- Who can Adopt? If you are an adult who can provide love and a stable home to a child in need, you will be a good candidate to apply to adopt. You can be married or single, you can be in a relationship with someone of the same sex or the opposite sex, and you can live in an apartment or a home. A criminal record may preclude you from adopting, but the courts would determine if your specific situation is a factor.
- Who is Available to Adopt? Any child whose rights have been legally terminated is available for adoption. On any given day in Florida, there are 750-800 children available. Children who are waiting to be adopted are there through no fault of their own. The reasons can vary from abuse or neglect to death or incarceration of biological family members. The groups who wait the longest to be adopted are 8 years old and older and/or part of a sibling group that must be adopted together.
- How Much is it to Adopt in Florida? The cost can vary widely depending on whether you choose to pursue a private adoption or adoption through a public agency. The avenue which will most likely cost the least would be to adopt from within the foster care system from a public agency. An adoptive parent who goes through the foster care system will find that the fees for the required parenting class and related home study are waived. If the adoptive family is eligible, other associated fees may be waived as well.
- What is the Process? First, you should take some time to consider your readiness to become an adoptive parent. Then, you should determine if a private adoption or if an adoption through an agency is best for you. Your path may vary depending on which you choose. The state of Florida does require adoptive parents to complete a parenting course and a home study conducted by a state-licensed social worker along with local, state, and federal background checks.
- How Much Time Will Adoption in Florida Take? The whole process from your decision to proceed until the finalization can vary widely. The initial paperwork, application, classes, home study, and background checks can usually be completed within 8 or 9 months. At that point, if you are going through a public agency, you will be ready to be matched up to the right child(ren) for your home. The time for that process can vary, but once you have the child in your home, the child’s case will usually be reviewed for at least 6 months. After that, you can move to finalize the adoption.
Visit Adoption by Shepherd Care if you are pregnant and considering placing your child or if you are a prospective adoptive family.