Wondering what a particular adoption term means? Find out on our Glossary of Adoption Terms page.
We find families for children ages one to 18 waiting in San Francisco’s foster care system. They are of diverse ethnic backgrounds; most are African American and Latino. These children are often sets of siblings who need to be placed together. They may have been neglected or abused and cannot return to their birth families.
The foster/adopt process qualifies you to become a foster parent while you are going through the adoption process – so the child you choose to adopt will come to live with you in your home as the adoption is finalized.
Four to nine months from application to completed home study is average for prospective adoptive parent(s). The amount of time depends on how quickly you are able to schedule the necessary appointments and complete your paperwork.
Matching your family with a waiting child is greatly dependent on your ability and willingness to consider the special needs of the children.
The county is required to provide adoptive parents with all information they have about the child.
By mutual consent, many of our adoptive families enjoy positive relationships with birth parents, former foster parents or other people important to the child. We encourage families to recognize the importance of these connections to the child.
Some children may continue visits until the court terminates the parents' rights. After that, children usually have a "good-bye" visit with the parents. After the child's adoption is finalized, it is up to you to decide with whom the child has contact and how often.
When the court has legally terminated birth parents' rights, they no longer have any claim to the child and cannot petition to be reunified. After the adoption is finalized, you and the child have all the same rights as if the child were born to you. Some birth parents do appeal the decision to terminate their rights, and this appeal can delay the adoption. 99% of these appeals are decided in the favor of terminating the birth parents’ rights.
Adoption SF provides its services free of charge. You will be asked to pay for fingerprinting, CPR classes, and any necessary water safety classes, but some of these expenses may be reimbursable after the adoption is finalized.
Adoption SF also provides a monthly stipend while the child is in foster care in your home. After the adoption is finalized, the Adoption Assistance Program (AAP) helps with ongoing assistance until the child is 18. Medi-Cal is also provided while the child is placed with you.
Yes. Although we work primarily with children who are waiting in San Francisco’s foster care system.
No. We are licensed to work only with families in the nine Bay Area counties of San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano, Napa, Sonoma and Marin.
The term special needs is used to describe many things children and youth in foster care have experienced or continue to deal with. All children in foster care have been removed from their birth family or have experienced profound loss in their young lives. Many children have been abandoned, neglected or otherwise mistreated. Some have experienced physical or sexual abuse. Some were exposed to drugs during their mother's pregnancy. Other children have ongoing medical issues or are medically fragile. Most are children of color, and many are members of a sibling group who must be placed together. See our Glossary of Adoption Terms for specific issues.
No. You do need to demonstrate that your relationship is stable and committed.
People with convictions for minor offenses which occurred in the distant past may be able to adopt; each case is considered on an individual basis.
You do not have to have a driver's license if you have a current California identification card and can demonstrate the ability to transport the child as necessary.
No. You can only work with one agency at a time.
We will work with you on an individual basis to address issues related to a child’s name.