Steps to Adopting a Child
If you are interested in beginning the adoption process, please fill out the Contact Form. Once the form is complete, follow these remaining seven steps which are in place to help ensure the adoptive parents and family and the adoptive child(ren) have the best chance of success as a family unit.
The first step is an orientation meeting for prospective adoptive parents. At this meeting, prospective parents will meet experienced adoptive or foster parents and one or more counselors who will provide an overview of the whole process, time frames involved, and the training schedule.
Preparation Course – PRIDE Adoption Training
All prospective adoptive parents must complete Parent Resources for Information, Development, and Education (PRIDE) training. The purpose of the training is twofold: it allows parents to assess themselves and their family’s readiness to adopt their family’s readiness to adopt while exploring and learning about adoption issues.
PRIDE is a ten-week information and preparation course. Class sessions are usually scheduled at night or on weekends. Due to limited space, participation is by invitation only. Participants will receive a letter of invitation to attend one of the PRIDE classes with more detailed information regarding the class.
PRIDE classes occur at:
4050 Riomar Drive, Suite 2
Rockledge, FL 32955
For more information about PRIDE contact:
Community Adoption Liaison
Prior to a home study, please fill out the Evaluation Checklist Form. A home study includes the following parts:
- You will be required to provide information about your health.
- Background checks at the local, state, and federal levels will be conducted, including having your fingerprints screened at the national level.
- References will be requested from your employer, school officials if you have children in school, and character references from individuals who know you and your family.
- A counselor will visit your home one or more times to complete the home study. If you have children, the counselor must ask them a few questions about the adoption.
Topics of discussion with you and your spouse, if you have one, are:
- Why do you want to adopt?
- Describe your childhood.
- What are the strengths of your marriage?
- How do you think a new child in your home will alter your lifestyle?
- Describe your financial situation.
- Describe your parenting style/philosophy.
The information is gathered into a home study packet and sent for approval to an adoption specialist. You will receive a notification upon approval.
Following your home study approval, upload your completed home study document and fill out our Adoption Form. Replies typically take 5-7 business days. In the meantime, you may continue to look at the available children for adoption and attend recruitment activities, primarily when foster children available for adoption are in attendance. Notify your counselor when you are interested and need more information about a specific child or sibling group.
When the needs of a child or sibling group are matched with your family, your adoption counselor will inform you of the pre-placement activities. The official placement in your home will happen when you, the child, and the counselor determine the child is ready.
After a child is placed, a counselor must make monthly visits to assess the child’s adjustment to see if additional services are needed. The supervision period ends when the counselor provides “consents to adoption” to your attorney.
Your attorney will schedule a hearing before a judge. The adoption will become legal at this hearing, and the child will legally become part of your family.