Adoption Vs Foster Care: What Are The Differences Between The Two

Do you know the difference between fostering a child and adoption? Both are hugely important and can make all the difference to a child, but it is important to recognize that there are differences between the two.

If you are considering taking in a child, you will need to know the differences and choose the best option for your particular circumstances. With this in mind, this post will look at both fostering and adoption and highlight what the key differences are so that you can make the right decision if you are thinking about taking a child in. Keep reading to find out more.


First, you have adoption. Adoption is a permanent decision that will see the child that you adopt to become a permanent member of your family for life.

You will have full parental responsibility for the child and will be tasked with taking care of the child until it becomes an adult. Often, adoption takes place shortly after the child is born, but it is possible to adopt a child at a later age.


Fostering, meanwhile, is usually a temporary solution. Fostering involves taking a child in that often comes from a bad situation at home that they need to be removed from, so a foster child will be taken in by a foster parent with the goal of eventually moving back home once the situation is resolved (or finding someone to adopt them).

This means that you do not have full parental control, and it is the state and the child’s birth parents that are responsible and will make the key decisions in their life.

What Is Right For You?

As you can see, fostering and adoption are actually quite different when you break them down. Both are important and noble steps to take to help provide a safe haven for a child, but one is usually a temporary solution while the other is permanent.

Therefore, you need to decide whether or not a permanent adoption would be right for your circumstances or whether you would be best taking in a child on a temporary basis.

Foster children often come from situations that make their situation somewhat desperate, which means that it is a fantastic thing to take them in, but it does mean that there are often challenges involved. Having said that, many children that are put up for adoption at a later age often have similar issues to be aware of.

Taking The First Step

Once you have decided what is best, you will then want to take the first step. This usually involves registering your interest with an agency, which you can find by searching in your area, such as fostering in Gloucestershire if you decide to foster. You can then find out exactly what the application process involves and get access to resources that will prepare you.

This post should clear things up and give you a better idea of both adoption and fostering. Both are hugely important, but there are key differences to be aware of.