There are children all over the state of Florida who are looking for a Forever Family to be a part of. You could be the one who changes their story. For a list of Florida children looking for a home, click HERE.
The Adoption Process
Step 1 – Contact us! Let us know where you live. We will help you locate your local foster care and adoption agency.
Step 2 – Your local agency will invite you to an open-house or adoption orientation. Here you will learn about the becoming a foster or adoptive parent.
Step 3 – MAPP or PRIDE classes are next. All families interested in becoming foster or adoptive parents must take these classes. They go by different names in different areas but are generally the same. The Model Approach to Partnership in Parenting (MAPP) or Parent’s Resources for Information Development Education (PRIDE) are 30 hours of training which prepare you for your foster/adoptive journey.
Step 4 – Home Study - The home study is actually a ‘story of your life’ designed to make sure you can provide a child with a safe and nurturing environment. This includes:
· Information about your physical and emotional health.
· Background clearance is required to complete the adoption process.
· References will be requested from your employer, school officials, if you have children in school and character references from individuals who know you.
· A counselor will visit your home at least twice during the adoption process to complete the home study interview.
Some of the topics that will be discussed with you and your family include:
· Your reasons for adopting
· Your childhood
· The strengths of your marriage or current significant relationships
· Your thoughts on the effects of a new child on your current home
· Your financial situation
· Your parenting philosophy
Step 5 – Approval:All of the information is gathered into a home study packet that is reviewed and sent for final approval by the Director of Permanency.
Step 6 – Once Approved – Search Forever Family videos, state websites, and attend recruitment activities, especially the matching events where you can meet the children who are available for adoption. Once you've identified a child or sibling group who you are interested in, notify your counselor, who can provide more information. Several families may be interested in the same child(ren). The workers will want to take as much time as necessary to ensure the family selected is the right match.
Step 7 – Match - 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, including supervised and unsupervised visits with the child. Once you, your family, the child and the child's counselor determine that the child is ready, the official placement will occur.
Step 8 – Placement: After a child is placed, a counselor must make monthly visits in order to assess the child's adjustment and if new or additional services are needed. The supervision period lasts a minimum of 90 days and ends when the counselor provides "consent to adopt" to your attorney.
Step 9 – Forever Family! Your attorney will schedule a hearing before a judge. At this hearing the adoption will be legalized and the child will legally become a part of your family.
I've Seen the Child in the Video, What Next?
Contact us! If you have an approved Home Study we will help you submit it to the child’s agency of care. Remember there are many factors that go into selecting a forever family. There may be dozens if not hundreds of other families hoping to adopt the same child or sibling group. Please be patient.
If you are just beginning your adoption journey, we will help get you in touch with a local agency. – See adoption process
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it expensive to adopt?
NO! Foster care adoption if free (or minimal fee), health care is covered and in some states so is college!
Am I too old to adopt?
In most cases, NO! Empty nesters and retirees are highly encouraged to apply.
How long does the process take?
Generally you can be approved to adopt in approximately 6 – 8 months. Then the matching process begins!
Why are children in foster care?
Children are in foster care because they have suffered abuse, neglect, abandonment or the loss of their parents.
Who are the children in care?
Most children who are available for adoption are over the age of 8 or are available for adoption with siblings.
Who can adopt?
Most states allow couples, single parents, gay/lesbian parents to adopt from foster care.
What is "Aging-Out" of Foster Care?
Each year approximately 24,000 American teenagers turn 18 in foster care and head out into the world alone. Still in high school, they must find a job, a place to live and transportation. Forever Family has made the plight of these ‘aging out’ youth a priority and is working to change the way these young people are viewed and supported.
National studies show that within 2-4 years of leaving foster care at age 18:
· 51% were unemployed
· 40% were homeless
· 40% were receiving public assistance or incarcerated
· 84% became parents
· 46% did not finish high school
· 40% experienced drug or alcohol abuse
For more information, visit foreverfamily.org
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