How do I begin the adoption process?
The first step is to think about the kind of adoption you want to do. Do you want to adopt a child domestically or internationally? If you decide to adopt domestically, you can adopt a child or children privately or through the foster care system. If you decide to adopt through the foster care system, you should contact your local Department of Children and Families office for more information. If you decide on a private adoption, either domestic or international, now is the time to begin your home study.
Where do I get a home study?
If you are adopting through an adoption agency in your state, they can provide you with a home study. If you are using an attorney or an out-of-state agency for your adoption, then you will need to find a home study provider. Forever Families is a Florida Department of Children and Families licensed home study agency. We have expertise in both domestic and international home studies. We are happy to work with you and your adoption attorney or adoption agency in order to make your dream of adoption a reality.
How much does adoption cost?
The costs of private adoptions vary greatly. It is best to research several adoption agencies and/or attorneys. International adoptions have different costs based on the country involved. Be sure to figure in the cost of travel and in-country stays when calculating the cost. The home study is a relatively small part of the cost of adoption. At Forever Families, we currently charge $1250 for a domestic home study and $1750 for an international home study. Post-placement visits will also be required. The number of visits varies depending on where and when the adoption is finalized. Our charge for these visits is $300 each. Adoption through the foster care system will be free of charge.
Why do I need a home study?
A home study is a detailed report explaining why you would make a good adoptive parent. A well-written home study will make the reader feel as if he or she knows you, and can picture a child in your home.
Why do I need post-placement visits?
Post-placement visits (or post-adoption visits, when the adoption was finalized in another country), are done to make sure that the adoption is going well. It is a time to have your questions answered, as you care for your new child. At Forever Families, we include a free, informal developmental screening to make certain that your child is developing on target. If your child appears to have any sort of delay or problem, we can give you referral information to local resources. It is also a time where we check on the well-being of your child, so that we can report to the court or the child’s country of origin, how well he or she is doing in your home.
How long will the home study and adoption process take?
The adoption process can take anywhere from a few months to over a year. It depends on how open you are to child characteristics, such as age, sex, and race. Different foreign countries vary in the length of time that it takes to complete an adoption. At Forever Families, we guarantee that your home study will be completed within one month of your home visit, as long as you have provided all of the necessary documentation and your state, local, and Department of Children and Families clearances have been returned to us.
What if I still have questions?
While rewarding, adoption can be a confusing process, particularly for the beginner. Please feel free to call or e-mail us at any time to answer your questions.