How is Adoption Different Than Foster Care?

by | Mar 15, 2019 | Birth Parent Blog

pregnant mother with daughter placing in adoption instead of foster careQuestion: “I have a three-and-a-half year old daughter and I’m 30 weeks pregnant with another girl. I’ve really been struggling to pay bills and make ends meet. As hard as it is to admit, I’m thinking it might be best to adopt out my baby.

My friend told me that it’s possible to get my baby back if I put her in foster care, so I’m curious about that. What’s the difference between foster care and adoption? Why should I choose adoption?”

Answer: Each pregnant woman thinking about adoption wants the very best for her baby. Many choose adoption because they want their baby to have the best life possible, and to be raised by two loving parents. When you work with an adoption professional like Lifetime, your baby will be placed directly into the healthy, happy family that you select.

The adoptive couple is 100% ready for parenthood, have been thoroughly screened, and will embrace you as the birth mother of their child. They will keep you a part of your child’s life and speak of you with love. So, know that when you make an adoption plan for your baby, she won’t go into foster care, but into a loving family you’ve selected.

The Difference Between Adoption and Foster Care

You might be wondering what the advantages are in choosing adoption over foster care. In most cases, a foster care placement of a child is not an intentional decision; it happens because of involvement with Child Protective Services. On the other hand, choosing adoption is always entirely up to you. When you choose adoption through Lifetime, your baby will be placed directly with a family who has been waiting for and praying for a child.

With adoption, you have the right to choose:

  • Your baby’s adoptive parents
  • The adoption professional who helps you
  • How much contact you’d like to have with the adoptive couple before, during and after the adoption
  • How you want your hospital stay and delivery to go
  • And more!

Women have more rights with open adoption than foster careWhen you contact Lifetime to make a voluntary adoption plan, we’ll work with you to pick adoptive parents who you feel are perfect for your baby. This means that your baby is never waiting to be adopted, and never goes into state custody. Once your baby is born, you can place him or her right into their adoptive parents’ arms.

You have probably heard of children in foster care who wait for years and years to be adopted. And, you’ve probably heard that many children get shuffled from foster home to foster home without getting adopted before they turn 18.

Fortunately, making an adoption plan with Lifetime isn’t like that. When you work with Lifetime, your baby will have permanent adoptive parents waiting for them. Your baby won’t be placed into foster care; they’ll go into their “forever family.”

The Choices Are Yours With Lifetime Adoption

When it comes to adoption through Lifetime, know that we won’t force you into placing your baby. It’s entirely your decision. No one has the power to make an adoption plan for your baby but you.

You, the birth parent, is the one who calls the shots in the adoption plan. You can choose your baby’s adoptive parents, how much you want to communicate with them, and how involved you’d like them to be for the birth of your baby. You can choose to have an open adoption with the adoptive couple and keep in touch.

It’s never too late to choose adoption and avoid your child being placed into foster care. If you’re curious about adoption but haven’t picked an adoptive family, our Adoption Coordinators can help you find the perfect adoptive parents. When you work with Lifetime, your child will never be placed in foster care. You’ll go through the regular adoption process, remaining in charge along every step.

If you’ve delivered your baby at the hospital and feel worried about your baby being put into the foster care system, call us at 1-800-923-6784 for the help you need. By choosing adoption, you have the power to make important decisions for your child, rather than the State making those decisions for you.

Get help now with your questions on adoption by calling or texting Lifetime at

And you can learn what open adoption is like by hearing from women who each have their own adoption story.



Mardie Caldwell Certified Open Adoption Practitioner

Written by Mardie Caldwell Certified Open Adoption Practitioner

Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P., is nationally recognized as an expert on open adoption. A Certified Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P.), Caldwell is the founder of Lifetime Adoption Center, established in 1986. She has assisted in over 2,000 successful adoptions and was one of the first adoption professionals on the Internet.

Caldwell’s life work is dedicated to educating and helping birth parents find the right adoptive parents for their child. She spreads the word about modern adoption through speaking appearances, webinars, online resources, and as a podcast show host.

She has written several award-winning books, including So I Was Thinking About Adoption, the first book of its kind. There are many reasons women choose adoption, and this short book is a comprehensive resource to make the best plan for you and your baby. Caldwell wrote So I Was Thinking About Adoption as a handy guide to the details of the adoption process.

Caldwell has made over 150 media appearances, including ABC News, CBS News, Larry King Live, CNN Headline News, NBC’s The Today Show, CNN’s The Campbell Brown Show, NBC News, KGO Newstalk Radio, CNN’s Black in America II, MSNBC, Fox, PBS, BBC, and Dr. Laura.

Read More About Mardie Caldwell

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