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18 years old

Where Hope Finds a Home.

This creative free-spirit is primed to fly: Emily, 17, possesses an amazing talent in freehanded art, is highly creative and is learning to celebrate her own unique style. With the support of a loving family, Emily will gain the superpower she needs to thrive: "I want to have more confidence," she writes, "as confidence is truly a superpower." Emily loves drawing, reading, anime and writing, but she also likes sports, such as rugby and volleyball, as they "strengthen my eye-hand coordination." Emily also loves the outdoors and is friendly and adventurous. Emily's friends describe her as "creative, intellectual and compassionate," and she writes that she hopes to "be a teacher, preferably an art teacher but any kind of teacher will do" when she grows up. Her caretakers agree "Emily has great potential to become an artist if given the right opportunities. Her proudest moment this year was "standing up for myself for the first time." Emily shines with the caring attention of the adults in her life, and she is highly motivated to be successful, hoping for college in her future. She also brings her creativity to the kitchen, where she loves to cook. Thoughtful and empathetic, Emily writes, "I want to get rid of the hate in the world and welcome more love." Resourceful, respectful towards others, Emily really wants to experience what a real family is like, where laughter is welcome, open communication possible, and love -- unconditional. As she explains, "I want my future family to know that I am outgoing but still somewhat of an introvert. I love having fun, and I like engaging in family-time activities. I hope for a caring family that is accepting of my uniqueness."


If a child in foster care is in the Heart Gallery, reunification with their biological family was not possible so an adoptive family is needed. Most Heart Gallery children are at least 9 years old, part of a sibling group, and/or have special needs. All children in foster care have experienced abuse, abandonment, and/or neglect; therefore, need support to heal from the trauma they have experienced.

All children are different, with a variety of unique strengths and needs so all types of families are needed. In Florida, you must be at least 21 to adopt a child from foster care. There are no restrictions based on age, race, marital status, or sexual orientation. You may live in a home or apartment that you own or rent. Adoptive parents must have a stable income sufficient to support their family.

In Florida, there is no cost to adopt a child from foster care. In fact, families who adopt may qualify for a monthly adoption subsidy. Health care for children adopted from foster care is covered by Medicaid until age 18. They also receive free tuition at any Florida state college, university, or vocational school. Federal tax credits and exemptions may also be available. Visit the IRS website to learn more.

Prospective adoptive parents must complete Adoption Orientation, a 36-hour Professional Parenting course, have an approved home study, and approved background screenings. Most importantly, you must be willing to make a lifelong commitment to a child in need.

Yes. One of the benefits of adopting from Florida is having access to a comprehensive case history. You will be given information on the child’s background, medical history, and personality. This information helps you determine if your family is the right fit for the child.

This can vary greatly depending on the situation. However, as a general rule, it usually takes about 12 months from the time a family begins training to the time when a child is placed with the family.

Yes! Your approved home study should be accepted by any child welfare agency. Each circumstance will be assessed to determine if it is appropriate for a child to move out of state. Keep in mind these adoptions can be more complex and take longer, depending on the case.

Adoptions appear to be more stable when parents have flexible and realistic expectations for their children and when they use post-adoption supports to help with challenges.

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