Did you know that an adoption agency is not required in Florida adoptions? Whether you are planning to adopt a non-related child, a related child (grandchild, niece, sibling, etc.), a stepchild, or an adult, you can do so through an adoption attorney rather than an adoption agency. Using an experienced adoption attorney may save you thousands of dollars.
Many prospective adoptive parents go to an adoption agency because they believe that’s where the only available children are. But the truth is that a large percentage of Florida adoptions are done through adoption attorneys.
An experienced adoption attorney can handle most of the same services an agency handles. The difference is that adoption agencies are permitted to charge their clients fees that the adoption attorneys cannot. Those fees can amount to thousands of dollars.
Prospective adoptive parents should diligently interview adoption attorneys to verify the attorney has significant experience in the type of adoption sought. Ask a lot of questions at the consultation phase and don’t be afraid to shop around for the proper amount of experience, the right level of compatibility, and the right price.
In Florida, prospective adoptive parents need a favorable preliminary home study before a child can be placed in their home.1 If you are considering adoption, you shouldn’t delay getting a home study. It’s not unheard of for a child to become available for adoption at the last minute, and you don’t want to miss the opportunity for that child to be placed with you.
The average cost of a home study ranges from a thousand to two thousand dollars, give or take.2 Because your preliminary home study is valid for one year, there’s a chance your home study will expire before a child becomes available. That means you’ll have to have another home study completed. But consider that the cost of a home study breaks down to about $5 or $6 a day. That’s a small premium to insure you won’t miss a sudden opportunity for a child.
1 A home study is not required in private stepparent or relative adoptions. 2 The cost may or may not also include the final adoption home study that must be conducted after the child is placed with you.