State Contact

Valerie Proctor, MPH
Adoption Policy & Program Specialist
Florida Department of Children and Families
Office of Child Welfare
1317 Winewood Boulevard, Building 1
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0700
(850) 717-4673
[email protected]

Specific subsidy questions (late payment, etc.):
http://www.adoptflorida.org/contactPACounselor.shtml

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Adoption Resources on the Web

http://www.adoptflorida.com (DCF’s Florida Adoption Information Center)

Florida state-specific medical assistance information:
https://ahca.myflorida.com/medicaid

Florida’s adoption assistance information:
https://www.floridasadoptioninformationcenter.com/assistance-programs.php

Florida Administrative Codes 65C-16.001 through 65C-16.017:
https://www.flrules.org/gateway/ChapterHome.asp?Chapter=65C-16

Florida policy Adoptions: https://www.myflfamilies.com/sites/default/files/2023-10/CFOP%20170-12%20Adoptions.pdf

In Florida a child with special needs is defined as a child that:

  • Has significant emotional ties to his or her foster parent or has at least one of the following needs or circumstances that may be a barrier to adoption:
    • Eight years of age or older
    • African American or racially mixed parentage
    • Member of a sibling group being placed for adoption as a unit
    • Developmentally, Physically, or Emotionally disabled.

Typically, Florida provides adoption assistance to adoptive parents, in the amount of $5,000 annually (paid $416.66 per month), for the support and maintenance of a child until the month the child turns 18.

A different amount may be paid depending on the child’s needs and the adoptive parents’ circumstances.

If a child is receiving a therapeutic family foster care or medical family foster care board rate, the adoptive family can negotiate up to the actual family foster care board rate the child received while in foster care. A group rate or residential rate cannot be considered when negotiating adoption subsidy benefits.

Adoption subsidy and Medicaid end the month the child turns age 18. However, if the youth was adopted on or after their 16th birthday the adoption subsidy and Medicaid may continue up to their 21st birthday if they meet certain criteria.

Post-adoption services in Florida are administered by the Community Based Care Agencies or their subcontracted agencies. The DCF and contracted agencies provide various services, depending on location. Each agency has post-adoption services counselor who can provide information about services provided, provide tuition wavier letter, and help families access mental health services.

A list of all of the local adoptive parent support groups is available at:
www.adoptflorida.org/localinformation.shtml.

Florida has a relative and non-relative caregiver benefit program that provides Medicaid and a monthly financial benefit until the child reaches age 18. To be eligible the child must have been adjudicated dependent by the Florida juvenile court, the relative or non-relative must obtain custody or permanent guardianship, and the family must remain in Florida. For further information:
https://floridafapa.org/kinship-care/.

Children who exit foster care by themselves at age 18, are in the custody of a relative at age 18, or are adopted from the Department of Children and Families after May 5, 1997 are eligible for Florida’s tuition wavier program. This program is valid at Florida’s public universities, public community colleges and public vocational schools until the child is age 28. The students are exempt from paying tuition and fees, including lab fees. No money changes hands; eligible students are simply not charged these fees. For further information contact the local post-adoption services counselor, contact information is at:
http://www.adoptflorida.org/contactPACounselor.shtml.

Youth may also be eligible for the Post-Secondary Educational Support and Services if they were adopted at age 16 or 17 and are enrolled in a post secondary school. To find out more about this program:
https://www.myflfamilies.com/services/child-family/independent-living/youth-young-adults/postsecondary-education-services-and