Become an Adoptive Parent
In some cases, children are not able to return home to their birth families, and more permanent adoptive homes are needed. We believe that there are no unwanted children—only unfound families—and that every child deserves a safe, loving "forever family".
Adoption images courtesy of the Heart Gallery of Sarasota
As the Department of Children and Families contractor for Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties, the Safe Children Coalition provides the training necessary for families to foster or adopt.
Steps to Become an Adoptive Parent
- INQUIRE by calling the recruitment line at 1-866-661-565 or complete the online inquiry form. Someone will contact you within one business day and you will be provided information regarding the dates and times of the next informational meeting.
- ATTEND an orientation/informational meeting. This is your opportunity to learn more about adoption and decide if this is right for you and your family. Orientation/informational meetings are held monthly.
- PARTICIPATE in a training and selection class called Adoption Parent Training Class (APTC) and complete 24-hours of curriculum. APTC classes are provided free of charge and are currently being held at multiple sites on various days and times. Generally, you will attend APTC classes one night a week for ten weeks. You will learn more during orientation/informational meetings.
- SATISFY background screening requirements. The Safe Children Coalition will assist you with this process. Generally you and all your household members must undergo local law, FBI/FDLE and abuse registry clearances to determine eligibility.
- COMPLETE your adoptive paperwork and home study. Again, you will learn more about these requirements and the process during orientation/informational meeting.
- ADOPTIVE MATCH & FINALIZATION Once all requirements are met, your home will be ready to be matched for adoption. Matches will be made based on your profile and on the profile of the child to be matched. Finalization is the last step in this process.
Orientation & Training
In your pursuit to become a licensed foster family or to adopt children out of foster care, you will need to successfully complete a 30 hour training curriculum, the Adoption Parent Training Class (APTC). APTC is a selection tool for the mutual use of your family and the Safe Children Coalition to determine if fostering and adoption are right for your family.
Each class is led by a trained social worker who is accompanied by a licensed foster parent. Some topics you will cover in class:
- Recognizing and working with the loss and grief children experience when they are removed from their parents, regardless of the abuse or neglect they experienced at home.
- Identifying your family's strengths and skills to determine the appropriate matches for your home.
- Parenting techniques to support the special needs of children in foster care.
- For foster families, supporting the biological parents' attempts to reunify with their child(ren).
- For adoptive families, recognizing that birth-family connections are an integral part of a foster child's development.