Adopting a child is a lifelong commitment, one that you will treasure for all your days. But there are different ways to adopt a child, and you must understand the difference. But where do you begin?
Luckily, there are tons of great resources to help you as you expand your family.
If you are a Florida resident, you may be wondering, “What is the difference between DCF vs. private adoption”? Continue reading for more information on DCF and private adoption in Florida.
Private Adoption In Florida
Adopting a child is a life-changing experience that will fill your heart with joy. Before you embark on this rewarding life-altering journey, there are a few things you should know.
The private adoption process consists of the following steps:
- Application and interview
- Home study
- Match with a family
- Prepare for baby
- Baby is born
- Consent is signed
- Released from the hospital
- Filing of paperwork
The private adoption process in FL can seem overwhelming at times for prospective parents. It’s important to seek the right legal guidance during such a huge milestone in your life. Formal legal guidance can assist you through this exciting, life-changing journey you are embarking upon.
The Homestudy Program
The home study program determines the suitability of prospective parents looking to adopt a child. This process can be started before meeting your new family member. Once the program has been completed, it is valid for one year.
During the home study, a few things you should expect include an interview, a thorough background check, and an assessment of your home. Proof of financial security and a stable home environment is important, so bring your important documents with you.
Additionally, you can expect to receive educational materials and counseling on becoming an adoptive parent. Information will be provided to you on support services that are available for prospective parents.
DCF Adoption In Florida
Adopting a child from the Department of Families in Florida can be a rewarding experience. You will be joining a community of other parents who will provide you with a plethora of information and insight.
There are benefits to giving a Florida child a loving home. Children adopted from DCF are eligible for free tuition at any Florida state university, vocational school, or community college. This is extremely beneficial to those families who have older children in or nearing college age.
If you are considering adding more than one child to your family, consider adopting a sibling group. One of the most rewarding aspects of a DCF adoption in Florida is adopting a sibling group.
Siblings share a special bond; by adopting a sibling group, you allow brothers and sisters to grow up together in a loving home.
Children adopted from the Florida DCF who receive a monthly subsidy are eligible to enroll in the Medicaid program until they are 18 years old.
Adoption costs vary depending on which adoption path is right for you and your family. The costs of private adoption in FL can cost anywhere from $30,000 and up.
In comparison adopting a child from DCF often costs very little or nothing at all. Additionally, any required classes and the home study portion are provided free of charge. If financial difficulties are an issue, the agency may work with you to cover any court costs and associated fees.
Additionally, if your family qualifies, monthly support is available should you choose to adopt one of Florida’s children through the DCF. This monthly support is designed to help families through “Florida’s Adoption Assistance Program.” You need to keep in mind the amount of the monthly subsidy is determined on a child-by-child basis.
Criteria For Adoption Assistance
Adoption subsidies are available for children adopted out of foster care in the state of Florida. Federal (Title IV-E) and state are often referred to as (non-IV-E).
The state of Florida has a set of criteria to determine eligibility. The child must have strong emotional ties to their foster family. The child was permanently placed with the DCF agency.
A child deemed with special circumstances eligible for adoption assistance must also include one of the following:
- Emotionally disabled
- Physically disabled
- Developmentally disabled
- The child is a member of a sibling group
- Racially mixed parentage
- Eight years of age or older
Prospective adoptive parents should seek legal guidance before applying for adoption assistance. Your legal team can help answer any questions about the adoption assistance process.
Begin Your Adoption Journey
DCF vs. private adoption in the state of Florida are both uniquely rewarding avenues in the adoption process.
Expanding your family is a very personal decision, one of which you should give much time and research to determine what is best for your family ultimately. Develop your ideal adoption scenario. “Are you interested in welcoming a newborn into your family, or maybe you’d prefer adopting older siblings?”
Your adoption journey will be uniquely your own, with proper planning and guidance to help you every step of the way.
Expand Your Family
Adopting a child is a very selfless choice, one made out of love. Regardless of which path your adoption journey takes you down, remind yourself that you are providing a child the gift of a forever loving home.
Florida Adoptions would be honored to make your dreams of welcoming a child into your family come true. Contact us today for more information on DCF and private adoption in Florida. We look forward to speaking with you.