Adoption FAQs

What is Adoption?

Legal adoption means that the child becomes a member of your family and is no longer a part of the Foster Care System. As an Adoptive Parent, you make all decisions for your adopted child, just as you would for your biological children. Most adults who can provide a stable, loving home for a child or children can adopt. There is a great need for Adoptive Families who have the patience and ability to parent teenagers, large sibling groups and children with special needs.
To become an Adoptive Parent there are a few basic requirements that you need to meet:

  • You must be at least 21 years of age
  • You may be married, single or in a stable relationship
  • You must be able to demonstrate financial stability
  • Adoptive parent must be in good health
  • Your home must be safe, clean and have sufficient space to accommodate children
  • You must attend an orientation class and all training sessions
  • You must satisfactorily complete an Adoption Home Study
  • All adult members of the household, as well as those caring for the child or children, must pass a criminal record clearance

Adoptive parents go through the same training as a Foster Parent, but are ready to be matched with adoptable children once they are approved. Usually, the process takes about a year, from the time a parent begins PRIDE training classes to finalize adoption. It is a thorough process that ensures the most desirable outcome for both the parents and child. There is almost no cost to adopt a foster child. The state of Florida will reimburse you up to $1,000 in adoption costs such as attorney fees and you are eligible for a federal tax credit in the year that you adopt.

Understanding the adoption process will help you to make the right choice for your family. Adoption is the gift of a lifetime and we would consider it a privilege to help you bring home the child that is the best fit for your family.

How long does it take to adopt?

The process to become an approved adoptive parent includes attending a mandatory preparation course (PRIDE) lasting approximately 5 weeks, and an in-depth home study which takes approximately 60 days from PRIDE Class completion. On average, the adoption process can generally be completed in eight months to a year. The main factor affecting the length of time to adopt is if a child that meets the family’s preferred characteristics is available. When a child is matched with your family, pre- placement activities will occur including visits and regular communications with the child. Placement of the child will occur as soon as the child is comfortable. The child’s counselor will supervise the placement for a minimum of 90 days. When the supervision period is completed, the counselor will provide consents to your attorney and a hearing may be scheduled for legalization of the adoption.

What can be done to move the process along?

While it depends on each applicant’s situation, applicants can move the process along by gathering the required documentation and turning it into the case manager as soon as possible. Some of the documentation include: (a) Current Marriage Certificate; (b) Certified Copy of Divorce; (c) Certified Copy of Deceased Spouse’s Death. Applicants can also complete and turn in the required forms as soon as possible. Some of the forms include: (a) Adoptive Home Application; (b) Health Questionnaire; (c) References; (d) Employment Verification.

What does it cost to adopt?

When you adopt a child from the State of Florida (Our Kids) you are not charged with an adoption fee or fees related to the pre-adoptive training, home study or placement. There may be expenses related to attorney fees and court costs but these may be reimbursed up to $1000 per child.

Will I get historical information on the child I adopt?

Yes. You will be given the child’s Foster Care history including the circumstances involving his removal, the child’s medical history including the birth and delivery information, any assessments or psychological evaluations completed and the child’s current daily habits and preferences. Non-identifying social and medical information about biological parents and birth family will also be provided. This information will assist you and your family in making an informed decision about this child becoming a and remaining a permanent member of your family.

Can the biological parents take the child back?

No. Florida’s children are not made available for adoption until a court has terminated the parental rights of the birth parents. This form of adoption is legally secure.

What kind of support can I expect once my adoption is finalized?

Post adoption services is a resource for parents who adopt children in Miami- Dade and Monroe Counties to ensure services such as medical and mental health continue after a child is adopted. Mental Health services such as individual and family therapy and psychiatric services are provided through Medicaid and local network providers. Adopted youth are eligible for Medicaid. Most post adoptive services and benefits end once the child turns 18. Pre and post adoptive support groups for families are also available to families who adopt. Information pertaining to time and date of the support groups are available in our monthly adoption newsletter that is issued to all adoptive parents. Adopted youth may also be eligible for free tuition at a Florida state University, College or Vocational School until age 28.

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