Adoption FAQs

Picture2This is where we answer Adoption FAQs for adoptive parents and birth mothers. If you have additional questions, or would like to speak with a case worker, please contact Loryn Smith at lsmith@finallyhomecas.com or 813-777-0885. 

How long will it take to adopt a child?

There are many factors that play into the placement of a child, including, but not limited to the scope of what a family will accept.  This includes birth mother history, race, medical issues,and gender.  Typically, the average wait time would be between two and three years; of course with a more open profile, this wait time can be shorter.

What are the steps to adoption?

Please refer to the “Adoption Process Steps” page for complete information.

What is involved in a home study?

The home study is a document prepared by an agency staff person and will be submitted to the courts for final approval of an adoption.  Florida Statute 63.092 requires the following:

PRELIMINARY HOME STUDY.–Before placing the minor in the intended adoptive home, a preliminary home study must be performed by a licensed child-placing agency, a child-caring agency registered under s. 409.176, a licensed professional, or agency described in s. 61.20(2), unless the adoptee is an adult or the petitioner is a stepparent or a relative. If the adoptee is an adult or the petitioner is a stepparent or a relative, a preliminary home study may be required by the court for good cause shown. The department is required to perform the preliminary home study only if there is no licensed child-placing agency, child-caring agency registered under s. 409.176, licensed professional, or agency described in s. 61.20(2), in the county where the prospective adoptive parents reside. The preliminary home study must be made to determine the suitability of the intended adoptive parents and may be completed prior to identification of a prospective adoptive minor. A favorable preliminary home study is valid for 1 year after the date of its completion. Upon its completion, a copy of the home study must be provided to the intended adoptive parents who were the subject of the home study. A minor may not be placed in an intended adoptive home before a favorable preliminary home study is completed unless the adoptive home is also a licensed foster home under s. 409.175. The preliminary home study must include, at a minimum:

(a)  An interview with the intended adoptive parents;

(b)  Records checks of the department’s central abuse registry and criminal records correspondence checks under s. 39.0138 through the Department of Law Enforcement on the intended adoptive parents;

(c)  An assessment of the physical environment of the home;

(d)  A determination of the financial security of the intended adoptive parents;

(e)  Documentation of counseling and education of the intended adoptive parents on adoptive parenting;

(f)  Documentation that information on adoption and the adoption process has been provided to the intended adoptive parents;

(g)  Documentation that information on support services available in the community has been provided to the intended adoptive parents; and

(h)  A copy of each signed acknowledgment of receipt of disclosure required by s. 63.085.

If the preliminary home study is favorable, a minor may be placed in the home pending entry of the judgment of adoption. A minor may not be placed in the home if the preliminary home study is unfavorable. If the preliminary home study is unfavorable, the adoption entity may, within 20 days after receipt of a copy of the written recommendation, petition the court to determine the suitability of the intended adoptive home. A determination as to suitability under this subsection does not act as a presumption of suitability at the final hearing. In determining the suitability of the intended adoptive home, the court must consider the totality of the circumstances in the home. No minor may be placed in a home in which there resides any person determined by the court to be a sexual predator as defined in s. 775.21 or to have been convicted of an offense listed in s. 63.089(4)(b)2.

History.–s. 9, ch. 73-159; s. 5, ch. 75-226; s. 18, ch. 77-147; s. 5, ch. 78-190; s. 4, ch. 80-296; s. 3, ch. 82-166; s. 2, ch. 84-28; s. 1, ch. 85-189; s. 9, ch. 92-96; s. 126, ch. 98-403; s. 19, ch. 2001-3; s. 20, ch. 2003-58; s. 14, ch. 2004-371; s. 33, ch. 2006-86; s. 15, ch. 2008-151.

How does Finally Home select their families?

Finally Home is a Christ-centered agency that is looking to partner with families in fulfilling God’s plan for their lives.  We look for families that understand our philosophy and are committed to our mission.  At the least, we require that families be open to meeting biological parents, are willing to provide pictures and updates for the agreed upon duration, and are open about adoption with their child(ren).

Are there any training requirements?

Finally Home requires each family complete a twelve-hour pre-adoption course.  This course familiarizes families with our agency philosophy, and covers adoption-relevant materials.

What information will I have on the biological parent(s)?

Each birth mother completes a social/medical history which is provided to the family with whom she has been matched.  This information relies upon the birth parents’ report.  Although we request medical records, we do not have the authority to require a birth parent to submit to drug testing or other intrusive medical tests.

What information will the birth parent(s) have on our family?

Each family will complete a profile which will be provided to the birth parent(s).  It is common for birth parents to want to know the first name of adoptive parents and the state in which they reside.

What services are birth mothers with your agency provided?

Because we are linked with a pregnancy resource center, birth mothers have a wide variety of available services from community resource linking, to life coaching, to specific adoption counseling throughout the pregnancy and after the delivery.  Finally Home does have a Birth Mother Support Group which is open to any birth mother in our community.

When may a birth mother sign consents?

Florida law states the following:

Florida Statute 63.082

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