Who can adopt?
Most family structures can adopt. This includes singles, married couples, relatives and non-relatives. Interested families should be financially stable.
What types of children are available for adoption?
Most foster children are reunified with their parents or are permanently placed with relatives and never become available for adoption. However, those foster children whose birth parents' parental rights have been terminated by the courts may be adopted.
The majority of children who are eligible for adoption are between the ages of 8 and 18. While many of these older children have experienced multiple rejections and are hesitant to try adoption, it is important for them to have a family to assist them through the remaining years of adolescence and to be supportive into their adult years.
How do I find out about the children available for adoption?
Once you are approved to adopt, a counselor will help you to identify the children whose needs correspond with the strengths of your family and will provide you with their pictures and bios. In addition regular adoption matching events are held to allow adoptive parents to meet the children who are eligible for adoption. You can also visit children available for adoption online by clicking HERE for Broward County.
What does it cost to adopt?
There is no cost to adopt a child who is in the care and custody of the state. All major expenses related to the adoption, such as attorney's fees for finalization and mileage during the visitation process, are reimbursable up to $1,000.
How long does it take to adopt?
The process to become an approved adoptive parent includes attending a preparation course, obtaining local, state and federal background checks, and completion of a home study. While every case is different, the home study generally takes about four months. On average, the adoption process can generally be completed in eight months to a year. The main factor affecting the length of time to adopt is if a child that meets the family's preferred characteristics is available.
When a child is matched with your family, pre-placement activities will occur including visits and regular communications with the child. Placement of the child will occur as soon as the child is comfortable. The child's counselor will supervise the placement for a minimum of 90 days. When the supervision period is completed, the counselor will provide consents to your attorney and a hearing may be scheduled for legalization of the adoption.
Will I get historical information on the child I adopt?
You will be given the child's foster care history, such as the circumstances involving the child's removal and the child's medical history, including the birth and delivery information, any assessments or psychological evaluations, and the child's current daily habits and preferences. Non-identifying social and medical information about biological parents and birth family will also be provided.
What help is offered to the children and their adoptive families?
Children and their adoptive families receive support from adoption professionals, which may include referrals for individual therapy, support groups and on-call support.
Will I receive financial assistance?
Yes. An adoption subsidy is available in most instances until the child's 18th birthday. Adopted children's medical care is paid by the state of Florida until their 18th birthday. They are also eligible for 4-year college tuition to any Florida state college or university.
Do I have to be a resident of Florida to adopt?
Residents of other states can adopt children who are available for adoption in Florida. Out of state residents will need to obtain an approved home study from an adoption agency licensed in their state.
Residents of foreign countries are usually not eligible to adopt, unless they are a relative of the child or have a home in Florida.
Are there any age restrictions for adoptive parents?
You must be at least 21 years old and least 10 years older than the child. There is no upper limit for prospective adoptive parents; however, you must be in good health.
Can gay and lesbian persons adopt in Florida?
Yes, they can.
Are interracial adoptions allowed?
Is there an income requirement to adopt?
No, other than that the adoptive parent be able to support themselves and the child who they are adopting.
What happens once the adoption is finalized?
The child becomes a permanent member of the adopting family, affording parents all rights and responsibilities that would come with a biological birth child.
Once I adopt, will contact with the biological parents end?
Yes. The biological parents have no rights to see their former children or even know of their whereabouts.
What kind of post adoption support is available?
Post adoption services are offered to parents who adopt children in care to ensure services, such as medical and mental health services, to continue after a child is adopted. Mental Health services, including individual and family therapy and psychiatric services, are provided through Medicaid and local network providers. Adopted youth are eligible for Medicaid. Most post adoptive services and benefits expire once the child turns 18.
For more information about post adoption services, contact ChildNet's Post Adoption Specialist in Broward County by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (954) 234-1571.
Who can I contact to access post-adoption services?
In order to access post adoptive services, contact ChildNet's Post Adoption Specialist in Broward County by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (954) 234-1571.
Are college tuitions waived for adopted children?
Children adopted through ChildNet, are eligible to receive a tuition waiver to attend a four year university or college, a community college and technical school within Florida. Only children adopted through the dependency court system within the state of Florida are eligible for the tuition waiver. Effective July 1, 2010, this exemption remains valid until the young person reaches the age of 28.
Are there local support groups for parents who adopt?
There are post and pre adoptive support groups for families who adopt. The Pre-Adoption support group meets the third Thursday of every month, 6:30 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. at Kids In Distress. The Post Adoption group meets the fourth Wednesday of every month, 6:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. at Kids In Distress. Contact Terry Badeaux at (954) 390-7654, Ext. 1254 for more information about joining a support groups. Babysitting is offered for both group meetings.
Is there a number to call for additional adoption information?
Yes. You may call the ChildNet's Adoption Hotline in Broward at (954) 414-6001 for more information.