Differences Between Foster Parenting and Foster Adoption
Providing a foster child in need with a loving, stable environment is a rewarding act that benefits everyone involved. There are two ways to accomplish this: as a foster parent or as an adoptive parent. Before deciding which is the right choice for you and your family, it’s important to understand the distinction between the two options. It may seem like there can’t be that much separating foster parenting from foster adoption, especially if you’re interested in offering long term foster care or if you’re already a foster parent, but there are actually several differences when it comes to the level of responsibility you have for the child in your home. Carefully consider the factors surrounding each type of circumstance so you can determine if you would best be suited to commit temporarily to foster care or permanently through a Shasta County foster adoption.
As mentioned above, foster parenting only provides care for a child in the interim of a difficult family situation. Children may be removed from the custody of their birth parents because of neglect, abuse or any other number of problems for a short or specified period of time until reunification can become possible. Rejoining children with their biological parents is the goal of the foster care system, and though it doesn’t always work that way, there may still be a chance that other family members can take them in. While taking on the role of a foster parent, you will work alongside the child welfare agency and sometimes the birth parents to make arrangements regarding the child’s well-being as it pertains to health, school, etc.
On the other hand, foster adoption is a viable option when the parental rights of a child have been taken away and there are no relatives for them to turn to. Your home and family will become a permanent part of the child’s life just as if you had given birth to them. It will be solely up to the adoptive parents to make all the decisions in an effort to benefit the best interests of the child. As an adoptive parent, there is no cause for concern that a biological parent or other birth relatives can one day legally take custody of the child.
Children living in foster care often carry hope that they will be reunited with their birth parents one day. They may also be closed off in a situation they see as temporary and less likely to discuss feelings of anger and hurt and the conditions that caused them to be in foster care in the first place. Foster parents don’t often get a chance to dive in and help make a difference in their mental state. Adopted children may begin to grieve the loss of their biological family and at the same time have conflicting feelings of love and gratitude towards their adoptive parents. Once a child has a permanent place in a home, there is a much better chance of working through all of these emotions together as a new family.
As a foster parent, you will receive a stipend to use on the child’s behalf for medical expenses, food, clothing, daycare, etc. Adoptive parents may still receive assistance depending on the health of the child, but generally, all costs associated with raising a child will become their full financial responsibility.
Perhaps the biggest difference for both children and the adults that choose to care for them between foster parenting and foster adoption in Shasta County is knowing that there will always be stability, support and a loving place to call home.