nullify the adoption.

In Florida, there are laws in place to protect adoptive parents from unnecessary distress. Nonetheless, understanding birth mother rights can be useful in selecting a birth mother and making sure she gets the care she needs before your child is born.

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