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A Trusted Ally

Adopting a child can be a long and arduous process with plenty of twists and turns to navigate. But the road to adoption can prove even more difficult for same sex couples and other members of the LGBTQIA+ community, who are often discriminated against and faced with further obstacles and complications.

Luckily, here in Central Florida is where you’ll find 26Health, an organization easing that burden by being a staunch advocate and helping prospective parents realize their dream of starting or growing a family through adoption. The nonprofit’s mission centers around improving the mind-body-spirit health in the area’s LGBTQIA+ and ally community, offering comprehensive health care services that include a primary care medical clinic, a patient care center, a behavioral health department, an onsite pharmacy, a medical spa and much more. Even more impressive is that 26Health is also the state’s first fully focused LGBTQIA+ adoption agency, helping to place children in loving homes where they can grow and realize their full potential.

According to adoption coordinator Krystal Trocki, being able to serve people from all backgrounds as they achieve a family is a badge of honor.

“For 26Health, it is more than satisfaction, it is truly a part of who we are. Helping members of our community start or grow their families is something that we cherish, and even more so when barriers are placed along the way during their journey,” she says.

That personalized approach appears to be paying big dividends as the number of same-sex couples who are deciding to adopt a child has grown exponentially in recent years. Trocki credits an increase in both representation and resources as big driving factor as to why the concept has become more generally accepted in the public eye.

“Seeing LGBTQIA+ families in your neighborhoods, in a magazine or on a TV show does wonders when members of the community feel that they too can have a family,” Trocki says. “It is no longer seen as an impossibility, but an obtainable reality.”

With so much information available to same-sex couples, along with the comprehensive services offered by 26Health, LGTBQIA+ couples are now better able to evaluate their options and discover what works best for them.

“Adoption and family-building does not necessarily follow a straight and narrow path. By offering a holistic approach, we hope to provide the resources and support to assist families during this journey. The process is a sensitive one, and through this holistic approach we aim to provide a customized experience for families who may have unique situations, concerns or challenges throughout the experience,” says Trocki.

One key area of the adoption process that 26Health is able to assist families with is the home study, an integral step along the way that includes the opportunity for the agency to not only get a glimpse of life inside the home, but also a look at the prospective parent’s childhood, their education and past relationships. The study also takes a look at their current life, including their medical history, relationship status and work experience.

In working with the families, 26Health is able to answer any questions they have about completing the necessary paperwork, the fingerprinting process or the required online training. The agency will also meet with the family inside their home to review everything and conduct an “interview” portion of the home study.

It’s all part of preparing families for what to expect and Trocki stresses the importance the organization places on being open and honest with those desiring to adopt.

“We work with couples during each step of the adoption process, being transparent on timeframes—which vary case-to-case—and information that guides them through the journey,” she says.

But it’s not just the prospective adoptive parents benefitting from 26Health’s services, as the organization also believes in supporting the birth parents. For instance, if a birth mother begins working with the agency before the child is born, they receive prenatal care and the birth parents will have input on who the child is placed with if they so desire. If a birth mother desires to have a semi-open or open adoption, it is the goal of 26Health to match the birth family with a prospective family who has the same desire and confirm that information is provided as appropriate.

“It is the belief of 26Health that all parents, children and individuals should be afforded the support and understanding of the agency. After the final judgment is signed by the judge, it does not mean that the parents no longer need support and understanding,” says Trocki. “It is the goal of the agency to ensure that the family and child have the availability to obtain medical and mental health services in one location, as well as being there to be available for any concerns they may have.”

And for those folks who don’t feel they are right for adoption and could not properly welcome a child into their home, Trocki says there are still lots of ways to make a difference. This might include sponsoring a child’s birthday or providing other critical assistance. One recent program 26Health created is called A Bag of My Own, where new and gently-used luggage is collected and distributed to children throughout the state, ensuring they’ll never have to use a trash bag for their belongings ever again.

All in all, as Florida’s first completely inclusive adoption agency, 26Health looks to continue to raise awareness in the local community about its ever-evolving adoption services and the many ways it can help families form lasting bonds.

“We hope to continue playing our role of building families in Central Florida as the acceptance of LGBTQIA+ families increases and as interest in family-building grows in the community,” Trocki says. “We look forward to meeting the increasing demand in assisting our community members during whichever stage they are in during this process.”


801 N. Magnolia Ave., Suite 402


(321) 800-2922