Adoption

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:

  • Adoption
    Adoption is a formal legal act that in the vast majority of cases is irreversible.

    The adopters have full parental responsibility.

    Adoption is a permanent transfer.


  • Foster Care
    Fostering usually consists of an inconsequential legal agreement.

    Normally the local authority is "in loco parentis" to the minor, making all legal decisions while the foster carer is responsible for the day-to-day care of said minor. The level of responsibility does differ between UK regions.

    Foster carers can choose to support different children's needs via a variety of placement lengths; some lasting days to more long-term placements lasting years.

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