Adoption and foster care are similar in that they provide children with stable and loving homes. While both adoptive parents and foster families have the opportunity to nurture a child in a safe environment, several distinct differences should be considered. From overhead financial costs to how long the child is in your care, these details can greatly influence your decision of whether to adopt or foster. So when it comes to choosing between adoption vs foster care, it’s important to understand the differences. St. Elizabeth Foundation is here to help you learn the differences and determine the best option for you!

Financial Needs and Family Contact Varies

With foster care, there is a much wider age range of children in need of caretakers. While one year old is the most common age of children in foster care based on data from 2020, children and teenagers up to 20 years old can be found in foster care. Fostering a child is free, and you can choose to adopt your foster child if the biological parents do not carry out reunification. Adopting after foster care means that the foster family is responsible for home study costs and applicable agency fees. You may also need to cover the cost of an attorney if you choose to adopt your foster child and require legal assistance. However, some expenses may be eligible for state reimbursement or financial assistance.

With foster care, you may have the opportunity to foster an older child. This differs from private adoption agencies like St. Elizabeth’s in Louisiana that specialize in newborn adoptions. We connect adopting families to birth mothers and parents for open, closed, or semi-closed adoptions. While foster parents stay in contact with the birth families, the level of contact for adoptions can vary. At St. Elizabeth, we let the birth mother set the degree of contact with her baby, unlike foster care where close contact is standard. Our staff helps bridge communication with open and semi-open adoptions. And while adoption is much more expensive than fostering a child, you are welcoming your baby into your home as a new child—not a temporary addition.

If you are deciding between adoption vs foster care, make sure to consider what ages you are willing to take care of. If you are willing to take care of older children, foster care can be a fantastic way to give a child or teenager a loving home. And if you are interested in adopting for permanent placement, give St. Elizabeth Foundation a call today to learn more about our adoption process.

Long Term Adoption vs Short Term Foster Care

There are many factors to consider when researching adoption vs. foster care. One of the biggest differences between adoption and foster care is the duration of the child’s stay. Adoption is a permanent decision. Depending on the openness of the adoption, the birth parents may or may not remain in contact with the child and their adoptive family. The goal of foster care, on the other hand, is to give a child a safe and loving home until they can be reunited with their birth parents. In this environment, the family acts less as parents to the child and more as caretakers during their time together. 

While adoption through foster care, also termed “foster failing,” is possible, this is only possible if the birth family decides not to reunify. But until the foster parents have gained official custody of the child, the legal custody of the child belongs to the state. The child may be reunited with the family or returned to foster care. If you are interested in having the child be a permanent member of your family, adoption should be your first consideration.

Begin Your Adoption Journey With St. Elizabeth’s Foundation

The specialists at St. Elizabeth Foundation would love the opportunity to tell you more about the benefits of adoption. From stepping you through the adoption process to connecting you with birth mothers, we can help you get ready to bring your new baby home. Contact us today by phone at 225-769-8888 or by email with questions or to get started. We’ll help you learn more about our counseling services, schedule your home study, and show you how to prepare your profile book. We can’t wait to guide you through this life-changing journey!