Governor Rick Scott says he wants about $200 million for Florida families who adopt foster kids.

Over the past 15 years, about 50,000 Florida kids have been adopted so far. But, the head of the state’s child welfare system has mixed feelings on that number.

Lawmakers Poised To Pass Child Welfare Bills

Mar 3, 2016

After a spate of child deaths in Florida, the Department of Children and Families is doubling down on child welfare reforms. Now state lawmakers are poised to pass a suite of bills to bolster that effort.

State Sees Sharp Spike In Number Of Children In Foster Care

Jul 6, 2015

 The number of Florida children in the state's foster-care system has reached its highest level since 2008 --- driven by both a spike in the number of kids being removed from their homes and a drop in the number being discharged after a stint in foster care.

In the last 24 months, the number of children in what's known as out-of-home care has reached 22,004 statewide, up from 17,591 in 2013.

A highly controversial bill pitting civil right against civil right is on final approach to Governor Rick Scott’s desk. While adoption is one of the most private decisions a family can make, a so-called “religious conscience” bill is stirring a very public debate.

Fl Senate Backs Adoption Incentives; Repeals Gay Adoption Ban

Apr 14, 2015

After an impassioned debate, the Florida Senate on Tuesday approved a bill that would restore a popular adoption-subsidies program --- while repealing a 38-year-old law that banned gay adoption.

By a vote of 27-11, senators passed the measure (HB 7013), which would provide cash incentives to state workers who adopt children in Florida's foster-care system, especially children with special needs.

Remember the story of Davion Only? He's the teenager who gained worldwide notice after pleading with the congregation of a church in St. Petersburg to adopt him.Ten-thousand people came forward to inquire about him.But in the end, the answer to his prayer was already close at hand.

Florida House of Representatives

Private agencies would be able to cite religious or moral grounds to turn away gay couples seeking to adopt children under a bill that drew comparisons Thursday to Indiana's new religious objections law.

The bill was filed after social conservatives criticized a vote last month by the Republican-dominated House to strip a gay adoption ban from state law five years after it was declared unconstitutional. The new bill is now ready for a full House vote after being approved on party lines in the House Judiciary Committee, the legislation's only committee stop.

State workers could get between $5,000 and $10,000 for adopting children under a bill that passed a House panel Tuesday. Lawmakers also want scorecards for adoption providers.

November is National Adoption Month, and as part of the month, the Florida Department of Children and Families is highlighting a service it offers to help certain adopted individuals find their birth families.

The goal behind Florida’s Adoption Reunion Registry is to reunite adopted adults with their birth families, which can include parents, grandparents, and siblings. DCF spokeswoman Alexis Lambert says it’s the only program of its kind in Florida that doesn’t require either party to take any court action.

First Adoptive Community of its Kind in Florida

Jul 2, 2014
Yoselis Ramos / WUSF

There was a time when community meant more than cookie-cutter houses with manicured lawns. Children not only responded to parents but their neighbors too. A helpful neighbor was always just a phone call or a few yards away. Recreating that sense of community is the goal of one Tampa community for adoptive families.

New Life Village is a community for people - whether it's a single parent or an empty-nest couple - looking to adopt foster care children. Even older adults can be a part of the community as surrogate grandparents.

Florida Matters: Adoptions in Florida

Dec 3, 2013
Tammy Curtis

When a 15-year-old foster kid in St. Petersburg appeared before a church congregation last month, pleading for someone to adopt him, tens of thousands of folks responded. In spite of that, there are hundreds of kids who are not making headlines and still are waiting for that call.

Age, Ethnicity No Matter in Adoption

Dec 3, 2013
Yoselis Ramos / WUSF

Fred Ley, 50, and his wife, Laura, 35, just recently adopted an infant.  Ley himself was adopted as an infant by a 50-year-old woman.

Ley is Mexican. His wife is white and their adopted baby girl, Daisy, is half Filipino and half Korean.

We talked with Ley about what it means to bring together a multi-racial family, what it is like to be raised by a 50-year-old single parent, and how his upbringing influences his recent adoption of an infant.

In a complex and heart-wrenching case, a divided Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the parental rights of a Native American father may be terminated if he has failed to establish a history of "continued custody" of his biological child.

The decision in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, however, is viewed as narrow and leaves intact the the 1978 federal law known as the Indian Child Welfare Act. The law was designed to stop the historically brutal and improper removal of Native American children from their families for adoption or foster care by white parents.