Every child deserves a forever family. There are more than 800 children in Florida’s foster care system waiting to be adopted. November is National Adoption Month. Join us and child welfare agencies across the state of Florida in the “One Heart. One Home. Change a Life Forever.” campaign.
Together, we can help children in foster care find their forever families.
No one outgrows the need for the love and support of a family. Children and teenagers in foster care want to be adopted. You can change a life forever by adopting a child from foster care. “One Heart. One Home. Change a Life Forever.”
Spread awareness by showing your heart for adoption on social media! Draw a heart on your hand, take a photo and share it, tagging @SelflessLoveFoundation and three of your friends.
To be eligible to adopt one of Florida's children, you may be married or single, already a parent or have never been a parent. You can be in your 60s or in your 20s. You can live in an apartment or own your home, be a person of modest means or wealth.
The most important requirement is love. If you can provide love and the basics for a child and to make a lifelong commitment, you can be an adoptive parent.
Since 2010, same-sex couples in Florida have had the same rights to adoption as heterosexual couples.
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.
The acceptable income level varies depending on each situation. An individual or family’s income will be addressed as part of the home study to ensure that an adoptive parent is currently financially stable and able to provide for the basic needs of a child. Potential adoptive parents will never be disqualified based on income alone.
The process varies from case to case, but the background checks, adoptive parent training and home study can usually be completed in less than nine months.
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.
No. Children in Florida's system of care do not become available for adoption until a court has already terminated the parental rights of their birth parents. This form of adoption is very secure.
"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:
Yes. The local community-based care agency that assisted you in completing your adoption provides support such as information and referral services, support groups, adoption-related libraries, case management, and training.
Adoption provides the gift of family. It’s an opportunity to change a child’s life forever. Adopting a child from foster care also offers many special benefits to the family.
While private forms of adoption can cost upwards of $30,000, adopting from foster care costs little or nothing. The required adoptive parent training class and home study are provided free of charge, and even court costs and fees can be paid by the agency if the family cannot afford them.
Children adopted from foster care in Florida are eligible for free tuition at any Florida state university, community college, or vocational school in Florida up until age 28. Additionally, some Florida private institutions of higher learning will provide free tuition for children who have been adopted from foster care. This is a great benefit for those considering adopting an older child who is closer to college age.
When you adopt from foster care, you can find a child with similar interests, or whose needs match the strengths of your family. There are available children who love sports, music, computers, animals, and many other interests. You can find a child who will complement your life and interests.
Monthly Financial Support
Families that adopt through the system of care will likely qualify for a monthly subsidy through the “Florida’s Adoption Assistance Program.” The amount is negotiated on a child-by-child basis, depending on the child's unique needs and the availability of funds. It continues until the child turns 18.
All of the children who receive a monthly subsidy are eligible to receive health care through the Medicaid program until age 18. Some children are eligible for Medicaid until age 21. Upon moving out of the State, your child may no longer be eligible for Medicaid due to their initial IV-E status, which is determined at the time of the child’s initial removal from their home.
Federal Adoption Tax Credit
Tax benefits for adoption include both a tax credit for qualified adoption expenses paid to adopt an eligible child and an exclusion from income for employer-provided adoption assistance. The credit is nonrefundable, which means it's limited to your tax liability for the year. However, any credit in excess of your tax liability may be carried forward for up to five years. The maximum amount (dollar limit) for 2021 is $14,440 per child.
There are real advantages to adopting an older child. First of all, the long trek from diapers to college is shortened considerably if the child you are adopting is 10, 14, or even 16. You may be sharing more fishing trips or football games than sleepless nights. Some adoptees may be eligible for additional Education and Medicaid benefits if he/she was adopted after reaching age 16 and spent a minimum of six months in foster care immediately preceding the adoption placement.
The dream of having a big family become reality if you adopt a sibling group. The bond among siblings is powerful. By adopting a sibling group, you are giving brothers and sisters a chance to grow up together in a new family – yours.
State Employees and Other Qualified Applicants
The State Employee and Other Qualified applicants program allows state employees, school district employees, and charter school employees to receive a one-time lump sum benefit of up to $10,000 for a special needs child and $5,000 for a non-special needs child when adopting through Florida’s child welfare system. In 2020, the law was expanded to include personnel who are employed with a state agency for at least one year, active military service members and veterans who live in Florida. The employee must meet all eligibility criteria to receive the one-time benefit.
Sign up and get connected with your local child welfare agency.
A case worker will guide you to get home study approved to start the process.
Register your family on Family-Match and a caseworker will identify your forever match.
Families interested in starting their adoption journey
when we were asked if we would be interested in meeting twin boys. The rest is history.
We were waiting for the child that was supposed to come to our family. All 3 of our children are exactly where they’re supposed to be.
Adoption transformed their lives, and ours. We are truly a family because of Selfless Love Foundation.