Adoptions Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who are the children?
Children enter foster care because they cannot remain safely at home. Some circumstances that make it difficult for biological families to meet the needs of their children may include substance abuse, mental illness and domestic violence. The children range in age, and most come as part of a sibling group.
Some children in foster care are waiting to be adopted. They need families who will give them a home lasting into adulthood.
Q. Do I need to be married to adopt ?
No, you may be single or living with a partner or paramour.
Q. Is there financial help if I become an adoptive parent?
Families considering adoption should be financially stable, with a balanced budget, prior to beginning their journey. Adoptive families do receive a monthly stipend to help offset the cost of meeting a child’s basic needs. A child’s medical care is covered by Medicaid, and adopted children are eligible for tuition assistance for college.
Q. How long does the adoption process take?
The time frame varies from case to case, but the background checks, PIP training and a home study can usually be completed in less than nine months.
Q. How much does it cost to adopt?
When you adopt a child from the State of Florida, you will not be charged an adoption fee or fees related to pre-adoptive training, home studies or placement. There may be expenses related to attorney fees and court costs, but these are usually reimbursed by the state. Other one-time expenses that may be reimbursed are birth certificate fees and travel expenses for visiting the child.
Q. Is post-adoption support provided?
Yes, Communities Connected for Kids has support and services for adoptive families available from our full array of service providers, including immediate in-home crisis intervention services, counseling and behavior analysis. Communities Connected for Kids also invites all adoptive families and others interested in adoption to join the Florida Foster and Adoptive Parent Association, which offers additional resources to caregivers.
Q. Do you have a history or record of abuse or neglect?
If you have been investigated by the department in the past, you may not be eligible to adopt. This includes substantiated cases of abuse and neglect or if your own child had to be placed in out-of-home care. When we receive your application, we will review our records.
Q. Has an adult in your home ever been convicted of a crime?
If you or any adult residing in your home has been convicted of certain criminal offenses, you cannot adopt. Each adult member of your household will be fingerprinted, and a juvenile records check will be done on each child in your home 12 years of age and older. FS 390138 (2) provides more information and can be accessed at http://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2012/39.0138.
Q. Are you ready to begin the homestudy process?
You are ready to begin if your life and home are stable. "Stable" means that you are not about to move and are not having financial, marital or emotional difficulties. If you rent, you will need your landlord’s approval. Also, your home must be in good repair. Overall, you must have given serious thought to the decision to become a foster parent.