Foster-to-Adopt Services

For any Adoption related questions please call Rolf Van Leeuwen at 707-774-5383 (English) and  Samuel Cruz at 707-206-2531 (Spanish)

For many families, the foster-to-adopt approach may be a more preferable option versus alternatives. If you want to become an adoptive parent of a foster youth, be sure to reach out to AFS today for more information.

Why Adopt a Child From Foster Care?

Compared to their peers, foster youth face a disproportionate share of hardships that make their lives extremely difficult both now and in the future. Foster youth are seven times more likely than non-foster youth to have depression, and five times more likely to have anxiety.

By the time foster youth are 24, only half of them will have stable and steady employment. The same percentage develop substance abuse. Less than one in four foster youth enroll in college. Compared to their peers, male former foster youth are four times as likely to commit a crime, and females are 10 times more likely.

And, 38 percent of foster youth in California will never find a permanent housing placement.

But, you have an opportunity to reverse these outcomes and make a real difference in the lives of foster youth in your community. By adopting a child or children out of foster care, you can give them a brand new lease on life and position them for future success.

How to Become an Adoptive Parent to Foster Youth

Interested in getting started on the foster-to-adopt process? Here’s what you need to know.

The first steps start out the same for potential adoptive parents as they do for foster parents. To become a Resource Parent, you must first go through the same training and accreditation process. Whether you plan on fostering a child for a short amount of time or bringing them into your home on a permanent basis through adoption, you must be approved and certified by state and county officials. To get started on the application process, click here.

Please note that not all children in foster care are looking for a forever home not with their birth parents. In many instances, family reunification is the best option.

While some families specifically want to adopt a child from foster care, others may look to first just foster youth and then later elect to adopt them. Here at AFS, we work with foster parents, birth parents and youth in both instances.

Have any additional questions about the foster-to-adopt process? Feel free to get in touch with us today, and we’ll be sure to answer your questions in short order. You can reach AFS by phone at 800-300-1022 and via email at

Be sure to check out our Locations page for more information about our hours and office addresses.

Adoption FAQ

How is AFS different from a traditional adoption agency?

In a traditional adopting setting, a child is put up for adoption at or immediately after they are born. In a foster-to-adopt setting, a child is first placed into foster care by order of a judge or court-ordered mandate, and then are available for adoption if the youth’s birth parents are unable to reclaim custody of the child.

However, in both instances, the adoption process transfers legal guardianship rights and responsibilities from the birth parents onto the adoptive parents. Once the adoption process is complete post placement, the child is legally part of the adoptive family, regardless of whether or not they were first in foster care.

Are there any fees associated with the foster-to-adopt process?

Similar to the process to foster a child, there may be some fees related to training, home study, etc. But, those fees have often been waived, reduced or reimbursed. And, families to foster a child will receive a small stipend to help in caring for the child, along with the child’s medical expenses being covered by Medi-Cal.

A traditional adoption agency will often charge a family thousands of dollars – if not tens of thousands of dollars – to adopt a child. There are no such fees like this involved in the foster-to-adopt process.

What are the rights of birth parents in the foster-to-adopt process?

In any adoption, whether through a traditional adoption agency or in a foster-to-adopt setting, the birth parents legally relinquish all rights to guardianship/custodianship of the child, with the adoptive parent taking full legal custody of the child. This is case regardless of whether it’s a closed or open adoption.

How old are the foster youth currently awaiting adoption?

Foster youth looking for a forever home can range in age from less than a year old all the way to 18 years old or older. While it is possible to adopt a baby through the foster-to-adopt process, most foster youth looking for a forever home via a non-relative are older.

Statistics on Adoptive Parents

  • 54 percent of all former foster youth who are adopted have parents over the age of 50, and 16 percent have parents that are 60 or older.
  • 70 percent of children adopted out of foster care have married adoptive parents, and 55 percent of them did not know their adoptive parents beforehand.
  • Among former foster youth who are later adopted, 37 percent are white, 35 percent are black and 16 percent are Hispanic. Among these adoptive parents, 63 percent are white, 27 percent are black and 5 percent are Hispanic.
  • As for their reasons for adopting foster youth, 86 percent did so to provide a permanent home for a child, 39 percent did so because of infertility and 24 percent did so because they wanted their child to have a sibling.
  • 60 percent of parents adopted a foster child instead of an infant because it was cheaper.
  • 95 percent of parents who adopt foster youth said they would make the same decision again.

About AFS

Alternative Family Services has been serving foster youth and helping them find a forever home since 1978. AFS currently service approximately 1,500 foster youth and their families throughout the Bay Area and the Greater Sacramento region.

Interested in starting the foster-to-adopt process through AFS? Be sure to fill out the application today to get started!