Difference Between Adoption and Fostering

Adoption and Fostering are often confused with being similar terms. They both require taking a kid to your home to care for and nurture them. However, parental rights and permanence are two critical factors differentiating the terms.

Adoption vs Fostering

The main difference between adoption and fostering is that when someone, in most cases a child, is adopted, all of the rights and roles of being the child’s parent go to the one that adopts the child. On the other hand, Fostering is a profession that requires full-time dedication. Adoption is a one-time process that lasts for the rest of the child’s life. Adoptions require a greater emotional connection between the child and those who adopt than fostering.

Difference Between Adoption and Fostering

Adoption, as mentioned earlier, is a lifelong commitment. The adopted child is provided all the rights and privileges that a biological child might have. Adoption is a legally binding relationship. Whoever adopts the child becomes the legal parent or guardian for the remainder of the child’s life. The child’s medical needs, monetary duties, academic and spiritual growth are all the adoptive parents’ responsibilities.

Fostering is a full-time profession wherein a child is placed under foster care. Unless the child is adopted, the state looks over the child’s rights. This factor comes into play when it comes to educational, medical, and even religious considerations for the child. On the other hand, the responsibility completely shifts to the parents when they adopt a child.

Comparison Table Between Adoption and Fostering

Parameters of ComparisonAdoptionFostering
Nature of the jobIt is a one time job that lasts a lifetimeIt is a full time profession that can be done numerous times
Legal RightsThe legal rights are entirely transferred to the adoptive familyThe foster family only have basic rights
Compensation The family is sometimes provided financial help through social services The caretaker or foster family receive weekly payments
Relationship with biological parentsMinimal or no relationship with biological parents Child is persuaded to keep relationship with biological parents
Age rangeEven after the age of 18, the child is still considered to be a part of the adoptive familyThe caretakers lose all rights once the child turns 18

What is Adoption?

Adoption is a legally binding process where a person or family adopts another person, often a child. This process transfers all the roles and responsibilities of taking care of a child to those who adopt the child. All the legal rights and privileges are transferred from the biological parents to those who adopt.

Before Adoption, the biological parents do extensive research to find a family they believe would be the perfect one for their child. A family that would raise their child in a way that the biological parents find suitable. Once the Adoption is done, the child hardly sees the biological parents again. Apart from the biological aspect, the family that adopts the child assumes the child’s genuine family role. The decision of informing the child that he/she/they are adopted entirely relies on the age that the family deems appropriate.

Most adoptions are done when the child is under the age of two. The nature of Adoption can be understood by the relationship between the adopted person and the biological parents. Suppose there is an established relationship between the adopted person and their biological parents. In that case, Adoption is termed open Adoption. Whereas, if the relationship between the adopted child and the birth parents is not preserved and there are no ties, then the Adoption is termed close Adoption.

What is Fostering?

Fostering or Foster care is a full-time profession wherein a person or a family takes in the responsibility of becoming a foster parent or parents to a child in exchange for weekly payments for their job. Fostering as a job has motivated adults to become more responsible and take accountability for children. Additionally, the role of foster parent or parents acts as a quick way to make money. However, in the past several years, such instances have dropped significantly.

Foster homes can assume various systems such as wards, orphanages, group homes, etc. A single individual can also act as a caretaker or foster family with the condition that the person should be a state-certified caregiver. This scenario of Fostering is very similar to that of Adoption. Additionally, the link between the child in foster care and their biological is tried to be preserved and supported. This relationship can be established through sharing pictures, letters, messages, etc.

Once the child reaches the age of 18, they can leave the foster care and become self-sufficient. The caretaker or foster families have no right over the child after that.

Main Differences Between Adoption and Fostering

  1. Adoption is a one-time job that lasts a lifetime. On the other hand, Fostering is a full-time profession that can be done numerous times.
  2. In Adoption, the legal rights are completely transferred to the adoptive family. On the other hand, in Fostering, the foster family only have fundamental rights.
  3. In Adoption, the family is sometimes provided financial help through social services. On the other hand, in Fostering, caretakers or foster families receive weekly payments.
  4. After Adoption, the child has minimal or no relationship with biological parents. On the other hand, in Fostering the child is persuaded to keep relationship with biological parents.
  5. In Adoption, even after the age of 18, the child is still considered part of the adoptive family. On the other hand, in Fostering, the caretakers lose all rights once the child turns 18.

Conclusion

Although adoption and foster care may appear identical, they have substantial and fundamental differences. Once a person, usually a child, is adopted, When a person, usually a child, is adopted, all the roles and benefits of being a child’s parents go to the adoptive family. The couple that adopts a kid actively and directly through their biological parents allow them to choose a family that they think seems the most appropriate for their child.

When a child is adopted, the status of the child’s family becomes permanent, and the adoptive parents become the child’s permanent parents. In a few instances, the child is allowed to contact its biological parents; however, in most cases, the child is informed about being adopted once they turn eighteen.

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