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“Father to the fatherless, defender of widows —
this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families.” Psalm 68:5-6

Families adopt for many reasons. Perhaps you feel called to provide a loving home to a child in need. Maybe you want to grow your family through adoption. Many families see adoption as a beautiful reflection of the way God loves all His children.
As you consider adoption, determining what type of adoption is the best fit for your family is a crucial step in the process.  Below is some basic information about different types of adoption and contact information for proceeding in the process.

Adoption through Foster Care (Local Adoption)

Children adopted through foster care or through a State Department of Children’s Services are children that have been removed from their biological family for one of a number of reasons. For these children, the biological parents’ rights have been removed and they are in need of a loving ‘forever-family’ that can provide the love, care, attention, and nurture needed.
Currently, there are children of all ages who need forever families – from infants to teenagers. In most cases the State pays for all adoption fees, and depending on the need of the child, a monthly subsidy may be available (adoption expense coverage and subsidies vary by state). In addition, the child will receive continuing support services and benefits after adoption is finalized.
Emerald Coast Orphan Care partners locally with The Florida Baptist Children’s Home and Families First Network for local adoptions through Foster Care. If you are in the Emerald Coast area and interested in pursuing this type of adoption please contact us, and we will assist you in the process of initiating with Families First Network. If you are outside the Emerald Coast region, please contact your local state or private agency.

Private Domestic Adoption

For many families private adoption is appealing. Expectant parents make an adoption plan for their unborn child because they feel that they are not able to parent at this time and that adoption is the very best choice for their child. Private adoption usually involves newborn or very young children, but also can include older children as well.
Families pursuing private adoption are responsible for all adoption expenses. Though the cost varies by agency, the typical cost for a private adoption is between $15,000-$20,000. These costs typically cover application fees, support services for the adoptive and birth families, agency fees, and legal fees. If the cost for adoption seems daunting, trust that the same God who calls is also the God who provides. There are a number of resources available for families through grants and loans. In addition individual agencies can equip you with financial tools. For a list of financial grants and loans, please check out our resource page.
Sometimes a birth parent will work directly with an attorney to find a matching family, but often a birth parent will contact a local adoption agency. Because adoption involves both a family who is receiving a child and someone who is surrendering a child, we highly recommend you choose an agency that not only will support you as an adoptive family, but that will also provide support for the birth parent(s). For this reason, Emerald Coast Orphan Care highly recommends 2 local agencies:
Bethany Christian Services. In the Florida Panhandle area, you can contact Bethany at the their Pensacola office at (850) 478-6789. Search Bethany.org for the nearest Bethany agency.
Florida Baptist Children’s Home In the Panhandle area, FBCH has an office in Panama City for their domestic adoption program. (850) 878-1458.

International Adoption

Worldwide there are over 160 million children who have lost one or both parents to disease, poverty, war, abandonment, and many other causes. We are called to care for these children. Ideally, when these children are not able to stay with their families, they would be taken into care in the country of birth. However, many countries simply are not prepared to deal with the overwhelming numbers of orphans, and international adoption is the best option for these children to thrive.
Families pursuing international adoption should be prepared that wait times vary significantly from country to country, as do costs. Shorter wait times are usually available if you are open to adopting older children, sibling groups, and/or children with special needs. An international adoption can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000, or more. An international adoption agency will have specific information about costs. Don’t let the cost deter you. There are many financial grants and loans available to assist adoptive families.
Every country that has children waiting to be adopted has different guidelines and procedures for adoption. Because the international adoption process varies drastically from country to country it is important that you work with a trusted agency that has experience and a high-reputation for integrity in international adoptions. In the Florida Panhandle area, Emerald Coast Orphan Care highly recommends Bethany Christian Services and their Pensacola office. Contact: (850) 478-6789.

Trusted Agencies:

Bethany Christian Services (other US locations)
All God’s Children
Lifeline Children’s Services
10 Questions for Parents Preparing to Foster or Adopt