Adoptive families change a foster child’s life forever by providing a permanent and loving home that most of these children have never known. Children waiting for adoption can be any age, but most are between 5 and 17. They live in temporary foster homes or group homes. Most of have been removed from their families because of abuse or neglect. Parental rights have been terminated and they are wards of the state until they are adopted or until they “age out” of the system at 18. Many have physical, emotional or intellectual disabilities. They each have wonderful strengths that they are eager to share with their forever families.
Who Can Adopt
Individuals who are willing to support a special child by offering a safe, loving home. Adoptive parents can be married or single, with or without children.
Steps to becoming an adoptive parent
1) Orientation- Attend an informational meeting in your area to learn more about the requirements of being a foster or adoptive parent. Afterwards, you fill out an application to continue with the process. The application process includes background checks and references.
In Broward County, ChildNet holds an orientation on the third Thursday of every month from 6:30 to 8pm at their offices at 313 N. State Rd 7 in Plantation. For more information, call Jim McElhannon at 954-461-9219.
2) Preparation and Selection- If you meet the basic requirements, you are invited to attend MAPP(Model Approaches to Partnerships in Parenting), a free parenting and training course (offered nights and weekends), that is provided by local adoption network agencies. In Broward County, families that want to adopt without fostering first are licensed by ChildNet.
3) Family Study- An adoption case worker will visit your home and meet your family. You discuss your personal history, family interests, and lifestyle to determine the type of children that would best fit in your home.
4) Home Study and Application Approval- Once your home study is approved, adoption staff will begin searching for children who may best fit your family.
5) Matching Children and Families- Once a child has been identified, the meeting and visitation process begins. If everything goes well, the child will eventually move into your home.
6) Adoption Finalization- After a three month supervision period of the child living in your home, the adoption process is completed by going to court to finalize the adoption.
If you are interested in finding out more about becoming an adoptive parent or a foster parent, call the Heart Gallery at 954-918-3008.