Clear Answers to Important Questions

Who can adopt a child?

To be eligible to adopt one of Florida’s children, you may be married or single, already a parent or never a parent, in your 20s or in your 60s, an apartment renter or a homeowner, a person of modest means or one of wealth. The fact is, there is no single description of people who can be prospective adoptive parents. If you have the ability to love a child, to provide the basics for their well-being and possess the ability to make a lifelong commitment, you can be an adoptive parent. There are a few things, however, that will prevent you from becoming an adoptive parent, such as certain felony criminal records.
 

What are the financial requirements (if any) to adopt a child in care?

The acceptable income level varies widely depending on each unique situation. Income will be addressed as part of the home study to ensure that an adoptive parent is financially stable and able to provide for the basic needs of a child. Potential adoptive parents will never be disqualified based on income alone.
 

What does an adoption cost?

When you adopt a child from a community-based care agency 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 may be reimbursed by the state. Other one-time-only expenses that may be reimbursed are birth certificate fees and travel expenses for visiting the child.
 

How long does the adoption process take?

This varies from case to case, but background checks, adoptive parent training and home study can usually be completed in less than nine months.

Will I receive a complete case history when I consider a child for adoption?

Yes. One of the benefits of adopting from the state is having access to a comprehensive case history. You will be given information on the child’s medical background, foster placements and developmental level. You will also be given insight into the child’s personality, habits, hobbies, aspirations, likes and dislikes. This information helps determine how the child will fit into your family.

Can the biological parents take the child back?

No. Florida’s children are not eligible for adoption until a court has already terminated the parental rights of their birth parents. This form of adoption is very secure.

What does “special needs” mean?

“Special needs” is a term used in federal rules to describe certain children eligible for financial assistance in the adoption process. It does not mean the child necessarily has a disability. In the state of Florida, one or more of the following criteria qualifies a child for special needs assistance:
  • Age 8 or older
  • Member of a sibling group being placed for adoption together
  • African-American or racially mixed
  • Significant emotional ties with foster parents or a relative caregiver
  • Mental, physical or emotional handicap

Is postadoption support provided?

Yes. Our Kids of Miami Dade/Monroe is there to assist families postadoption. The agency can provide support such as information and referral services, support groups, adoption-related libraries, case management and training.