Juan's personality communicates with his eyes, an encyclopedia of emotion reflected in his stare. Because of Juan's multiple medical needs, he is limited in his movements and is non-verbal, but his conditions have not prevented him from engaging and embracing the world.
Juan watches and absorbs everything around him. His caretakers call him a "loveable sweetheart" who thrives with interaction. He enjoys having his hand held or having someone talk to him. Juan tries to reach with his hands, dances in his wheelchair and loves music.
Juan will do best in a two-parent home to share the responsibility of his care. "Juan just wants love," says his caregivers. "He is such a good, quiet boy, and he speaks so much with his eyes."
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.
Your Gift: Hope, Love, & Transformation
Your kindness fuels our mission. Donate to The Heart Gallery of Tampa, support
unique photo experiences for foster children, and advocate for their rights. See
your gift ignite powerful, positive change.