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The Benefits of Adopting An Older Child or Teenager In Florida


When most parents consider adopting a child, they often envision an infant rather than an older child or teen. The fact is that there are plenty of children currently in the Florida foster care system, in need of adoptive parents who can provide the love and support their biological mother and father could not. While adopting a teen does carry special challenges, it also offers unique rewards, and the state provides plenty of benefits and resources designed to help your new family thrive. 

Adoptions Through the Florida Department of Children and Families 

With thousands of children currently living in foster care while awaiting adoption, the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) urges prospective parents to consider the idea of adopting an older child or teen. While raising an older child who is coming from another home can involve complex emotional issues, it affords benefits that prospective parents may not have considered.

  • Adopting an older child allows you to experience the deep satisfaction of knowing you have provided a disadvantaged child a second chance at life.
  • It also allows you to select the boy or girl who would be most likely to share in and benefit from your lifestyle and interests.
  • Rather than sleepless nights changing diapers or having to put your child in daycare, you will go right to the fun of sharing camaraderie and participating in hobbies, sports, and school events.

While it is natural to have concerns about your adopted child’s past and any trauma they may have suffered, DCF provides the support and resources to help you deal with any potential issues.

Benefits Offered Through DCF

When considering adoption, cost is a factor that must be considered. Private adoptions can run as much as $30,000, and even then the wait for an infant or small child could be years. Through DCF, your adoption costs are little to nothing. This means that you may be able to adopt sooner, and that the money you would have spent can be better used in providing for your adoptive child.

There are still required parenting classes and home inspections, but these are paid for by DCF. You are responsible for court costs, but even these fees can be waived if the situation warrants. Other resources offered by DCF that can help both you and your child include:

  • Free college tuition at any Florida state university, community college, or vocational school up until the child reaches the age of 28;
  • The IRS Federal adoption tax credit of over $13,000 which applies to DCF adoptions;
  • Health care subsidies which your child is eligible to receive up to the age of 18;
  • Monthly subsidies, depending on the child’s needs.

If you are a Florida state employee, there are additional benefits available.  None of these should be seen as enticements to encourage you to adopt, but rather as a means of ensuring that both you and your child have the tools you need to succeed. To discuss this and other options available with our Orlando adoption attorney, call or contact Hancock & Associates, P.A., online and request a consultation today.


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