Benefits of Adopting Florida's Children
Adoption provides unique opportunities to change children's lives and enrich the life of the adoptive parent or family that welcomes them in. Adopting one of Florida's children from foster care offers many special benefits.
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. View resources in your community.
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 MAPP or PRIDE 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 $13,170 per child. For the 2010 and 2011 the credit was refundable, meaning that eligible taxpayers can get it even if they owe no tax for that year. For the 2012 tax year the tax credit exists, but is not refundable. 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.
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.
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. This amount is negotiated on a child-by-child basis, depending on the child's unique needs and the availability of funds.
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.
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 Employee Adoption Benefit
Effective July 1, 2015, the Adoption Benefit Program for Qualifying State Employees was reestablished and will be administered by the Department of Children and Families. State Employees and other eligible applicants who adopt a child from Florida’s child welfare system will receive a one-time lump sum of $10,000 for a special needs child and $5,000 for a non-special needs child. The funding for this program varies each year and the amount of the annual appropriation affects how many applicants will receive the 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.