Thinking of
FOSTERING?
Contact us now
logo

Fostering Vs Adoption

What’s the difference between fostering and adoption?

The main difference between fostering and adoption is that fostering is usually a temporary measure, whereas adoption is generally a more long-term, permanent solution. As a foster parent, although you are in the role of a parent, the local authority and child’s birth parent have responsibility for the child – however, as adoptive parents, you have full legal parental responsibility.

Requirements for fostering and adoption

If you’re interested in fostering, there are a set of fostering requirements which you will need to meet in order to proceed in the application process. However, the requirements for adoption differ. To apply to foster, you must:

  • Must be at least 21 years old
  • Must have lived in the UK for a minimum of one year
  • One partner must have a permanent home in the UK, Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man
  • You must undergo a two-part assessment and preparation process


There are also requirements for a child to be adopted, which state that:

  • The child must be under the age of 18
  • The child can’t have been married, or have been in a civil partnership, when the adoption application is made

How to choose between fostering versus adoption

It’s difficult to know whether fostering or adoption is the right path for you. However, one of the main considerations should be the demand for fostering versus adoption. The UK currently needs around 8,500 carers in order to support the number of children in care – whereas, the demand for adoption is a lot lower.

Another point to consider is the commitment. Adoption is a life-time commitment – whereas foster care, although still a serious commitment, has more flexibility than adoption. This is because you’re likely to experience a wealth of placements, over different time periods, meaning you’ll be exposed to much more experience, and have the opportunity to help change more young lives.

Long term fostering

If the idea of taking care of the same child, or children, over a long period time is more appealing to you than experiencing different placements, long term fostering could be the solution for you. Also known as permanent fostering, this allows the child the opportunity to still maintain a relationship with their birth family – which may be beneficial to their development. This differs from adoption as, typically, the child will have no contact with their birth parents.

Knowing the demand the fostering industry brings, and the commitment both adoption and fostering require, it’s important to make the right decision for you on whether you should foster or adopt. If you still need help deciding, our friendly professionals are on hand to deliver information and support regarding this decision. Get in touch with us today to find out more.

you may be also interested in

Who Can Foster?

31st March, 2021

Can you foster a child with a criminal record in the UK?

About Fostering

21st January, 2021

How long does it take to become a foster carer?

About Fostering

2nd November, 2020

Cultural diversity in foster care

Find out more about fostering with Excel Fostering.

Download our helpful guide to becoming a foster carer

Download Now

Ways to
GET IN TOUCH

Start the conversation today. Our team of friendly advisors are on hand to answer any foster care questions you may have. We can offer you honest and practical advice that can help you decide if becoming a foster carer is the right path for you. 


Request a
call back

Contact us by completing our online form and one of our fostering advisors will respond to your enquiry within 24 hours.



Call us

Contact us by phone and one of our friendly fostering experts will be on hand for any foster care advice and support you require.



Live chat

Chat with us online today and get the answers to your questions immediately from one of our expert fostering advisors.