Matching adoptive parents with children who need them is an incredibly important part of the adoption process. Ideally, you want to take your time. Get to know each other. Make sure that the situation is a “fit.” In some ways, it’s a lot like dating.
Well, a new service in Florida has taken this idea more literally than most by essentially creating an online dating site for prospective adoptive parents and kids. This new process could potentially revolutionize Florida adoptions and help even more children find permanent homes.
In this post, we’re going to detail the service and introduce you to additional ways you can find a child to adopt, then discuss how the adoption process works according to Florida laws.
Family-Match Aims to Connect Potential Parents and Kids
Family-Match is an adoption service that connects the more than 800 children in the Florida foster care system with potential adoptive families. How does it do this?
By matching values, interests, and goals of both prospective parents and children. This makes it quite a bit more customized than the traditional agency format that matches children to families based on parent preferences for gender, age, and ethnicity.
To use the Family-Match program, parents must be preapproved. Then they complete detailed surveys about their personalities, parenting styles, interests, and family expectations. The therapists, caseworkers, or foster parents of foster children ages 4-17 fill out similar surveys on behalf of the children. Then Family-Match works with caseworkers to find the best matches between parents and children.
Any adoption worker in Florida is eligible to participate, which means they can place children outside of their immediate community. The matching algorithm has been developed by a former data scientist for eHarmony, the online dating site. The company’s owners hope that more Florida children who have been waiting years to be adopted will find forever families through the program.
More Ways to Choose a Child to Adopt in Florida
Family-Match isn’t the only way out there that people in Florida looking to adopt can learn about the kids who need parents.
Miami Heart Gallery. Miami-Dade’s foster care system has over 540 children, and recently a team of professionals volunteered time and resources to prepare videos and photos of around two dozen of them. Stylists, photographers, and videographers worked together to capture stories of these children to be placed online in The Children’s Trust Miami Heart Gallery. This gallery was formed in 2009 and has succeeded in placing about half of the featured children in adoptive homes.
Children and Families Search. You can also use the search tool at the Florida Department of Children and Families website. This site allows you to search for a child by gender, age, and special needs. The site also has a wealth of resources to help you begin your search for a child to adopt.
How a Skilled Attorney Can Help You Navigate the Adoption Process
Florida adoption law seeks to be open, allowing both single adults and couples (married or not) to adopt children. However, the process can be quite complicated, confusing, and potentially expensive – especially if an adoption falls through due to a silly mistake.
At the Florida Family Law Clinic, our attorneys pride themselves on being able to help clients through the entire adoption process. Our compassionate team of legal professionals know the stress that often occurs during adoption procedures, and one of our main goals is to alleviate this for you. We make the process smoother and easier for you with our years of experience in family law.
If you’re still in the process of looking for the right child, we can make sure you know all of the options that are out there and put you in contact with people and services that can help. Once you start the actual adoption process, we can help you fill out the paperwork correctly the first time. There are also many papers for the child’s biological parents or foster parents to fill out, and we can make sure that those papers are expedited and ready to present before the court as well.
We can assist you in working with social workers and family justice representatives, and carefully evaluate your financial assets to make a strong case of your stability and security, which will make an adoption more likely to be complete. Additionally, we can represent you before the Florida courts as a competent and capable parent who will provide both emotionally and financially for an adoptive child.
Bottom line? The process can be complicated and challenging, and having a knowledgeable professional at your side to help navigate the adoption process is invaluable. When you work with a trusted Florida adoption attorney, you can have greater peace of mind knowing your parental rights will be secure.
Call us today for a free consultation. We will help you place a Florida child in your permanent care.