Foster Care in Florida: What You Need To Know
In the state of Florida, there are estimated to be around 23,000 children currently in the foster care system. Hundreds of those children are eligible for foster care adoption, however many of them never find a home. As you probably know, the main goal of foster care is for the children to eventually be reunited with their biological family. Most nearly 50% of the kids, that is the case. But what about the other half?
Each year, just over 20% of children in foster care become eligible for adoption through foster care. On average, these children spend upwards of three years waiting to be adopted. And in some cases, that puts them in an age-range that is undesirable to many adoptive families. Studies have shown that a child’s chance of being adopted continuously drops every year after the age of nine. By the age of 13, their chances of being adopted are around 1 in 10.
We encourage all adoptive families to consider adoption from foster care, specifically for older children These children deserve to grow up in a loving, supportive household just as much as younger children.
Who is Eligible For Foster to Adopt / Adopt from Foster Care in Florida?
The requirements to become a foster parent varies depending on the agency you work with, however, there are some standard requirements that all hopeful foster or adoptive parents in Florida are required to meet before welcoming a child into their home. Some of these requirements include:
- Adoption home study (background checks, abuse and neglect clearances, interviews, home inspections, financial/social/medical document review, etc.)
- Completion of a Model Approach to Partnership in Parenting course (MAPP) or the Parent Resource for Information Development and Education training (PRIDE).
- Completion of a licensing study.
It’s important to note that this process takes about six to ten months to complete, and that any adoption through foster care in Florida will need to be finalized in your local circuit court.
Different Types of Foster Parents
As a foster parent in Florida, you’d be responsible for providing a child with a safe and loving home on a temporary basis. The goal, in this case, is that the child eventually be reunited with their biological family or that they are adopted.
Foster to Adopt in Florida
In the state of Florida, foster parents have the option to permanently adopt a child after fostering them. This type of adoption can only occur when the child’s parental rights have been terminated, making them eligible for adoption from the foster care system.
It’s important to note that most children in foster care in Florida do not become eligible for adoption. In fact, if they do become eligible, priority is often given to biological family first.
Adopting from Foster Care in Florida
It is possible, in the state of Florida, to adopt through foster care without becoming a foster parent first. For most, this is seen as an expedited way of bringing a child into your family.
Since each of these programs has their own pro’s and con’s, it’s best to speak with a professional if you’re interested in adopting a child from foster care in Florida.
Which Children Can Be Adopted from Foster Care in Florida?
If a child’s parents’ rights have been terminated, then they are eligible for adoption in Florida. In addition, children 12 years of age or older must consent to their adoption.
While children “age out,” of foster care when they turn 18, it’s still possible for them to be adopted by foster parents who have cared for them in the past. This can be done through something called “adult adoption.”
Subsidies/Assistance for Adoption from Florida Foster Care
If you’re a foster care parent in Florida or are considering adoption from foster care, you’re most likely eligible for some kind of adoption assistance in the form of a Florida adoption subsidy.
If you are interested in adopting through foster care in Florida, Heart of Adoptions can help. We’re here to answer any questions you may have and to guide you through the entire process. Please call us at any time at 1-800- GO-ADOPT or visit our website for more information.