Congratulations! You’ve contemplated the possibility of adoption and have decided to learn more. Your next step will involve deciding what type of adoption is right for you (foster care adoption, private domestic, international) and then beginning the learning process for that type of adoption. For private domestic and international adoptions, each agency will offer their own version of orientation/classes, which may be a formal training or education during the home study process.
A simple Google search may guide you to the best agency for you, for domestic infant or international, but you can also call 1-800-96 ADOPT to be directed to the appropriate agencies in your county.
For foster care adoption, each state will likely require a version or pre-adoption classes. Florida offers various classes including PRIDE, MAPP, etc. Central Florida offers PRIDE classes through Community Based Care of Central Florida (CBCCFL), which is the lead agency contracted through the Department of Children and Families, to provide specific child welfare services in Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties.
There are many things to love about PRIDE! Besides most participants recommending the information for anyone who becomes a parent, there’s also:
1) The trainers. These trainers are full of experience, passion, and knowledge. I have worked with several of them for several years and sing their praises often. They are the real deal. They will not sugar coat this process for you. At all. They will tweak your heart with stories of children in need of families, while making your jaw drop at the behaviors you may experience. It’s been known to start a class with 70+ people and end with 10 potential parents. You may wonder: “If they need families so badly, why do they scare them out of class?” I challenge you to search “unprepared adoptive parent” and see what the results are. You can imagine. They do not need just anybody to parent these kiddos. They need parents who get it.
2) The content. You will learn so much; some content you may know already, and hopefully a lot more you did not. As it is a lot of information, they take care to attend to different learning styles to encourage retention of the information. This means you need to participate! Yes…the dreaded role play. Relax, you will get to leave the class and return to your family and home…take just a quick moment to be uncomfortable and get in the perspective of those who live the “system” every day… who knows, your heart might just grow three sizes more! Learn more about the PRIDE curriculum here.
3) The camaraderie. No one quite understands the adoption preparation process quite like other families going through the…. adoption preparation process. You will spend quite a bit of time with these folks. If you keep in contact, you have the opportunity to develop specialized supports that may be a life saver in the future.
Sold yet? Give it a try. To sign up, call Community Based Care of Central Florida at 1-866-90-CHILD
Here are the upcoming classes for the three counties (as of 12/17/18-subject to change):