The first step on your adoption journey is learning about what exactly the journey entails. Adoption is a unique way to build your family while changing children’s lives and enriching your own. While becoming a family is the biggest benefit, the State of Florida has many more to offer.

Basic Steps to Becoming An Adoptive Parent


Learn more about becoming an adoptive parent with our partner agency Eckerd Connects Community Alternatives. (SEE ORIENTATION SCHEDULE)

PPT Class

Attend a Professional Parenting Training course.

Home Study

Complete an adoption application and home study to help determine the right child for your family.


Talk with adoptive families at our Supporting Heart meet-ups.


After viewing the children available for adoption on website, submit an inquiry on any child. (SEE CHILDREN AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION)

Match & Visitation

Match with a Heart Gallery child, teen or sibling group. Begin meeting and visiting with a child in need of a forever family.


After a child lives in your home a minimum of 90 days, the adoption will be finalized.

Benefits of Adopting Florida’s Waiting Children

  • Affordable

    Adopting one of Florida’s children from foster care costs little or nothing. The required processes including adoptive parent training class, home study, even court costs and fees, are provided free of charge.

  • College Tuition

    Children adopted from foster care are eligible for free tuition to Florida state universities, community colleges or vocational schools in Florida until age 28. Some Florida private post-secondary schools will provide tuition stipends for children who have been adopted from foster care.

  • Common Interests

    When you adopt one of Florida’s children, they come with a child study that summarizes the child’s history and personality. You have the opportunity to find a child with similar interests to bond over and whose needs match the strengths of your family.

  • Tax Credits

    This tax credit is based on reasonable and necessary expenses associated with welcoming a new child to your home through a legal adoption. The maximum federal adoption tax credit is currently $13,400 per child. The federal adoption tax credit is a non-refundable credit, meaning taxpayers may only get a refund if they have federal income tax liability.

  • Support Groups

    Many communities have adoptive parent support groups, community-based care agencies, faith-based, civic and other organizations tasked with helping support families that adopt Florida’s children. Efforts are underway to strengthen these supports statewide.

  • Monthly Financial Support

    Families adopting Florida’s waiting children may qualify for a monthly subsidy to help offset ongoing costs through the “Florida’s Adoption Assistance Program” until the child turns 18 years old. This amount is negotiated on a child-by-child basis, depending on the child’s unique needs and the availability of funds.

  • Health Care

    All children who receive a monthly subsidy are eligible to receive health care through a Medicaid program until age 18, and some children are eligible until age 21.

  • Legally Secure

    The children listed on our site are all available for adoption. This means the courts have terminated the parental rights of their birth parents. Prospective adoptive parents are frequently concerned that a child’s birth parents may change their minds and want the child back. This form of adoption is very secure.

  • Older Children

    No diapers! When adopting an older child, you will (hopefully) be sharing more fishing trips and football games than sleepless nights. Adoptions after 16 years of age may be eligible for additional Education and Medicaid benefits if they spent a minimum of 6 months in foster care immediately preceding the adoption placement.

  • Siblings

    Adopting a sibling group means instant family. The bond among siblings is the longest relationship someone will have in their lifetime. By adopting a sibling group, you are giving brothers and sisters a chance to grow up together in a forever family.

  • State Employee Adoption Benefit

    State Employees and other eligible applicants who adopt a child from Florida’s child welfare system will receive a one-time check; however, the funding for this program varies each year.