Financial Assistance (Subsidy)
Most children adopted from foster care are eligible for “Florida’s Adoption Assistance Program” which provides cash assistance to help offset the cost of raising the child(ren) until he/she turns 18 years old. Specific subsidy information for Florida can be found at the Florida State Subsidy Profile portion of the North American Council on Adoptable Children website.
Reimbursement for Expenses
The Department of Children and Families is authorized to reimburse up to $1,000 in nonrecurring expenses related to the adoption of a child which have been incurred by the adoptive parents. For purposes of this subsection, “nonrecurring expenses” means one-time expenses, such as attorney’s fees, court costs, birth certificate fees, travel expenses, agency fees, and physical examination fees. Visit Florida's Adoption Assistance Program website for more information.
Adopted children may be eligible for an adoption tax credit, which is based on the year that the adoption was finalized. Form 8839, Qualified Adoption Expenses can be used to figure the amount of your adoption credit. Please note that the law changes from year to year. More information can also be found at the Federal Adoption Tax Credit portion of the North American Council on Adoptable Children web site.
Each child’s Adoption Medicaid is renewed annually by the lead community-based agency. All adopted children receive Medicaid until their 18th birthday. However, youth adopted after the age of 16 years old will receive Medicaid until their 21st birthday. Based on IV-E funding, should the family move out of State, Medicaid may not continue.
McKay Scholarships have provided thousands of Florida students with special needs the opportunity to attend a private school. The McKay scholarship is for eligible K-12 students with disabilities to attend a public or private school of their choice. Visit McKay Scholarship Program FAQs for more information.
Post Secondary and Vocational Education
Florida's children adopted from care are eligible for free tuition at any Florida state university, community college or vocational school in Florida up until age 28 for their Bachelor’s degree. Additionally, some Florida private institutions of higher learning will provide free tuition for children who have been adopted from foster care.
Post-Secondary Education Support and Services (PESS)
The PESS program provides financial support to eligible young adults ages 18-23. A child is eligible for Post-Secondary Education Support and Services if he/she was adopted at or after age 16 and spent a minimum of six months in licensed care within 12 months immediately preceding adoptive placement; has earned a standard high school diploma, or its equivalent; and is enrolled in a college or vocational school that is Florida Bright Futures eligible.
In addition to services and counselors, support groups are a great way to learn from other families that have likely experienced what you are experiencing. Adoption support groups can be found in most communities.
Kids In Distress Post Adoptive Support Group meets the fourth Wednesday of every month, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm in Broward County. Contact Alaina McCoy at 954.390.7654 for more information about joining a support group. Babysitting is offered for both group meetings.
Parent-2-Parent Support Group in South Broward. This new adoptive support group is sponsored by the Foster Care and Adoption Community Solutions in Broward County for adoptive, foster parents and relative caregivers. Contact Rosa Gordon by phone at (954) 439-8832 or email at Rosa@FABFamilyz.org for more information about meeting dates and times.
Broward County Foster & Adoptive Parent Association (FAPA) holds a support group on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm at Plantation Community Church, 6501 W. Broward Blvd. Visit the website or contact Tina Severance-Fonte by phone at 954.804.9220 for more information.
Adoption Competent Mental Health Therapists
Professional help can be found in many places. Licensed Mental Health Professionals in your community who have completed Adoption Competency training who are specialized in helping adoptive families. They provide therapy for a child who has experienced trauma should be in a family setting, with the therapist providing the parent(s) the tools.
Post Adoption Services Counselors
There also are Post Adoption Services Counselors throughout the state in every Community Based Care Lead Agency who can help you and your family. All families need help at some point in their lives, whether big or small. Unfortunately, many adoptive parents do not request post-adoption services for many months or even years after a problem arises. Many times additional support is needed during the teen years because many teens “start wondering about their birth families”.
For Broward County specific services visit the following partners:
- ChildNet - Post Adoption Services
- Kids In Distress - Post Adoption Services and Kinship Care Services
- The Bougainvillea House - Mental Health Services