Foster care vs adoption: which is the best now?

Foster Care vs adoption

Anyone hoping to adopt a child someday must come across the word to foster care and of course adoption itself. Both of them are two ways to add to a family and a more exciting one for that matter. Often time, people want to compare foster care vs adoption, to know which is the best way of adopting a baby.

If you ask such questions too, then wait for the answer, because I am here to share a few tips about foster care vs adoption, so you will know which is best for you now. At the end of reading this post, you would have learned:

  • What foster care and adoption means.
  • The differences between foster care and adoption.
  • Foster care vs adoption statistics.

The truth is that foster care and adoption seem to be similar, after all both of them means bringing a child from another birth mother/family into your home to love and to take care of; may I also tell you that even the adoptive parents also get confused about the two, especially when they attend adoption or foster care training.

But, there are myriads of differences between foster care vs adoption, and we will be looking at the differences and similarities in this post.

There are many reasons children find themselves in a foster home or adoption and there are also a variety of differences you can think of as well. For example, the ways children find themselves in each of them are different. Before we move forward, let’s look at the definition of the two types of adoption.

What is Foster Care Adoption?

This is a temporary arrangement where an adult offers to take care of a child or children for a period of time, simply because their parents are not able to take care of them effectively. Foster care is not a place for juvenile delinquent children, but a place where children who can’t be taken care of by their immediate parent go to be nurtured until such a time.

Usually, the child in foster care homes is there with the intention of uniting him with the family. Meanwhile, if at last the family can’t still take care of the child, he may be made available for adoption. Another thing to note about foster care vs adoption is that Foster is for some time, and adoption is permanent.

There are two ways to adopt from foster care: one is called foster care adoption which we have discussed earlier. The second is called post-adopt. In this type of adoption, the child is placed with the approved family, with the intention that the child will become free and legal and finally be adopted by the fostering family.

Most children are not adopted by their fostering parents; once they become legally free from their birth mother, they become automatically eligible for adoption.

What Is Adoption?

An adopted child, adopting a baby

Adoption is a process where a child who could not be taken care of by the birth family are being taken by another family ( adoptive family) as their child, after the mothers’ parental rights are terminated.

After the adoption, the adoptive mother now has the same right the birth mother had and the adopted child from that moment have the whole legal, right, emotional and physical rights and benefits the biological children have too.

There are different types of adoption you should also get yourself acquainted with, as you are trying to know about foster care vs adoption. We will be looking at the 4 common types adoption in this section, so get yourself a cup of drink as we dive in now.

  • International Adoption: This is a process of adopting a child from another country that is not yours.
  • Private Adoption: private adoption is the process by which the expectant parent or the birth parent have a connection with the adoption, and that was made possible by the professional adoption.
  • Public Adoption: In this type of adoption, the children in the foster care are connected with the prospective adoptive parents by the organization called the children’s Aid society.
  • Relative Adoption: This is the type of adoption where a child is adopted by a close relation or a parent step; which includes – uncle, aunty, and grandparents. Etc

Check out my post on the types of adoption for more details.

Foster care vs adoption: which is the best now?

Foster Care

Foster Care is not permanent: Although there is a long-term foster care and ä short-term foster care, yet it is not permanent. The long term foster care may last for about 3 to 4 years, and if, at that, the reunification process didn’t work out, the child will become eligible for adoption. The goal of placing a child in the first place is to help repair the problems that exist between the child and the birth family. If eventually the peace is restored, the child will return to the family, and if it didn’ t work, then the child will be placed for adoption.That shows that it is never permanent.


Adoption is permanent: Adoption is not like foster care, because it is permanent. In adoption, the child is placed in the adoptive parents’ family forever, once the child’s parental rights are terminated.

Adoption is a legally binding relationship that is bestowed upon the adopted child, who gives him or her the rights and power to be loved and cared for by the adoptive parents just as they would to their biological children.

All the rights and privileges enjoyed by the adopted child began the very moment the parental rights of the birth family were terminated. Also, from that moment, the adoptive parents become the bonafide child’s parents and will take care of the child as if they give birth to him or her.

Foster Care vs Adoption: Fees and Expenses:

Foster Care:

A foster care parent spends a little or no money at all for taking care of the child or children that are in their custody; instead, they receive stipend and allowances for doing that. The stipend the collect covers so many expenses, like – clothing, school uniform, shoes and other important things.

The government exempts her as foster care from parents and taxes. Sometimes, the foster care parent also receives additional stipends for attending some training, which helps them take proper care of the child.


You will not receive any stipend for adopting a child, “adoption is out of pocket expenses’. So, you will have to be ready to pay good money to adopt a baby from foster care or adoption home.

Adoption cost includes the whole adoption fee, as well as the cost of raising the child. If you choose international adoption, you’ll be ready to pay for the visa and other expenses.

Foster care vs adoption: Parental Rights.

Foster Care:

In most cases, the child’s birth mother still retains their rights as the child’s mother, even when they are in foster care. All of those rights are being supervised by the state, and they are only terminated when the child is finally placed for adoption.

Until then, the birth parent still has the power to decide about the child’s care, even without the state’s input. Once there is a decision, the child won’t go back to the parents. The state will immediately terminate the parents right until the child is adopted, either by the foster parents or adoptive parents.


In adoption, it is the adoptive parents that have the power to take decisions about their child the same way they should for their own children. The adoptive parents are also responsible for the child’s financial obligations, medical care, and spiritual education, unlike foster care which receives grants for all of them.

Foster care vs adoption: Background Checks and Medical Testing:

When it comes to background checks and additional medical tastings, both the foster care and adoption undergo the same. However, as a foster parent, you are bound to take parenting and care-giver training to help you improve your way of care for the child in your custody. Although the training is provided by different organizations, and to different people, the adoptive family doesn’t go through all of those training to adopt a child.

The Question Is: Foster care vs adoption, which you should choose.

Well, the choice is yours; I have taken time to expose the two options to you; the next line of action depends on you. Both foster care and adoption have their unique benefits to individuals, and what works for others may not work perfectly for you. All I will advise you to do is to follow your instinct.

Choose whichever that captures your mind. You may find out that it is the best for you.


Whether you are looking to be a foster parent or adopt a baby, you should answer these questions before making up your mind; what type of relationship would you want to have with the baby? Permanent or temporal?

Secondly, are you willing to take every responsibility and legal rights of the child? Answering the two questions will help you make your choice regarding foster care vs adoption.

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