A Community of Support
Other parents who have adopted Florida's children offer a wealth of support and information for new adoptive parents, and even maintain a 24-hour helpline. For more information, visit www.fsfapa.org. Plus, in many communities, adoptive parent support groups, community-based care agencies, faith-based, civic and other organizations help support families that adopt Florida's children. Efforts are underway to strengthen these supports.
While private forms of adoption can cost upwards of $30,000, adopting one of Florida's children 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.
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. 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 one of Florida's children, you have the opportunity to find a child with interests parallel to your own or whose needs match the strengths of your family. We have children who love sports, music, computers, animals and many other interests. You can find a child who will complement your life and interests.
Federal Adoption Tax Credit
The maximum federal adoption tax credit has been raised to $13,400 per child for adoptions finalized in 2015. The 2015 adoption tax credit is NOT a refundable credit, which means taxpayers can only get the credit refunded if they have federal income tax liability. In general, the credit is based on the reasonable and necessary expenses related to a legal adoption. For more information, go to http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc607.html or http://www.nacac.org/taxcredit/taxcredit2015.html
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.
Prospective adoptive parents often worry that a child's birth parents may change their minds and want the child back. Because 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.
Monthly Financial Support
Families that adopt one of Florida's children in care will likely qualify for a monthly subsidy to help offset ongoing costs through the “Florida’s Adoption Assistance Program” until he/she turns 18 years old. This amount is negotiated on a child-by-child basis, depending on the child's unique needs and the availability of funds. Specific subsidy information for Florida can be found at the Florida State Subsidy Profile portion of the North American Council on Adoptable Children website.
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 16-years of age and spent a minimum of 6 months in foster care immediately preceding the adoption placement.
Imagine an instant family. Even a large family can become reality if you adopt a sibling group. The bond among siblings is often powerfully strong. By adopting a sibling group, you are giving brothers and sisters who care deeply about each other 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. Effective July 1, 2020, the law was expanded to include OPS workers who are employed with a state agency for at least one year, active military service members and veterans that live in Florida. The employee must meet all eligibility criteria to receive the one-time benefit. Please contact your Human Resources Office, the Adoption Information Center at 1-800-96-ADOPT, or StateEmployee.Adoption@myflfamilies.com for additional information regarding the State Employee Adoption Benefit Program.
(Information sourced from AdoptFlorida)