Adopting a Foster Child in the State of Florida
In the United States, the number of children in foster care had been steadily declining. However, recently that number has begun to increase again. The majority of that increase, approximately 2/3 of the increase, has occurred in five states. The state of Florida is one of those states. An increase in substance abuse is the common denominator in all five states. In Florida, authorities have cracked down on the abuse of prescription drugs. The result is that parents have switched to heroin and other illegal drugs. This results in more children being removed from their homes. The foster care population in the state of Florida increased by 24% between 2013 and 2015. By comparison, the number of children in foster care increased by less than 7% nationally.
This is obviously very sad. However, it does mean an increase in the number of children available for adoption. According to the Florida Department of Children and Families, there are up to 800 children available for adoption at any time in the State of Florida. Not surprisingly, there is a great need for adoptive homes for special needs children, sibling groups and teens.
What Benefits Are Available When Adopting a Child in Foster Care in Florida?
Adopting a Foster Care Child is Affordable
Private adoptions can be expensive, costing as much as $30,000. However, when you adopt a child that is in Florida’s foster care system, it will be at little or even no cost to you. The home study and parenting classes that are required of adoptive parents are provided free of charge. The agency will also pay filing fees and court costs if the adoptive parents cannot afford them.
Florida has a Very Supportive Adoption Community
That community consists of other adoptive families. They offer support, including a 24-hour hotline for any issues you may face. Depending on where you live, there are likely a number of support groups, faith based, and community based organizations, as well as other organizations that support Florida’s adoptive families.
Free College Tuition
This benefit can be particularly important for adoptive parents considering adopting an older child. Free tuition is available to adopted foster children at all of Florida’s public universities, vocational schools and community college until the age of 28. This benefit is also provided at some private institutions in the state of Florida.
Financial Support May Be Available
Depending on the needs of your child, you may be eligible for monthly payments until your child reaches the age of 18. Any payments will be determined on a child by child basis.
The federal government offers a federal tax credit that you may be eligible to receive. Additionally, the state of Florida also offers an adoption benefit that you may be entitled to. Be aware that government funding can vary based on budgeting issues.
If You Are Considering an Adoption, Contact Us Today
If you are considering an adoption, contact the office of Fort Lauderdale attorney Sandra Bonfiglio. We are prepared to assist you throughout each step of your case.