Fostering v Adoption

Fostering v Adoption

What is fostering

Fostering is not a permanent arrangement and the long term goal of fostering is usually to try and help the child return home to their birth family. In a fostering arrangement, unless there is a Care Order in place, the child’s birth parent (s) retain parental responsibility for the child . This is different from adoption where the birth parent(s) relinquish all legal rights/ responsibilities over the child and these are transferred to the adoptive parents.

Although some foster carers do eventually adopt the children they have been caring for, fostering is not the appropriate route if you are keen to adopt a child. When you approach an agency you should be clear in your mind about the correct option for you and your family.

When a child is fostered it may in time become clear that there is no possibility of the child returning to live with their birth family. When this happens the Local Authority will consider how it can offer security and permanence for the child. Often they will look to members of the family to provide a secure family life but this may not always be possible. For younger children, adoption may well be the ideal route but for older children or children who do not wish to be adopted long term fostering may be the solution.

As a foster carer you will be required to look after the child on a day to day basis taking care of their needs, as you would with a birth child. You will be expected to work as part of a team of professionals all working collaboratively to plan the child’s future and ensure they are well looked after but the child will not be a legal part of your family. Legal responsibility will remain with the child’s parents and/or Local Authority.

When a child is adopted all parental responsibility passes to the new family as though the child had been born into the family. The child continues to be a family member even after they have reached adulthood and moved away from the family home.

Further Information

At Fostering Connections we are dedicated to dispelling the myths associated with fostering. If you have questions or need more information about fostering or adoption then visit our FAQ page where you will find a wealth of useful information to support you in making your decision to foster.