Alternative Family Services

Community Subscriber
SF Bay Area

Alternative Family Services is a foster, adoptions and mental health agency that has been creating safe, permanent connections for foster children and youth in the Bay Area since 1978.

Parent Reviews

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Archived Q&A and Reviews

Aug 2013

RE: Considering adopting a baby or toddler

Ah, a subject very dear to my heart! As a single parent, I worked with Alternative Family Services and given the issues that came up with county agencies, I STRONGLY recommend going through a contracted matchmaker. Alameda County posed several challenges to me (though I don't think it was because I was a single parent) that made it impossible for me to work directly with them. My child came to me through SF County, but there was an array of issues that made me extremely grateful for AFS as my advocate and advisor (the number of places where the bureaucracy nearly fails (and sometimes does fail) to work for the very children they are set up to support is too long to list here, but I am happy to talk with you about if you like). I am a big advocate of foster-adoption, in spite of my unpleasant experience with certain county agencies, but am an even bigger believer in using the resources set up to help us navigate the system. AFS is free to you (you only pay for things that the county makes you pay for anyway), they help facilitate the process and avoid bureaucratic delays (took me only 9 months from my foster parent training to my son coming to live with me), and they are contracted by a dozen or more counties to help with foster-adoption placement, which is also a big plus--you never know where the child of your heart is going to be born, and it helps to have a bigger picture. Let me know if you'd like to talk--the moderator, I think, can help us connect. Loving my son more every day

May 2006

RE: Discouraged about fost-adopting an under 6-yr-old

I would be happy to talk with you privately about my foster- adoption experience, which has drama in it but a very happy ending with my now 7 year old son. My agency was Alternative Family Services--from the time I decided to receive certification to the time my son was placed with me was only 9 months. The adoption process took longer than anticipated because of failures in the county social service system, but at least I had my son with me the whole time. Many things to consider with foster-adoption, but if you have a big heart and a clear head, it's an extraordinary experience. Please feel free to write me directly.