The Adoption Process

Heartland for Children is looking for families who are interested in becoming a forever family for children in the foster care system who are looking for adoptive homes.

Adoption through the foster care system can be challenging at times, but it is a very rewarding experience.  These children require a strong family who can provide a loving, safe, and stable environment to help them develop and feel comfortable as a part of their foster family. 

Almost anyone is eligible to apply to become an adoptive parent — you may be single, married, divorced, or widowed.  You may currently have children, or not.  You may own a home, or rent.  There is no minimum income requirement, but applicants must have legal and stable income that is sufficient to support themselves and their families prior to fostering.  There are many benefits to adopting a child or teenager; for instance, college tuition for children in care is funded 100% by the state of Florida. 

If you live in Polk, Hardee, or Highlands Counties and wish to register for the next adoption training course, please contact Gwen Hinkle at (863) 519-8900 ext. 289. 

For additional information on adopting through foster care, please contact Ashley Beckwith at (863) 519-8900 ext. 219.

Steps to Becoming an Adoptive Parent

The following is a brief look into the basic steps to becoming an adoptive parent. 

Adoption Training Course

Adoption Training Course

Your family will be invited to attend the eight week adoption training course.   This is a free adoption training course that provides information related to domestic state adoptions, adoption services and supports available, and education about the impact of trauma and how to best help children heal in relationships from prior trauma. 

Preparation & Selection

Preparation & Selection

During the adoption training course, families will complete paperwork as part of the preparation and selection process.  Families will be required to complete certain screening and paperwork such as background screening, health screening, verification of financial stability, and obtaining references.   This is an impactful time for families to identify strengths and needs within your own family that will help in identifying the best match for your family when adopting. 

 

Adoption Home Study

Adoption Home Study

Once your family successfully completes the adoption training course, you family will be referred to receive an adoption home study.  An adoption specialist and the home study agency will visit your home and meet your family.  You will discuss your motivation behind wanting to adopt, your family interests and routines, your personal history, etc., which will determine the type of child(ren) that would best match your family. 

Matching Process

Matching Process

Once your family completes an adoption home study and has been approved, your family can begin searching for a child or children that would be a match for your family.  You will be assigned an adoption specialist case worker who will help guide you along in this process. 

Adoption Finalization

Adoption Finalization
After a successful match and visitation period with the child(ren), your family will have a three month supervision period in which the child(ren) will live in your home prior to the legal adoption finalization date.