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.