What You Need to Know About Foster Care and Adoption in Florida
How to Adopt from Foster Care in Florida
There are an estimated 19,000 children in foster care in Florida. At any given time, hundreds of those children are eligible for foster care adoption in Florida, many of whom are older or are part of a sibling group who should be adopted together.
The primary goal of children entering Florida foster care is always to be reunited with their biological family. For 51 percent of children in foster care, this goal is reached. However, 22 percent of children in foster care are unable to reunite with their biological family and become eligible for adoption through foster care.
Please keep in mind that American Adoptions focuses its efforts on the adoption of infants and is unable to provide foster care adoption services in Florida. With that being said, we fully support each hopeful parent as they pursue the dream of starting a family. Foster care adoption could be right for you, and the following information can help guide you through the basics of foster care adoption in Florida.
The Three Different Types of Foster Parents
Essentially, there are three options for getting involved in the Florida foster care system: temporary care for a foster child, temporary-to-permanent care, or permanent care.
Here’s what these types of relationships look like:
1. Foster Parenting (Temporary Care)
As a Florida foster parent, you’d be responsible for providing children with a temporary home that’s safe and loving while they wait to be reunited with their biological family or to be adopted.
2. Foster to Adopt in Florida (Temporary-to-Permanent Care)
Florida foster parents may choose to permanently adopt a child after fostering them. This can only occur when the child’s parental rights are terminated and they become eligible for adoption out of the foster care system.
The majority of Florida foster children don’t become eligible for adoption, but if the need for adoptive parents does arise, priority is often given to biological family members and then to his or her foster parents.
3. Adopting from Foster Care in Florida (Permanent Care)
Rather than becoming a foster parent, you can request to adopt through foster care in Florida, instead. This can be an expedited way of bringing a child into your family. You could select eligible Florida foster children for adoption from a photolisting, and have them be placed with you for the sole purpose of eventual adoption.
Each of these paths offers its own advantages and disadvantages, so we encourage you to speak with a local professional if you’re interested in adopting a child from foster care in Florida today.
Florida Foster Care Adoption Subsidies
Whether you’re a Florida foster parent providing temporary care or you’re thinking about adopting through the Florida foster care system, you’re likely eligible for some amount of adoption assistance. A Florida adoption subsidy can vary in amount based on the needs of the child(ren) you’ve adopted, but can help offset the costs of raising a child.
Speak with your local foster care professional for more information on this topic.
Who Can Foster to Adopt in Florida or Adopt from Foster Care in Florida?
While foster parent requirements can vary depending on the Florida agency you work with, there are several standard requirements that all prospective foster or adoptive parents in Florida must meet before welcoming a child from foster care into their home.
All prospective parents must undergo a Florida foster care adoption home study, which includes background checks for all household members aged 12 and older, abuse and neglect clearances, family interviews, home inspections, a review of financial, social and medical documents, and more. As a fully-licensed adoption agency, American Adoptions can always perform your Florida home study, even if you are not working with our agency for the rest of the process.
In order to receive their license, foster and adoptive parents must also complete a Model Approach to Partnership in Parenting (MAPP) course, or the PRIDE (Parent Resource for Information Development and Education) training. You’ll also need to complete a licensing study.
The entire process takes about eight months to complete in order to be approved as a Florida foster parent.
Who Can Be Adopted from Foster Care in Florida?
Any child whose parents’ rights have already been terminated is eligible for adoption in Florida. Until parental rights are terminated, either voluntarily or involuntarily by the court, adopting your foster child will not be possible.
Children aged 12 and older also must consent to their adoption. Although children “age out” of Florida foster care when they turn 18, they may still be adopted by foster parents who cared for them via an adult adoption.
Florida Foster Adoption Agencies and Resources
The following resources for foster care and adoption in Florida include Florida foster care adoption agencies and Florida adoption photolisting sites:
- Florida Department of Children and Families
- Florida Child Photolisting
- Heartland for Children
- A Family for Every Child
- Jewish Adoption and Family Care Options
- Family Support Services of North Florida Inc.
- Families First Network
- Kids Central, Inc.
- Family Resource Center of South Florida, Inc.
- One Church One Child of Florida
Any adoption through foster care in Florida will need to be finalized in your local circuit court.
For additional resources, foster care services and help, turn to your Florida foster care adoption agency. For all questions about domestic adoption or Florida adoption home studies, feel free to call 1-800-ADOPTION at any time. You can also request more free information online.
Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.