Adoption is a legal procedure in which all the parental responsibility is transferred from the birth parents to the adopters in order to provide a new family for children who cannot be brought up by their parents - sometimes for a variety of reasons. An adopted child loses all legal ties with their birth parents and becomes a full member of the new family. Often these children will take on the new family name.
Some young people old enough to still have contact with their birth parents, would be better in a long term foster care placement rather than adoption. However, sometimes a child who is fostered may be adopted by their foster carer for a permanent move.
The difference between adoption and fostering:
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