Foster to adopt agencies & resources for single mom

Hi everyone!

I'm a single woman who would like to adopt a child via the foster & adopt process. I've done some research (spoken to several parents who took that path, read books, watched, been to orientations) so I'm pretty familiar with the ups & downs of the process. I'm reaching out for advice on:

1) Choosing an agency: Can someone who fostered & adopted recently share their experience with the various agencies? I see other posts on this topic but they're from 5-10 years ago. I went to an orientation at Family Builders, which I loved because of the transparency and eagerness of the staff. My sense was that they would be pleasant to work with and true advocates for everyone in the process, including me. I also went to an orientation at A Better Way, which I was less impressed with: the person running it didn't really answer questions we asked, and generally seemed harder to work with. But is it really valid to judge an agency based on whoever is giving the orientation? Ultimately what matters most is the agency's ability to work effectively with the county & the social worker's ability to support me & the child & the birth parents in the best way possible, right? I'm also planning to go to an orientation at Alameda County but other parents who recently went there said they ask that we go through an agency if our primary interest is adoption.

2) Support for single moms: I'd especially love to connect with other single moms who fostered & adopted, or resources for such women.

Thanks so much!

Parent Replies

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Hi, I don’t know about the foster care to adoption system, but I can make a couple of suggestions about choosing to be a mom as a single woman. Check out the national Single Mother’s by Choice (SMC) organization:

when my daughter was young there were local SMC groups that met which were not aligned with national SMC; you might google around and see if those still exist.  Meeting face to face was wonderful. The national organization has discussion areas where you might find other Mom’s who took (or are taking) the same route you did, and would help with questions and support.  Best of luck to you.  

Hi - I’d like to connect with you. I am a 45 year old single mom to a baby recently placed with me through foster-adopt in San Francisco, which uses Family Builders. I’ve been interested in connecting with other single foster to adopt moms but after 3 years of slow roll to certification (1.5 years and a hole renovation later) and placement (1.5 years) it’s been a whirlwind winter. I don’t really know how this network works. :-) But If you can connect with me directly I am happy to share my experience so far.

For the group, there are some process details that I won’t share in an open forum to protect the identify of my foster kiddo. Mara

Our younger son is through fost-adopt in Oakland and we are familiar with two agencies. I am happy to talk to you about a couple of considerations about agencies and our experiences with placements, what questions to ask, etc. Stuff I wish I knew at the outset. Good luck!

I replied directly, but just for the benefit of the larger community....

I'm a single mom of a 1.5 year old who I adopted through Family Builders. I had a fantastic experience with them and we actually have a single parents group that formed out of a Family Builders training. As an agency I've seen them have some pretty high staff turnover but I've found their staff to be helpful and direct. It's a wild ride and good to be realistic about timelines and complexities. Having a support system (both through agency staff and social) is really important. I spent almost a year exploring for myself what felt like the right path to parenting and Family Builders was hands down the most real, diverse and transparent (i.e. trustworthy) agency I encountered. I'm happy to talk more with anyone exploring this path. It's been hard and wonderful for me. And of course, it led me to my daughter.