There are many paths to adoption in Florida. In this article, explore a recently expanding option for many families: a foster care adoption. Read on below to find out more and see if this is the right path for your family.
Temporary To Permanent Care
If you are already a foster parent or are interested in becoming a foster parent, this could be an option. In this instance a child is placed in your care temporarily with the goal of reuniting with their biological family. If, however, their biological family has their parental rights subsequently terminated, you can then begin to pursue adoption of your foster child(ren). The process here is the same as any other adoption, including application, training, home study, screening, and eventual finalization and formal placement.
You should be aware that with foster care, the primary goal is to reunite children with their biological families. Oftentimes, the foster car system achieves that goal. Only about 20% of foster children become available for adoption. Typically, the court grants priority to biological relatives first. The system forces foster families to wait their turn.
Adopting From Foster Care
If you are not already a foster parent, an option may be to instead adopt from foster care. This is for those children whose families have already had their parental rights terminated and are awaiting permanent placement. You can choose a child or sibling group from a photo listing and pursue the adoption process without also needing to become a foster parent. This could be a faster path to adoption for some.
Who Is Eligible To Adopt?
As with all adoptions, there is a process to follow in order to pursue foster care adoption. While requirements can vary depending on the specific circumstances, there are a few requirements to consider before a child can be placed in your home.
- An adoption home study. This process includes a background check for everyone in the home over the age of twelve.
- Home inspections.
- Financial review.
- Family interviews.
Who Is Eligible For Adoption?
Only those children whose biological families have already had parental rights terminated can be adopted. Sometimes, parents voluntarily waive their rights. On the other hand, courts sometimes force a termination of parental rights. Some older children may need to consent to their own adoption. Adult adoption is also available. Adult adoption is for those who have reached the age of majority and have “aged out” of the foster care system.
As with all adoptions, there is a significant financial and time investment to take into consideration before beginning the process of foster care adoption. Above all, it is important to understand that foster care adoption is only one of several paths to adoption in Florida. There are many pros and cons to any approach to adoption. It is necessary to weigh the pros and cons to find the best fit for your family. One of our team members is available to discuss your options and walk you and your family through every step of this journey.