Fostering vs. Fostering to Adopt: What’s the Difference?

Fostering a child is a huge decision to make, and one that can be extremely rewarding for caregivers and children. Children in foster care are usually removed from their homes because their parents are no longer able to care for them. In many cases, they are reunited with their birth parents at a later date, so their foster parents provide temporary care.

In some cases, it’s not best for children to go back to their birth parents. Fostering to adopt is a powerful option where parents can provide care for a child, determine if it’s the right fit for both of them, and potentially welcome them into their new forever home. Read on to learn more about the difference between fostering and fostering to adopt. For more information and support, contact TFI Family Services today.

Fostering vs. Fostering to Adopt: What's the Difference?What Is Fostering?

Foster children are typically removed from their homes involuntarily. In these situations, their parents aren’t able to provide them with adequate care. There can be a variety of challenges with children in foster care, including:

  • They have already been shuffled through group homes or other temporary housing
  • They have not had rules, clear boundaries, and structure in their life
  • They have undiagnosed disorders, delays, or other conditions
  • They have behavioral issues that have gone unaddressed
  • They have experienced trauma, such as child abuse

Foster parents are responsible for becoming the child’s temporary caregiver and advocate. Caring for the child will likely involve doctor’s appointments, therapy, paperwork, and extra patience and love. However, being able to help the child and be a catalyst in transforming their life is priceless.

What is Fostering to Adopt?

In some cases, children move from foster care to an adoptive situation. This is it is not possible or not in their best interest to be reunited with their birth parents. Fostering to adopt is a unique situation where foster parents have the decision to adopt the child that they have been caring for. They may also decide to keep their situation temporary, but help the child find their new adoptive family.

There are also scenarios where adoptive parents did not foster the child, but rather adopt the child from a foster home. In these scenarios, the child has already undergone a huge transition in their life and has likely gone through a long adjustment period with their foster care family. The foster parents and adoptive parents can work together for a smooth transition guided by support and care.

Which Option Is Right For You?

Caregivers should consider all of their options before making the decision to foster or adopt. They should consider the challenges of fostering and fostering to adopt, and seek as much information as possible before moving forward with their choice. The child in foster or adoptive care has already undergone so many changes and challenges, so they deserve the utmost care and empathy as they are transitioned into a new home.

If you’re considering adoption or fostering, explore TFI Family Services. Experience, passion, and care are a top priority to ensure children and their families get the help and future they deserve.