Foster Parent Adoption
Foster parent adoption comprises over 80% of all child adoptions in Florida. Foster parents care for children who are in the custody of the Department of Children and Families. Once parental rights are terminated, children in DCF care are placed for adoption. If family members are not available, foster parents are the next people considered as adoptive parents. In Florida, part of the adoption subsidy provided to adoptive foster parents covers the cost of the foster parent adoption. If you are a local foster parent here in Palm Beach County, I’d be delighted to represent your family. Please give me a call at 561 588- 8611.
Eligibility for Foster Parent Adoption
There are five simple requirements to be eligible for a foster parent adoption:
- The most obvious requirement is that you must be a foster parent licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Families.
- The child must be “free for adoption,” which simply means that parental rights have been terminated and the order is final.
- You must be “matched” with the child by DCF or its designee.
- The child must be in your home for a minimum of 90 days while DCF officials supervise.
- You must receive a favorable recommendation from the Department of Children and Families once the 90 days has passed.
Foster Parent Adoption Time Frames
The adoption process itself is often quite swift. It is the “getting to” the adoption process that takes some time. Typically, birth parents are given a case plan for six months. If they are making progress, the plan is extended another six months. If the birth parents are successful, the child would return home, reunified with the parents and there would be no foster parent adoption.
For those birth parents who are unsuccessful on the case plan, their options are to
- Voluntarily agree to surrender Parental Rights OR
- Have a Termination of Parental Rights trial
Such a trial can easily take six months to happen, and another 3 to 6 months on appeal. (We’re at 36 months if all extensions were granted and you were not counting). It’s been my experience here in Palm Beach County over the past 30 years that it is around 18- 24 months from the start of the case when it is sent to the Adoption Unit for the match staffing. If that’s where you are now, please call me. I’d be happy to represent your family here in Palm Beach County for a foster parent adoption.