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The Difference Between Foster Care and Adoption in Ohio

Have you always wanted to be a parent? Maybe you’ve experienced the heartbreak of infertility, or maybe you haven’t been prepared for all that parenthood entails. But if you’re ready to start your family, you have a few paths forward, including Ohio adoption or foster care. But what’s the difference between adoption and foster care in Ohio

Foster care vs. adoption in Ohio provides two alternate avenues to parenthood. Both are loving, selfless acts because by adopting, you’re giving a child in need the home they deserve. But there are also some stark differences between becoming a foster parent and adoption in OH that you should consider. 

Do you know if fostering or adopting a child is right for you? It won’t hurt to talk the decision over with an adoption professional. We want to help you understand the key difference between foster and adoption in Ohio. You can speak to one of our specialists by calling 1-800-ADOPTION or filling out our free online form.

Below, we’ll cover the distinctions between foster care versus adoption in OH, domestic infant adoption vs. foster to adopt in Ohio, and why private infant adoption could give you the right way to build the family you’ve always dreamed of.

What is the Difference Between Fostering and Adoption in Ohio?

The most obvious difference between adopting and fostering a child in Ohio is the degree of permanency involved.  Fostering is temporary and adoption is permanent.

When you agree to foster, you’re welcoming a child in foster care into your family to give them a home on a temporary basis. It’s temporary because in the meantime, the foster system will focus on biological family reunification, as it’s always their priority to return a child to their biological home when possible.

Adoption is permanent, however, and once adoption finalization is completed, the child will be a member of your family forever. Unlike fostering, adopting a child legally means the adoptee is legally your child, and you have full parental rights. That’s the most notable difference between foster and adopt in OH.

What 7 Factors Illustrate the Difference Between Foster Care and Adoption in Ohio?

Whether you foster or adopt in OH, you should know you’re doing something great. The gift you give a deserving child in need of a home is loving and selfless, and that’s a beautiful thing. There are important differences between these two forms of family expansion.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the important differences between foster vs. adopt in Ohio

1. Level of Consent Provided by Biological Parents

One of the primary differences between foster care vs. adoption in OH relates to the degree of consent from the biological parents that’s required prior to placement of the child outside of their biological home.

In private infant adoption, the expectant birth mother voluntarily consents to placement of her child and willfully relinquishes her parental rights. The mother creates an adoption plan that guides the entire process. She gets to choose the right family for her child, and she can change her mind at any time in her journey.

But when a child is removed from the biological home and enters the foster system, consent is not generally provided by the parents. That’s because removal of the child generally happens because of a dangerous or unhealthy home environment, so foster care placement is usually involuntary.  

2. Possibility of Open Communication

Another distinction between foster care vs. adoption in Ohio is how much contact the parties have with one another before and after the child’s placement.

In a private adoption, the parties can agree to an open adoption contact arrangement. That lets them communicate regularly with one another, and it has benefits for everyone involved. At American Adoptions, we require prospective parents to welcome open adoption.

Though there could be a degree of openness in a foster care adoption, that’s not usually the case. It’s even more rare in foster care placement. In fact, it’s common for there to be no contact with the child’s birth parents, especially in cases in which the child was removed due to dangerous or unhealthy conditions.

3. Method of Choosing Adoptive Families

An important difference between foster care and adoption in OH relates to how families are chosen to raise the child being placed in a new home.

In private adoption, the birth mother is totally in control of which family raises her child. She gets to choose every quality she wants the family to have using her adoption plan and remains in full control of the process.

Conversely, in foster care placements, birth parents have no say in the family that’s selected to care for their child. The state makes that choice and tries to match children with foster families that can meet their needs.

4. Wait Time Duration

Though a little more complicated than other distinctions between adoption versus foster care in OH, the length of your wait time with each option is something to consider.

Most private infant adoption agencies strive to offer short wait times for hopeful parents. For example, wait times for an adoption opportunity with American Adoptions, for example, are usually an average of 12 months. We take many steps designed to minimize wait times, which means you’ll get to become a parent sooner when partnering with our agency.

In foster care situations, wait times differ according to what you want to accomplish. When fostering with no expectation of adopting, your wait time for placement will probably be negligible. Foster homes are always in demand, as more kids need a stable home than there are foster families that can offer one. Placement may be immediate once you’re eligible to foster.

If your goal is to adopt from foster care, you should know the wait is almost always longer than with private infant adoption. It could take years for the birth parent’s parental rights to be terminated by the courts, and adoption isn’t an option until then. There’s no guarantee it’ll even happen at all before the child turns 18, so you may not get a chance to adopt the child permanently.

5. Cost Considerations

Cost is a concern for many hopeful parents considering foster care or adoption. It’s important to note the difference between foster care and adoption in Ohio as it relates to the expense of each option.  

Infant adoptions are costly, with costs often reaching $50,000 prior to adoption finalization with a private adoption agency. That may put private infant adoption out of reach for some families, though there are many ways to fund your journey if adopting an infant is the right path for you.

On the other hand, fostering and adopting from foster care are both almost free. In Ohio, there’s little (if any) associated cost that must be paid by prospective families. If you’re fostering, you may even get a stipend to offset the cost of raising a kid, and most expenses accrued by parents who adopt through foster care are reimbursed by the state.

6.  Age Range of Children

Another important difference between foster care and adoption in Ohio is the average age of the kids involved. Private domestic adoptions usually involve babies. Consent to adoption is usually provided by the birth parents soon after the child’s birth, and the baby often leaves the hospital with the adoptive parents.

However, children in the care of the foster system are generally older. There are cases involving infant adoption from foster care, but it’s exceedingly rare. The average age of children in the foster system in the U.S. is 7.7 years old.

7. Degree of Uncertainty

Finally, if you’re considering becoming licensed as a foster home vs. adoption in Ohio, you should know that there are differing degrees of certainty about accomplishing your family goals through foster care versus adoption in Ohio.

Serving as a foster parent is often motivated by a desire to help deserving children in foster care get the stable home they need. Foster care adoption is sometimes a possibility, but foster care is really a temporary way to provide a safe home environment for a child. The possibility of fostering a child through their 18th birthday without getting an adoption opportunity is a reality. If you don’t mind that, foster care adoption may be a good option.

But if you’re set on eventually getting a permanent adoption opportunity, private domestic adoption offers that chance. Birth parents voluntarily offer consent to adoption, so there’s no need to wait for the termination of parental rights before adopting. Once the legal requirements are met, and the adoption paperwork is signed, you can fully adopt your child.

Reasons Hopeful Adoptive Parents Opt for Infant Adoption Versus Foster Care in Ohio

Choosing between foster care vs. adoption in OH involves setting your family goals and creating a plan. If you want a chance at a permanent adoption, private domestic adoption is your best way forward. It gives you a direct, certain path to building the family you’ve dreamed of having.

Again, at American Adoptions, we respect and support those who want to participate in foster care and foster care adoption. Few acts are nobler than giving a foster child in Ohio a home in their time of need. But the same can be said about private domestic adoption. Private infant adoption can also be a life-changing experience for everyone involved.

Some of the advantages of private infant adoption include:

  • You get to permanently adopt an infant
  • You can shape your experience through your Adoption Planning Questionnaire (APQ) by setting your preferences and finding the perfect adoption opportunity.
  • You won’t need to be concerned with possible preexisting trauma or difficulties associated with childhood adversity.
  • You’ll likely have a shorter path to family growth because there are fewer steps involved in private adoption.
  • You’ll have a guaranteed path to the family you want since birth parents offer consent before private adoption can proceed.
  • You don’t have to wait on the court to terminate parental rights of biological parents.
  • You (and the other parties in the adoption) can benefit from an open adoption.
  • And many others

If private infant adoption matches well with your family goals, there’s no better ally you can have than American Adoptions. For nearly three decades, more than 13,000 families have seen their adoption dreams come true with the support of our agency.

Our active families have a 100% success rate, which can be traced to our marketing and promotion. We offer 12x more marketing than our competitors, which leads to significantly shorter wait times (an average of 12 months) than with other leading agencies.

Another benefit you get from partnering with American Adoptions is our high-quality staff. They aren’t only compassionate, knowledgeable adoption professionals who are fully licensed in Ohio. They’re also adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth mothers. They personally know what you’re going through, and they will share their experiences with you throughout your adoption journey.

Still deciding whether foster care vs. adoption in OH is right for you? That’s okay. It’s a big decision with life-changing consequences, so take your time. We also want you to know we’re here to help. Please reach out to our specialists by calling 1-800-ADOPTION or completing our online form whenever you’re ready. 

Final Words on Adoption Versus Foster Care in Ohio

Whether you choose to foster or adopt in Ohio, you’re doing something wonderful. Both paths to family growth represent noble acts born from a place of love and a desire to give a deserving kid the stability they need to thrive. And both private adoption and foster care allow you to build a loving, supportive family.

If you’re still processing the difference between foster care and adoption in OH, that’s okay. We’re here to get you the answers you need and chart your path forward when you’re ready. If you’d like to speak with one of our specialists today, call 1-800-ADOPTION or fill out our online form

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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