ADOPTION PROCESS OVERVIEW
The application process begins when the prospective adoptive parents return the completed Application with the processing fee of $400.00 and a current family photograph.
All applicants are financially responsible for contracting with a licensed agency or Home Study Provider to complete their home study. The home study is designed to evaluate the suitability of the applicants as adoptive parents, to provide information about the adoption process and adoptive parenting, and to answer any questions for the prospective adoptive parents. (We will be glad to offer suggestions for a licensed home study provider you can use.)
Your case worker who conducts the home visit will counsel with you and compile all information required to make an assessment. You will receive a copy of your completed Home Study from your provider.
Birth parents have the option of selecting the adoptive parents for their child. Adoptive parents will need to create non-identifying autobiographies or profiles to present to birth parents. In matching birth parents with prospective adoptive parents we will select Autobiographies to present to birth parents for selection. We will make a decision based upon ethnic and cultural backgrounds, social and medical history of birth parents, geographic location, degree of openness, and birth parent and adoptive parent preferences.
The adoptive parents will be notified when they have been selected by the birth parents. The adoptive parents will be given a copy of the social and medical history of the birth parents and other information to help them decide if they wish to pursue this particular adoption. This fee will be presented to you at the same time the adoption is presented.
Most birth parents may wish to meet the adoptive couple prior to placement. This meeting occurs with a representative (attorney or case manager) present, and in a casual atmosphere. Sometimes we will go to lunch or if the birth mother prefers, we can use the office. The meeting usually occurs in the city where the birth mother lives.
Some birth parents contact us either very late in their pregnancy or after the birth of the baby. In these rare cases, adoptive parents may only be given twenty-four hours notice prior to placement.
At placement, adoptive parents should plan to bring such items as an approved and installed car seat, clothing for the baby, etc. The Placement fee (which is the balance of the fee) is due the day of placement in the form of a Cashier’s Check. Those families, accepting placement of a child, who reside outside of Florida will need to plan to remain in Florida at least five to ten business days after the child has been placed with the family. On occasion this process has taken more than 10 business days, so be sure to plan accordingly. We must receive approval from the Florida Department of Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children as well as the adoptive couple’s state department prior to the child leaving the State of Florida.
Thomas N. Fischgrund, Esq. needs to receive documentation of monthly post placement supervision of the child’s placement until the finalization of the adoption. These post placement visits will be conducted by the same agency or provider that completed your home study. The first visit should be in your home with the entire family present. The rest of the visits can be conducted either at your home or at the office of the provider, but the child must always be present.
The Finalization process typically is as follows; If the adoptive parents are residents of Florida, their adoption will be finalized in Pinellas County. If this is an interstate placement, the adoptive family has the option to finalize outside the State of Florida at their own expense. If the out of state family chooses to finalize in the State of Florida, there will be no additional cost except their personal travel.