Understanding the Difference Between Adoption and Long-Term Fostering

There are many ways to take care of the physical and emotional needs of children in Oklahoma. Children who are in the foster care system may be free for adoption, or they may be considered a legal risk at this time. In fact, legal risk means a child who has parents who have not lost or given up parental rights. While a child may not understand the distinction between adoption and long-term fostering, this is important for adoptive and pre-adoptive families to consider before the placement of a child in their home.

Adoption

long-term fostering turned adoption
Mother, father, and adopted daughter outdoors.

Adoption is a permanent solution for families who want to care for children placed in their home through an agency. When you adopt a child, you become the child’s legal parent just as if you are the child’s natural parent. Their birth certificate is changed to reflect your information and you have all the rights and responsibilities of a parent. As an adoptive parent, you are the legal custodian of your children forever.

Long-Term Fostering

In the case of long-term fostering, the custody of the children is generally with the Department of Human Services through a Care and Protection Petition. Indeed, the child may have parents who have not lost their parental rights and are working towards reunifying with their children. There are many reasons why a case remains open for too long. A parent may begin to work with the Department of Human Services, only to falter. This can start the termination of parental rights process over, making a child wait in limbo before they can be successfully adopted.

Children who need long-term foster care are not yet free for adoption. Even if it is likely that the biological parents’ rights will be terminated, the child must remain in long-term foster care until they are legally free to be adopted.

Learn More About the Difference Between Adoption and Long-Term Fostering

To learn more about children who need long-term fostering or adoption, TFI Family Connections is ready to speak with you. Contact us today to hear about the children waiting for a family to love.