There are significant differences between being a foster Parenting and an adopting parent.
- Foster care is intended to be temporary care for children and youth unable to live with their parents because of neglect, abuse, parent incarceration, or other issues. However, when reunification with birth parents or adoption by another relative isn’t possible, foster parent adoption becomes a viable option. Adoption is a lifetime legal and emotional responsibility.
- Foster parents have no legal parental rights, but when you adopt, you acquire the same legal rights and responsibilities for your adopted child as parents have for their birth children. The child is no longer in the State’s custody but is a full, legal member of your family.
- While a child is in foster care, decisionmaking is shared by the agency, foster parents, and perhaps the birth parents.
- Children or youth may experience conflicting feelings between love for the biological family and growing affection for and a sense of security with their foster/adoptive parents.