Understanding the Differences Between Foster Care and Adoption

 Any time you welcome a child into your home and provide them with a safe and nurturing place, you significantly impact their lives. Two ways you can achieve that are through either foster care or adoption. The two share similarities and have their differences, but both serve their own purpose and are extremely necessary for the childcare system.

Although most people are probably aware of the broad differences between the two, there are many prospective foster or adoptive parents may not be familiar with some of the details of the two.

Parental Rights

One of the main differences between the two is the legal rights the parents have over the child. When fostering a child, the biological parents still typically have the rights as the legal guardian of the child. Though the state acts as an intermediary, the biological parents have the final say in most decisions. In some cases, when rights are revoked from the biological parents, the state acts as the legal guardian of the foster child.

When a child is adopted, full rights as the legal guardian of the child are then transferred to the new adoptive parents, and they will have the same rights as a biological parent would typically

Parental Responsibility

Due to foster parents and adoptive parents having different legal rights over their children, they also have different responsibilities as well. Since you aren’t the legal guardian of a foster child and the situation is, in some cases, temporary, you technically aren’t responsible for most expenses of the child. When you decide to foster a child, you receive a stipend from the state to cover the expenses of the child.

As we discussed in the previous section, adoptive parents are the full legal guardians of their child, so they bear full financial responsibility as well. When you adopt a child, you are responsible for paying for all of the expenses for the child, the same as you would for a biological child. You also are responsible for the fees associated with adopting the child. Fortunately, there are programs that can assist with the financial aspects of the adoption process.

Considering If You Should Foster or Adopt?

With both fostering and adopting, you’re having a tremendous impact on the life of the child you’ll bring into your home. If you’re considering these two options, spend some time considering which of these two options is right for you.

Would You Like to Know More About Foster Care or Adoption? Contact Burlington Today

Since 1913, Burlington United Methodist Family Services, Inc. has dedicated itself to changing lives by providing hope and healing to those who are hurting. We entered the foster care ministry in 1985, and since then, it has grown into one of our largest programs. Our foster care team works closely with families and clients to make foster care life enjoyable.

If you have any questions about foster care, becoming a foster parent, or any of our other services, please contact us at 304-260-5884 or foundation@bumfs.org.