(Closed) NWR: Adoption vs. Foster Care

posted 5 years ago in Parenting
Post # 3
963 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

@Cornmuffin09:  When you put a child up for adoption, you can work with an agency that places the child with a family. The purpose of the agency is to make sure that a good family is lined up before the child is even born so it can go directly to the adoptive parents. Foster care is very different.

Children are placed in foster care when there’s no one else qualified to take care of them. Commonly this happens when kids are removed from custodial parents due to abuse, neglect, etc. They are placed with temporary foster families, but it’s not a permanent arrangement and they are still considered wards of the state. Children can be adopted out of foster care (sometimes by their foster parents) and then the adoptive parents take full permanent responsbility for the child.

Post # 4
3626 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

My aunt fostered a child for a few months. This was because neither parent could take care of the child. But after a while, the kid’s grandparents stepped up and took care of her. I think adoption is permanent. I’m not an expert either though!

ETA – I think the goal of foster care is to eventually get the child back with the parents or other family members. Obviously that’s not the goal in adoption.

Post # 5
10565 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

To two are different.  AFAIK, babies put up for adoption here are adopted quickly, there is a waiting list for them.

Foster care is used when a child isn’t adopted immediately, either because there are legal issues (their biological parent may regain custody)  or there isn’t a family to adopt the child.

Adoption means the kid is yours, similar to if you had them biologically.  Foster parents are not expected to pay for medical expenses, and they are given relief so they don’t have to pay for babysitters and are given money for being foster parents.

Post # 6
3886 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Adoption is permanent; the adoptive parents have every bit of the responsibility and every bit of the benefit of their relationship with the child as a biological parent would (Assuming the biological parent does not give the child up for adoption).  So the adoptive parents get the tax benefits of having a child, and no one else can have a legal right to the child. No one else can make the child’s medical decisions for them, and their relationship with the child lasts till the child is minimum 18 years old (here in the US at least).  They are also responsible for the child’s expenses, and are expected to be the child’s primary caretakers till the child turns 18 (in other words,  no give-backs).

Foster care is when the child is a ward of the state and in the care of a state-appointed person; while the biological parent in most cases has lost their parental rights from a legal perspective, they can gain those rights back; the foster parent is only getting legal rights as a representative of the state, and their rights can be revoked. The state, and in some cases the biological parent, has a large say in the child’s medical care, education and other issues, and the state pays the foster parent to help defray the cost of caring for the child (although not always enough to cover the actual expense).  The relationship can be ended by the state or by the foster parent at any time.

So basically if you adopt the child, he/she is your child. If you foster the child, he/she still belongs to his/her biological parents but the State is forcing the parent to let someone else care for them for a while.

Post # 8
1471 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

@Cornmuffin09:  The thing that makes it tricky is that you can adopt from foster care, but if you choose to adopt your child out, they go to their permanent family straight away.

Post # 9
9056 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

Like ABBride and fishbone said, adoption is permanent.  Where I’m from, if you’re prepared to totally give up your baby and not want it back ever, there’s a huge waiting list of families wanting to adopt newborns and give them a forever home.

Foster care is what tends to happen when children are taken away from their parents/given up temporarily, and unfortunately also when parents give up their kids completely beyond the first couple years.  There’s just not as many people who want to adopt a child at a more advanced age, so kids will stay “unwanted” sometimes until they age out of the system.


Post # 10
973 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

As others said definitely NOT the same.

My parents did foster care. 52 kids over 19 years, definitely NOT permanent!  Some only stayed a few days, a few a little over a year.  They were there to provide a safe loving home when the parents couldn’t or wouldn’t for a variety of reasons.  The reasons were multitude: parents got arrested together, unsafe home conditions that don’t immediately improve, parents abused the child (sexual/physical/mental), parents neglected the child, parents had hardship and couldn’t feed/house the child for a time, even Münchausen syndrome by proxy (wikipedia link) where a parent either actually makes or makes their child look sick so THEY get attention, or repeated sexual abuse from an extended family member not living with them but the child can’t or won’t say who so it’s not safe. Basically anything that leaves the child without an immediate caregiver or if the child is in danger.

Foster care placements can become permanent if they parents give up their parental rights or if they refuse (or can’t) to do what is needed over time (years) and the courts take away their parental rights permanently.

When you adopt it’s as if it was your own child once it is finalized.

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