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. 

Step 1: Call our Adoptions team at 863-519-8900 x 223 so that we can conduct a short interview to determine eligibility.

Step 2: Sign-up for an Adoption Info Session.

Step 3: After attending an Adoption Info Session, your family may 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, adoptions services, supports available, and education about the impact of trauma and how to best help children heal in relationships from prior trauma. 

If you live in Polk, Hardee, or Highlands Counties and wish to register for the next adoption training course, please call (863) 519-8900 ext. 223. 

Steps to Becoming an Adoptive Parent

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

Step 1:

Adoption Training Course

Adoption Training Course

Presently, your family may be invited to attend a virtual adoption training course. The course includes a Welcome Night, two full day classes, as well as a few online training videos. The total amount of training time is 21 hours. This is a free adoption training course that provides information related to domestic state adoptions, adoption services and supports, and education about the impact of trauma and how to best help children heal in relationships from prior trauma. 

Step 2:

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.

Step 3:

Adoption Home Study

Adoption Home Study

Upon successful completion of the adoption training course and all other screening, your family may receive an adoption home study. During the adoption home study process, an adoption specialist will visit your home and meet your family. (*Due to COVID-19, adoption home study interviews will be completed virtually, with a follow up in-home visit to observe your home.)  You will discuss your motivation behind wanting to adopt, your openness to parenting children with special needs, your personal and family history, your family interests and routines, etc., which will determine the type of child(ren) that would best match your family.  

Step 4:

Matching Process

Matching Process

Once your family completes an adoption home study and has been approved you will work closely with Heartland for Children’s Recruitment Specialist to learn about available children. Once you are matched with a child, the child’s assigned adoption specialist that will guide you along this process.   

Step 5:

Adoption Finalization

Adoption Finalization

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