Foster Children Adoption

The children available for adoption on this website are located in Central Florida and currently in foster care, or in some cases, the children are residing temporarily with a relative caregiver.  All of these children, for whatever reason, are a ward of the state and under the state of Florida’s care through Kids Central, one of its community-based care agencies.

Explore Adoption logo

Explore Adoption is a Florida-statewide adoption initiative aimed at promoting the benefits of public adoption.  Explore Adoption urges families to consider creating or expanding their families by adopting a child who is older, has special needs, or is a part of a sibling group.   The initiative puts a new face on public adoption by telling many stories of families who have enriched their lives by adopting Florida’s children.  Florida will never give up on finding an adoptive family for a child.

On any given day in Florida there are approximately 750 children available for adoption from foster care.  Some enter care because they were abused, neglected or abandoned or because their parents were unable to care for them due to the parent’s drug abuse, imprisonment or other impairment. In other cases, parents are unable to cope with the child’s medical needs or disabilities.  When a Florida’s child in foster care becomes available for adoption, the legal rights of their biological parents have been permanently terminated. Life histories are shared with prospective adoptive parents of these children that come from a wide range of backgrounds, circumstances, races and ethnicity.

tricycleParental substance use continues to be a serious issue in the child welfare system and is the primary reason to remove a child from the parent’s home in Florida.  In 1999 the Department of Health and Human Services discovered that maltreated children of parents with substance use disorders often remain in the child welfare system longer and experience poorer outcomes than other children, and not much has changed in recent years. In addition to the abuse of street drugs, prescription drug abuse is on the rise at alarming levels.  Addressing the multiple needs of these children and families is challenging.

Parents with substance abuse disorders cannot function effectively in a parental role. This can be due to both physical and mental impairments caused by alcohol or other drugs; domestic violence which may or may not be a result of substance abuse; depletion of household resources to purchase drugs and/or alcohol; frequent arrests, incarceration, and court dates; time spent seeking out, manufacturing, or using alcohol or drugs and being estranged from family members who would normally offer support.

Families in which one or both parents have substance abuse disorders, and particularly families with an addicted parent, often experience a number of other problems that affect parenting, including mental illness, unemployment, high levels of stress, and impaired family functioning, all of which can put children at risk for maltreatment. The basic needs of children, including nutrition, supervision, and nurturing, may go unmet due to parental substance abuse, resulting in neglect.

Special Needs Children

“Special needs” is a federal legal definition that applies to most children in care. It means the child qualifies for an adoption subsidy. It does not mean the child necessarily has any disability. In Florida, any of the following criteria qualifies a child for special needs assistance:

    • Children aged 8 or older who are often harder to place 
    • member of a sibling group being placed for adoption together
    • African American or racially mixed
    • significant emotional ties with foster parents or a relative caregiver
    • mental, physical or emotional handicap

TeensTeens

Teenagers in care need parents for love and guidance as they navigate the transition into adulthood. As an adoptive parent to a teen you will become a mentor, a cheerleader, a teacher and a friend. By providing the strong foundation of a permanent family, you give a teenager the security and confidence to make the good decisions that lead to a successful future.  Adopting a teenager is a great choice for older parents who are concerned about their ability to keep up with young children. Also, when you adopt a teenager from community-based care, tuition to one of Florida’s state universities, colleges or vocational schools is free!

Siblings

In the past, brothers and sisters separated from their birth parents because of abuse or neglect were often adopted into different homes. This was partially because younger siblings found homes more readily, leaving older siblings in temporary care. Today, adoption recruiters work hard to keep siblings together, finding these children do better if they have a chance to grow up together with their brothers and sisters.

family w special needsDisabilities and Medical Conditions

Some of the children who wait the longest to find forever families are children with disabilities or medical conditions. Throughout Florida, hundreds of children with disabilities or medical conditions are looking for families who will embrace them and experience the unique rewards of adopting a child with special needs.  The Florida’s Medical Foster Care Program (MFC) is a coordinated effort between the Florida Medicaid Program within the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Children’s Medical Services, Department of Health and the Child Welfare and Community-Based Care Program within the Department of Children and Families. The purpose of MFC is to enhance the quality of life for medically complex foster children allowing them to develop to their fullest potential in a home based program.

The program provides family-based care for medically complex children, under the age of 21, in foster care who cannot safely receive care in their own homes. They must be identified as needing medically necessary services to meet their medically complex condition, be in the custody of DCF, and be medically stable for care in the home setting. The MFC Program establishes and supervises the oversight and training of foster parents to provide MFC services for children with medically complex needs.