There is a big difference between adoption
. The main difference is that with adoption you become a child’s legal parent permanently, while fostering is usually temporary, until a child returns to their family.
Single people, as well as married couples, can adopt or foster a child. Applicants wishing to be approved will be considered irrespective of age, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability. You must, however, be in reasonably good health.
means becoming the legal parent of a child who is unable to live with their birth parents or extended family.
means caring for someone else's child and involves taking care of them for a few days or months, or sometimes until they grow up.
Other types of care
When a child under 16 years, or 18 years if disabled, lives with someone who is not a relative or approved carer for more than 28 days, this is called 'private fostering'.
It is a legal requirement to notify your local authority if you are the parent of a privately fostered child or if you are privately fostering or intend to privately foster a child.
For further information see: