At Kindercare NI we often see that for many people who might not have explored foster parenting before, the distinctions between fostering and adoption might not be clear.
If you are considering either fostering or adoption and are not sure which might be right for you or your family, the team at Kindercare NI have written this article as a short guide to the differences between the two.
A foster carer is recognised as the legal guardian of the child for as long as the placement continues, but they do not have the same legal status as a parent.
Fostering is often a short-term arrangement or if it is on-going care it will ultimately end when the young person reaches adulthood.
Because adoption is a different process to foster caring, it suits people who often have different needs. If you are considering either fostering or adoption it is important to explore your own motivations and hopes.
If you see your future roll with a child as that of being a parent, adoption might be a more suitable choice. If you would prefer to act as a carer to one or possibly a couple of children (depending on your capacity to house them), fostering might be appropriate.
In addition to this there is a generous allowance per child per week, which covers the entire cost of housing, feeding, clothing a foster child and gives the carer an income.
At Kindercare NI, we believe that both adoption and fostering are valuable and essential in their own right and give children who need it the most real security and stability in their lives. It is important, however, that carers choose for themselves based on their own needs how they want to make a difference to young people’s lives.