Alliance Completes First-of-its-Kind Adoption

On Thursday, November 21, the Alliance completed California’s first non-minor dependent adoption, which was made possible through extended foster care under AB 12. Since young people can now stay in foster care until age 21, they are also eligible for adoption until 21.

Twenty year-old Michele, “Shelly,” was born with cerebral palsy and entered foster care as a young child. Over the last few years, Shelly lived in a group home and attended a special school during the day. At her school, Shelly met a teacher named Dana. Dana and Shelly made an instant connection and Dana was interested in adopting Shelly from the foster care system. Dana’s two grown children were also adopted from foster care, so she was familiar with the process and necessary steps. After more than a year of fostering Shelly, Dana become an official member of the family on November 21!

For the big day, Dana took Shelly to a fabric store to pick out a pattern and fabric for a special adoption dress. Shelly was beaming at her adoption and we couldn’t have been more thrilled to experience another positive outcome from extended foster care. Shelly who would have likely spent her life living in an institutional setting, now has a loving mother and family to share her life with.