There are three significant differences between foster care and adoption, even when a child remains in the same household:
1. Adoption requires full financial responsibility for the child. Even if the family receives adoption assistance or a subsidy on behalf of the child, families are still responsible for financial obligations such as childcare and extracurricular activities.
2. Adoption requires complete decision-making responsibility. Decision making is shared with the agency and birth parent while the child is in foster care. When the child is adopted, adoptive parents take on this responsibility.
3. After adoption the family is no longer working with the agency to help the child reunify with his/her parents; rather, they are now working to incorporate the child as a permanent member of the adoptive family.