Thousands of children every year are taken out of abusive homes and families, and rehoused with foster families. Even more children are put up for adoption, and sadly the numbers continue to rise – it’s essential that the people who choose to foster children continue to do a great job, and thankfully the rise in children being put up for adoption is being met by countless numbers of families looking to adopt. Both situations require immense responsibility on the part of the carer, and there are a number of checks that need to be carried out before you will be eligible to foster or adopt a child.
Fostering and adoption are two very different solutions to giving a child a new life, however many people are unsure what these differences are. Adoption is a legal process, where the birth parents’ rights to their child are removed by the courts, transferring them to the adoptive parents. This can also affect the child too, as they will have no right to any of their birth parents’ inheritance, and they will also have to take the family name of their adoptive parents.
Fostering on the other hand is a little simpler, however just as important. Here, children are placed in the care of foster parents temporarily, until adoption or until an age where the child is legally considered an adult. The foster parents will receive funding from their local government, as well as anything else they need to make sure the adoptive child is cared for and looked after. In many cases, foster families tend to adopt the child anyway.
In previous years, adoption was only a solution for very young children, and mostly new-borns. Nowadays however, it’s rare that a child less than two years old is put up for adoption, with social services preferring to house them with a foster family instead. Financially, adoption is very different to fostering too. Your own household income will be assessed when applying for adoption, and although you will receive financial support for the child, it will only be up to a certain age.
Fostering does require a number of benefits compared to adoption, for the child as well as the foster family. In foster care, children are encouraged to write letters and send photographs to their birth parents, as social services place a high value on maintaining the family relationship. Furthermore, a foster child will not be required to change their family name when in foster care. Both the child and the birth family will be given lots of support, in the hope that one day that the child can be returned to their family. Be sure to contact Capstone Foster Care if you considering fostering or adopting a child this year.
Special guardianship is another option social services are happy to accommodate, and it’s sort of a mix between adoption and fostering. Although the foster parents will be able to exercise parental responsibilities and guardianship, it does not offer complete legal responsibility. For example, they will be able to sign forms for school trips and other parental requirements.
David has been writing about fostering and adoption for a number of years and is a big advocate of the act.