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The Differences between Foster Care and Adoption

When it comes to placing your child with a loving family, you may find yourself wondering whether or not you should choose adoption or foster care. It’s true that these seem to be the two options when you don’t want your baby, but it’s important to do your research and educate yourself on what each choice entails before making a final decision. While these may appear to be similar in nature, they are labeled different for a reason. Adoption and foster care, even though the terms have been used interchangeably, aren’t the same thing.

What does this mean for you as a pregnant woman in Kansas? Knowing the differences between adoption and foster care is very important, because it allows you to make a well-informed decision and helps you determine which one is best for you and your child.

Here are some crucial distinctions to keep in mind:

1. The Adoption Process vs. the Foster Care System 

One of the first major differences you’ll find between adoption and foster care is how the two industries work. For instance, with foster care, when a child enters the foster care system, their biological parent does not have control over where he or she goes. They also do not get a say in who the child gets to live with, or how many subsequent living environments the child has overall. The state dictates this.

When you place your child for adoption, you, as the birth mother, have full control over the adoption process. You get to decide what type of adoption you want, who the adoptive parents are and how involved you want to be after the adoption has been finalized. Depending on the level of openness you choose, you get the opportunity to not only meet the adoptive parents after you’ve selected them, but you also have the chance to build a relationship with them. You get a say over everything that happens throughout your adoption journey, and receive peace of mind that your child is going to a loving, caring and supportive adoptive family.

2. Parental Rights with Adoption and Foster Care

The second biggest difference you’ll discover between adoption and foster care regards the parental rights biological parents have over their child. With foster care, this can be a very complicated process. Typically, in most cases, biological parents are able to maintain their parental rights until the child is placed for adoption. However, the state has the power to terminate those parental rights for a variety of reasons and will assume custody until the child is adopted.

With adoption, relinquishing your parental rights is a choice that you have complete control over. No one has the power to take that away from you. Up until you sign away your parental rights, you are your child’s legal guardian.

3. Adoption is Forever

The third and most significant difference between adoption and foster care pertains to the permanence of each option. In the foster care system, state and government-funded agencies don’t want to keep the children house there forever. They would much prefer that the child’s home-life gets resolved and he or she is able to return to their families. Unfortunately, this is not a very common occurrence. Thus, one a child is placed into the foster care system, they may be there for a short while or until they age out.

Adoption is much more permanent. The adoptive parents waiting to grow their family through adoption are fully committed to raising your child and can’t wait to give him or her the best life possible. So, once your child is placed in their family, they aren’t moved to another one later on. He or she is raised, loved, cared for and supported by the adoptive family you selected for the rest of their life. You never have to worry about where your child is, because you’ll always know.

The Differences between Foster Care and Adoption

There’s nothing wrong with looking at adoption and foster care when you are researching options for you and your baby, but it’s crucial for you to understand the differences between the two. They are not the same thing and both operate differently as well. Foster care is controlled by the state. Adoption is controlled by you, the birth mother.

Adoption Choices of Kansas is an adoption agency. We do not offer anything related to foster care. If you decide that adoption is the best choice for you and your baby, we would be more than happy to help you begin your adoption journey.

Adoption Choices of Kansas serves birth parents statewide and beyond, please call us or text us to learn more!
Call Us 877-903-4488 or Text Us 316-209-2071

Meet the Author: Gabrielle Willis is a lover of writing and knowledge, which shows in her everyday life. She graduated with a Bachelors in English in 2013, and recently graduated with a Masters in Creative Writing. She has also worked in the education sector for over 10 years, recently becoming a Literacy Tutor. At her core, her passion is reading and writing, and she loves sharing that with others.

She enjoys helping those considering adoption or going through the adoption process any way she can. This internship opportunity truly resonated with her and she hopes that her words will connect and inspire everyone who reads them.

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