Steps to Adopting in Miami-Dade County

1. Call

If you see a child on the Miami Heart Gallery that you’d like to learn more about, please contact Citrus Family Care Network at:
Sergio Ferrer, Adoption Specialist: 305.455.6072
Katrella Smalls, Adoption Specialist: 305.455.6281
Bree Bofill, Adoption Specialist Supervisor: 305.455.2859
Citrus Family Care Network: 305.455.6000


If you already have an approved adoption home study and a specific child in mind, you can call us to learn more about the child and the adoption process. If you do not have a home study, you will need to contact us to learn more about the required training and home study process.

2. Orientation

Orientation is a one- to two-hour presentation that will give you a chance to meet and speak with experienced trainers who will explain the foster care system and how children in foster care become legally eligible for adoption.

3. Preparation Course

Adoptive parent preparation courses are mandatory. They are designed to give you the opportunity to assess yourself and your family, as well as to explore and learn about foster care- and adoption-related issues and the adoption process.

4. Home Study

Once the required training is completed and if you are looking to adopt a special needs child, a home study will be completed. The purpose of the home study is to make sure you can provide a child with a safe and secure home. During this time, local, state and federal background checks will be conducted on all adults living in the household. You will be required to supply references from your employer and school officials if you have children in school, and character references from individuals who know you and your family. An adoption worker will visit your home at least once to talk to you and other family members about adoption. The worker will likely ask you about your reasons for wanting to adopt, your financial situation, and your parenting style and philosophy. If you are married, you may be asked about the strength of your marriage. It’s important to be completely open and honest during these meetings. Keep in mind that everyone involved is working together to ensure a successful adoption.

5. Approval

All of this information is gathered into a home study packet and sent for approval to an adoption specialist supervisor. You will be notified as soon as your application is approved.

6. Finding the Right Match

You may continue to look at eligible children on the web and attend adoptive parent support group meetings. When your home study is completed, you may attend recruitment activities including picnics or events where foster children who are eligible for adoption are in attendance.

7. Match Found!

At last, you and your adoption worker have identified a child who seems to be a perfect match. Now is the time to learn as much as you can about that child. You may talk to the child’s foster parents or social worker to gain valuable insight into the child’s personality and background. And at the same time you are learning about the child, the adoption worker is sharing information about you and your family with the child. Some families prepare a photo album with pictures of their home, family members, pets and the general neighborhood as a way to introduce themselves to the child prior to an initial visit. When the child is comfortable, an initial short visit occurs. This initial visit is followed by longer and longer visits until the adoption worker, child and family agree that an overnight or extended visit can occur. There is no set timeframe for getting to know each other. The official placement in your home will occur when you, the child and the adoption worker determine that the child is ready.

8. Placement Supervision

After the child is placed in your home, an adoption worker must make monthly visits in order to assess the child’s adjustment and to determine whether new or additional services are needed.

9. Finalization

When a determination has been made that the child is ready to be adopted, your attorney will schedule a hearing before a judge. The adoption will be legalized at the hearing and the child will officially become part of your family.