The Going Rate for Adopting Kids in Florida

409.166 Children within the child welfare system; adoption assistance program.
(1) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.–It is the intent of the Legislature to protect and promote each child’s right to the security and stability of a permanent family home. The Legislature intends to make adoption assistance, including financial aid, available to prospective adoptive parents to enable them to adopt a child in the state’s foster care system who, because of his or her needs, has proven difficult to place in an adoptive home.

(2) DEFINITIONS.–As used in this section, the term:

(a) “Special needs child” means:

1. A child whose permanent custody has been awarded to the department or to a licensed child-placing agency;

2. A child who has established significant emotional ties with his or her foster parents or is not likely to be adopted because he or she is:

a. Eight years of age or older;

b. Developmentally disabled;

c. Physically or emotionally handicapped;

d. Of black or racially mixed parentage; or

e. A member of a sibling group of any age, provided two or more members of a sibling group remain together for purposes of adoption; and

3. Except when the child is being adopted by the child’s foster parents or relative caregivers, a child for whom a reasonable but unsuccessful effort has been made to place the child without providing a maintenance subsidy.

(b) “Adoption assistance” means financial assistance and services provided to a child and his or her adoptive family. Such assistance may include a maintenance subsidy, medical assistance, Medicaid assistance, and reimbursement of nonrecurring expenses associated with the legal adoption. The term also includes a tuition exemption at a postsecondary career program, community college, or state university, and a state employee adoption benefit under s. 409.1663.

(c) “Child within the child welfare system” or “child” means a special needs child and any other child who was removed from the child’s caregiver due to abuse or neglect and whose permanent custody has been awarded to the department or to a licensed child-placing agency.

(d) “Department” means the Department of Children and Family Services.

(e) “Licensed child-placing agency” has the same meaning as in s. 39.01.

(f) “Maintenance subsidy” means a monthly payment as provided in subsection (4).


(a) The department shall establish and administer an adoption program for children to be carried out by the department or by contract with a licensed child-placing agency. The program shall attempt to increase the number of persons seeking to adopt children and the number of finalized adoptions and shall extend adoption assistance, when needed, to the adoptive parents of a child.

(b) The department shall collect and maintain the necessary data and records to evaluate the effectiveness of the program in encouraging and promoting the adoption of children.


(a) A maintenance subsidy shall be granted only when all other resources available to a child have been thoroughly explored and it can be clearly established that this is the most acceptable plan for providing permanent placement for the child. The maintenance subsidy may not be used as a substitute for adoptive parent recruitment or as an inducement to adopt a child who might be placed without providing a subsidy. However, it shall be the policy of the department that no child be denied adoption if providing a maintenance subsidy would make adoption possible. The best interest of the child shall be the deciding factor in every case. This section does not prohibit foster parents from applying to adopt a child placed in their care. Foster parents or relative caregivers must be asked if they would adopt without a maintenance subsidy.

(b) The department shall provide adoption assistance to the adoptive parents, subject to specific appropriation, in the amount of $5,000 annually, paid on a monthly basis, for the support and maintenance of a child until the 18th birthday of such child or in an amount other than $5,000 annually as determined by the adoptive parents and the department and memorialized in a written agreement between the adoptive parents and the department. The agreement shall take into consideration the circumstances of the adoptive parents and the needs of the child being adopted. The amount of subsidy may be adjusted based upon changes in the needs of the child or circumstances of the adoptive parents. Changes shall not be made without the concurrence of the adoptive parents. However, in no case shall the amount of the monthly payment exceed the foster care maintenance payment that would have been paid during the same period if the child had been in a foster family home.

(c) The department may provide adoption assistance to the adoptive parents, subject to specific appropriation, for medical assistance initiated after the adoption of the child for medical, surgical, hospital, and related services needed as a result of a physical or mental condition of the child which existed before the adoption and is not covered by Medicaid, Children’s Medical Services, or Children’s Mental Health Services. Such assistance may be initiated at any time but shall terminate on or before the child’s 18th birthday.


(a) As a condition of providing adoption assistance under this section, the adoptive parents must enter into an adoption-assistance agreement with the department which specifies the financial assistance and other services to be provided.

