Most children in the foster care system eventually go home or are placed permanently with relatives or family friends. However, some children can never go home. These children are in need of permanent adoptive families. Nationwide, there are over 500,000 children in foster care who are legally available for adoption. In Florida there are over 1,000 children waiting to be adopted and many of these children are in our local area.
These children are usually older, school aged children. Many are members of sibling groups who want to grow up together in the same family. Some have mental, physical or emotional handicaps. Many are children of color. All have been abused, neglected or abandoned and are in need of loving forever families.
Adopting a child “with special needs” can be challenging and difficult. It requires adoptive parents to have patience and unconditional commitment to a child as he or she slowly learns to trust and heal from the experiences that brought them into the system. Adoption is also very rewarding for parents as they watch their children finally start to feel safe and settled and begin to blossom. Adoption means a second chance for a child to have a life long, loving forever family. Adoption means a commitment to a child’s entire life!
For more information about adoption, call 850-469-3847
Adoptive Home Requirements
- Both married and single adults may apply to adopt.
- Prior parenting experience is not required to adopt.
- Adoptive families must have sufficient income to meet their own expenses as well as those of the adopted child but there are no set income limits for adoptive families.
- Adoptive families must have sufficient room in their home for an adopted child but there are no set requirements about housing.
- Adoptive parents must have sufficient physical and emotional ability to meet the needs of an adopted child but otherwise there are no restrictions on the age or medical conditions of an adoptive applicant.
- Individuals convicted of certain crimes of violence such as child abuse, domestic violence or murder may not adopt.
All adoption applicants must complete a two hour orientation session and a 27-hour training program called PRIDE. There is no cost of commitment for anyone who takes this class. Adoption applicants must also participate in an adoptive home study. This process includes family as well as individual interviews, FBI, FDLE, local police checks and child abuse clearances, references and income verifications.
There is no cost to anyone who adopts a child or children from the foster care system through the Department of Children and Families and FamiliesFirst Network. Adoptive families receive training, supervision and post adoption support services. Adopted children are eligible to receive a monthly maintenance subsid, medical coverage through Medicaid and "free" college tuition..
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