How does fostering differ from adoption?

Both adoption and long-term fostering can provide a permanent home for a child, but there are some differences.Adoption removes the legal rights and responsibilities of the child’s birth parents and family, although there may still be limited contact with the birth family, such as letters, photographs and occasional meetings.

Fostering formally continues until the child is 18 but can continue longer, although fostering families often keep in touch with young people after they leave their care. It does mean the child or young person can keep their ties with their birth family and foster carers will work in partnership with social workers for the wellbeing of the child. The child’s birth family may be involved in important decisions made about their child.Foster carers also receive support, training and are paid a foster care allowance whilst they are looking after a child. Payments will depend on the needs of the child.