Your Complete Guide to Adoption Requirements in Florida
What Do I Need to Adopt a Child in Florida?
Hopeful adoptive parents have many questions when beginning the process.
- Which agency can I work with?
- Which type of adoption is right for us?
- How will we finance our adoption costs?
These are all good and necessary questions. Before we get there, however, there’s something more foundational we need to cover: What are the requirements for adoption in Florida?
The qualifications for adoption that you’ll need to meet as a prospective parent in Florida will depend on the type of adoption you pursue and the adoption professional you work with. But there are some general Florida adoption requirements that all adoptive parents must meet.
Fortunately, American Adoptions’ specialists are always happy to discuss our agency’s adoption criteria in Florida at your convenience. You can always call us at 1-800-ADOPTION or contact us online for more information, whenever you’re ready. Please keep in mind that American Adoptions can provide all the benefits of a national adoption agency with the local touch of a local adoption agency, thanks to our Florida offices, located at:
3001 North Rocky Point Drive East, Suite 200
Tampa, FL 33607
In the meantime, the following commonly asked questions may help clear up some of your own curiosities about the requirements for adopting a child in Florida:
Do you have to be married to adopt in Florida?
Individuals may adopt in Florida as well as married couples. But most adoption professionals will have adoption requirements for married couples and individuals adopting. American Adoptions, for example, requires couples to be married at least two years before adopting, although exceptions have been made. Call 1-800-ADOPTION to learn more.
Can same-sex couples adopt in Florida?
Until 2010, Florida adoption law prohibited LGBT individuals from adopting. This law was ruled unconstitutional, and in 2015, the repeal of the ban was officially signed into law.
With that being said, it’s still important to reaffirm with an adoption agency that they are fully supportive of LGBT adoption. Some agencies could be following the law but doing so reluctantly. You don’t want to work with that kind of adoption professional.
Florida same-sex couples are welcome to become parents with American Adoptions.
How old do you have to be to adopt in Florida? Is there an adoption age limit?
Florida does not have specific laws regarding adoption requirements for a minimum age or adoption age limit for those adopting a child. However, professionals typically have their own adoption age requirements in Florida.
American Adoptions, for one, requests adoptive parents to be between 22 and 50 years old, although exceptions have been granted, so call us to learn more. Most Florida foster care agencies’ adoption requirements state that foster parents must be 21 years old or older.
Can a felon adopt a child in Florida?
All members of the household over the age of 12 will require a background check in order for the family to be eligible to adopt. Grounds for disqualification include offenses such as domestic or child abuse, abandonment, or neglect, drug-related offenses and violent offenses.
While being convicted of a felony in the past does not automatically prevent you from adopting in Florida, your Florida adoption home study professional and the court will need to consider the nature of your criminal record and whether or not it could pose a danger to a child in your home.
Prospective parents who’ve been convicted of a felony may be cleared by the court and their social worker on an individual basis after applying through their adoption agency, so contact us now to learn more.
What do I need to adopt a child in Florida? And how hard is it to adopt a baby?
Health Requirements for Adoption
You don’t need to be ready to run a marathon in order to adopt. But Florida adoption agencies and home study professionals want to know that you’ll be able to physically care for a child. Your family’s physical and mental health is taken into consideration when you’re going through the adoption approval process in FL. Your Florida adoption home study also requires you to present recent medical statements.
Financial Requirements for Adoption
Wealth is not a requirement to adopt in Florida. Financial stability is. Your home study will request recent financial statements to confirm that you’re financially stable enough to care for the needs of a child.
Emotional Requirements for Adoption
Emotional readiness is difficult to prove, as there are no documents that can reflect this state of being. But it’s possibly the most important contributing factor to the success of your Florida adoption. The emotional requirements for adopting a child in Florida include:
- Addressing any infertility or miscarriage grief, and mourning the dream of having a biological baby before you can move forward toward the dream of adoption.
- Learning everything you can about the Florida adoption processes — the legal process, the agency process, the birth family adoption process and the emotional processes.
- Communicating with your spouse about what you want and how you feel about adoption. You’ll need to be 100 percent in support of the same adoption goals before you move forward with adoption.
- Emotionally readying yourself to maintain a relationship with your child’s birth family and to raise a child you’re not genetically related to.
- Committing to adoption, and remaining excited, even with challenges. This is the clearest indicator for an ultimately successful adoption for both expectant and adoptive parents.
To see if you meet all the qualifications for adoption in Florida, call 1-800-ADOPTION to speak with an adoption specialist today. You can also request more free information about adoption online.
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