Adoption FAQs

What is adoption?

Adoption is a legal action that transfers all parental rights to adoptive parents, making the adopted child a legal member of the new family with all the rights and privileges of a biological child.

Who can adopt?

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 60s or in your 20s, an apartment renter or a homeowner, a person of modest means or wealth. The fact is that there is no one description of people who can be prospective adoptive parents. If you have the ability to love a child, to provide the basics for a child and to make a lifelong commitment, you can be an adoptive parent. A few things will prevent you from becoming an adoptive parent, such as certain felony criminal records.

Who can be adopted?

Unmatched children in foster care whose birth parents’ parental rights have been terminated by the courts can be adopted.

How can I find out about the children available for adoption?

Your counselor will provide information and pictures of children available for adoption.  Please visit Kids Central’s Adoption Spots to see some of the children looking for permanent homes.  You may also visit the Adoption Exchange or Adopt Florida.

How long does it take to adopt?

The answer varies from case to case, depending on how quickly your family is matched with one or more of our children.  The process to become a prospective adoptive parent, including background checks, medical exams, training and home studies, can usually be completed within eight months.

Will I get historical information on the child I adopt?

You will be given information regarding the child’s history, daily habits and other likes and dislikes.

Once I adopt a child are there support services available after adoption?

Kids Central has a Post Adoption Liaison who is available daily to assist with your familial needs.

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 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.

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.

Can the biological parents take the child back?

No. Florida’s children are not made available 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