What is foster care?
Foster care is meant to be a temporary living arrangement created to provide a stable environment for a child – or a group of siblings – whose birthparent(s) is/are currently unable to care for the child. Often, the end goal of foster care is to reunite a child with his or her birth family after determining that reunification is in the child’s best interest. If it is determined that reunification is not in the child’s best interest, then the child may become available for adoption. It’s important to note that foster care is often a temporary living situation, and adoption is permanent. Although some children in foster care may become available to join a family permanently, many will be reunified with their birth family.
If it is not in the best interest of the child to reunify with their birth family, and, in addition, no birth relatives are considered suitable options, the next possible option for the child is adoption. A child who is considered potentially “legally free” for adoption may join the foster family they have been living with as a permanent member of the family through adoption.
Other times, a child living in foster care may already be considered “legally free”, meaning the child will not reunify with his or her birth family. In that case, the child is considered completely available for adoption.
Who are the children in foster care?
This enlightening piece from Adopt US Kids gives kids who have first hand experience in the Foster Care system a chance to share their perspective on the experience: