Become an Adoptive Family
Becoming an adoptive parent can be one of the greatest moments for both you and the child you are adopting. Once you make that decision, a new journey begins that will last a lifetime.
How the Process Works
Once you decide to pursue adoption, you will begin the approval process. Because the process varies slightly in different areas of the state, some of the steps may also vary.
The first step to pursue adoption in Circuit 19 is to attend an orientation with Children's Home Society, our adoption services provider. An orientation meeting is held the first Thursday of every month from 4:30-5:30pm at 620 10th Street in Vero Beach. For more information or if you are interested in attending, please email Jamie Cook (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call the Adoption Information line at 772-429-2001.
The FDLE/FBI background screening should be done after orientation and before training if possible.
Preparation Course or PRIDE
The Parent Resources for Information, Development, and Education (PRIDE) is a nine-week training and preparation course that adoptive parents are required to successfully complete. Training classes offered by Children’s Home Society of the Treasure Coast (CHS) and are usually scheduled at night during the week or on the weekends. The purpose of the training is for parents to assess themselves and their family, and to explore and learn about adoption issues. Once you complete the course, CHS will then guide you through the next step: the home study.
A home study includes the following parts:
- You will be required to provide information about your health.
- Background checks at the local, state and federal level will be conducted, including having your fingerprints screened at the federal level.
- References will be requested from your employer, school officials if you have children in school and character references from individuals who have known you and your family.
- The counselor will visit your home one or more times to complete the home study. If you have children, it will be important for the counselor to ask them a few questions about what they think about adoption.
All information is gathered into a home study packet and sent for approval to a licensing specialist. When your application has been approved, you will be notified.
You may continue to look at the available children and attend recruitment activities, especially the picnics or events when children who are available for adoption are in attendance. Notify your counselor when you are interested and need more information about a certain child or sibling group. When the needs of a child or sibling group are matched with your family, your adoption counselor will discuss with you the pre-placement activities that must occur. The official placement in your home will occur when you, the child and counselor determine that the child is ready. After a child is placed, a counselor must make monthly visits in order to assess the child's adjustment and determine if new or additional services are needed. The supervision period ends when the counselor provides "Consents to Adopt" to your attorney. Your attorney will schedule a hearing before a judge. At this hearing the adoption will be legalized and the child will legally become part of your family.