(b) A child who is handicapped at the time of adoption shall be eligible for services through the Children’s Medical Services network established under part I of chapter 391 if the child was eligible for such services prior to the adoption.

(6) WAIVER OF ADOPTION FEES.–The adoption fees shall be waived for all adoptive parents who adopt children in the custody of the department. Fees may be waived for families who adopt children in the custody of a licensed child-placing agency or who adopt children through independent adoptions, and who receive or may be eligible for maintenance subsidies through the department. Retroactive reimbursement of fees is not required for families who adopt children in the custody of licensed child-placing agencies.

(7) REIMBURSEMENT FOR EXPENSES.–The department is authorized to reimburse, retroactive to January 1, 1987, up to $1,000 in nonrecurring expenses related to the adoption of a child which have been incurred by adoptive parents. For purposes of this subsection, “nonrecurring expenses” means one-time expenses, such as attorney’s fees, court costs, birth certificate fees, travel expenses, agency fees, and physical examination fees.

(8) RULES.–The department shall adopt rules to administer this section.

History.–ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ch. 76-203; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 1, ch. 77-293; s. 1, ch. 78-362; s. 1, ch. 83-246; s. 17, ch. 84-254; s. 5, ch. 91-99; s. 24, ch. 92-96; s. 113, ch. 97-101; s. 43, ch. 97-103; s. 181, ch. 99-8; s. 50, ch. 2000-153; s. 5, ch. 2007-124; s. 112, ch. 2008-4.

Sections: Previous 409.1451 409.14511 409.146 409.147 409.152 409.153 409.165 409.166 409.1663 409.167 409.1671 409.1672 409.1673 409.16745 409.1675 Next

Last modified: March 26, 2010

About yvonnemason

Background:  The eldest of five children, Yvonne was born May 17, 1951 in Atlanta, Georgia. Raised in East Point, Georgia, she moved to Jackson County, Ga. until 2006 then moved to Port St. Lucie, Florida where she currently makes her home.  Licensed bounty hunter for the state of Georgia. Education:  After a 34 year absence, returned to college in 2004. Graduated with honors in Criminal Justice with an Associate’s degree from Lanier Technical College in 2006. Awards:  Nominated for the prestigious GOAL award in 2005 which encompasses all of the technical colleges. This award is based not only on excellence in academics but also leadership, positive attitude and the willingness to excel in one’s major. Affiliations:  Beta Sigma Phi Sorority  Member of The Florida Writer’s Association – Group Leader for St Lucie County The Dream:  Since learning to write at the age of five, Yvonne has wanted to be an author. She wrote her first novel Stan’s Story beginning in 1974 and completed it in 2006. Publication seemed impossible as rejections grew to 10 years. Determined, she continued adding to the story until her dream came true in 2006. The Inspiration:  Yvonne’s brother Stan has been her inspiration and hero in every facet of her life. He was stricken with Encephalitis at the tender age of nine months. He has defied every roadblock placed in his way and has been the driving force in every one of her accomplishments. He is the one who taught her never to give up The Author: Yvonne is currently the author of several novels, including:  Stan’s Story- the true story of her brother’s accomplishments, it has been compared to the style of Capote, and is currently being rewritten with new information for re-release.  Tangled Minds - a riveting story about a young girl’s bad decision and how it taints everyone’s life around her yet still manages to show that hope is always possible. This novel has been compared to the writing of Steinbeck and is currently being written as a screenplay. This novel will be re-released by Kerlak Publishing in 2009  Brilliant Insanity – released by Kerlak Publishing October 2008  Silent Scream – Released by October 2008- Slated to be made into a movie Yvonne’s Philosophy in Life - “Pay it Forward”: “In this life we all have been helped by others to attain our dreams and goals. We cannot pay it back but what we can do is ‘pay it forward’. It is a simple
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5 Responses to The Going Rate for Adopting Kids in Florida

  1. Pingback: Mental Disorders 101

  2. Pingback: The Going Rate for Adopting Kids in Florida « How Child Protection … | Adoption

  3. I am very interested i what to know about Arkansas. I am a parent who will like to end the system to a minmal rate of children that really need to be there. Did you know that they can go to your bank or call the bank and take your funds too when the children are being removed.


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