There are differences between foster parenting and adoption, some insignificant and some major.
Being an adoptive parent carries with it more responsibility than being a foster parent, even in a long-term foster care situation.
Foster care is a temporary situation in which a child lives with a foster family because he cannot live with his birth family. Sometimes the foster child needs a temporary foster home due to neglect, abuse, unsafe and detrimental home life, or the birth parents are dead, incarcerated or otherwise unable to parent.
Adoption is a permanent addition of a child to a new family. Adoptive parents have the same legal rights and responsibilities to a child as if he were their own birth child.
Both foster parents and adoptive parents have diverse reasons for wanting to take a child into their homes. Some parents foster a child, hoping it will lead to adoption. Some families take in multiple foster children and have children coming in and out of their homes on a regular basis, providing a temporary home to many kids in need.
How Adoption Differs From Foster Parenting
While some foster parents are comfortable with the temporary nature of fostering, and can say goodbye to foster children when they return to their birth parents, other parents feel the need for a permanent parent-child relationship.
Some of the differences between adoption and foster parenting are:
Foster adoption sometimes occurs when a foster family decides to adopt a child who has been living with them as a foster child. But whether you are familiar with the child or considering adopting a foster child from another home, adoptive parents need to understand the distinctive needs of a child who has been in the foster care system.
Let's face it, everyone has a preconceived notion of what kind of person a foster parent is and how a foster family behaves. What's truly sad is that some of these notions are true, and people are still afraid to consider Fostering as an option for their family.
Foster homes provide at-risk children a temporary, safe place to live until they can be reunited with their families or, in some cases, placed permanently with adoptive families. Some children stay in foster care for days or weeks; some stay for years.