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The Difference Between Fostering and Adoption

With it being Foster Care Fortnight, you may be wondering: what is the difference between Fostering and Adoption?

Though both can be very rewarding, they are very different. We highly recommend taking the time to investigate your options before making a decision on which pathway is right for you.

So, what is foster care and what does it mean to foster?

Becoming a foster parent enables you to change the lives of children and young people for the better, this could be for a short term or long term foster placement. Foster care is a way of providing a home with a family for a child or children who are currently unable to live with their birth families. In order to become a foster parent, you will be required to complete an assessment process.

When it isn’t possible to reunite a child with their birth family they may move on to be adopted, or move to a long term foster placement. Birth parents of a child in foster care still hold parental responsibility; this responsibility is removed when an adoption order is made.

When you become a foster parent you become a child’s caregiver during the placement, providing a high quality, safe environment. You may have one or several children in your care. Foster parents are financially compensated for looking after children.

Foster Care Associates is the UK’s largest independent fostering agency and are part of the Core Assets Group – as are we. If you think that fostering is right for you, or you would like more information, we suggest taking a look at their website.

The difference between fostering and adoption

So, what is adoption and what does it mean to become an adoptive parent?

Adoption is a way of providing security, permanency and love of a new family for children who are unable to be brought up by their birth parents or extended family. Adoption is a legal process where parental responsibility is transferred to the adopters from their birth parents through an adoption order being granted.

As with fostering, there is an approval process that can take as little as 6 months. You can choose to become an adopter through your Local Authority, or through one of the many adoption agencies available. There are differences between these two options so we suggest looking into this further. Once you become an approved adopter you will begin the family finding process. Your Social Worker and the family finder will work with you until you are matched with a child and beyond.

When a child is first placed with you they will still be under the care of the Local Authority. Once they have lived with you for at least 10 weeks you can send the court an adoption application. Once an adoption order is granted you have parental responsibility for the child, the same as any birth child. You are not financially compensated as an adopter, however there is both financial and non-financial support available.

If you think that adoption is right for you, do not hesitate to get in touch and speak to one of our friendly team members who will be happy to speak to you about your suitability.

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Adopters for Adoption Limited, is registered company in England and Wales under company registration number 8689629, with the registered office - Malvern View, Saxon Business Park, Hanbury Road, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B60 4AD.

© Adopters for Adoption 2019