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Fostering vs. Adoption
in Michigan

If you’re considering foster care or adoption, it’s important to understand the differences between the two. For example, many people who want to adopt think they need to start by fostering a child, which is not necessarily the case.

Foster Care

When you decide to become a foster parent, you will work closely with a Wellspring social worker to help walk you through every step of the process of becoming a foster parent.

As a foster parent, you are choosing to open your home to caring for a child in need. The State of Michigan will maintain legal wardship of the child throughout their stay in your home.

Your number one commitment as a foster parent is helping a child reunite with their birth family.

By making this commitment, you are doing everything in your power to make sure the child attends required visits with the birth parents (when appropriate) and that all the child’s needs are met.

While you are fostering a child, the birth parents are working to resolve the issues that brought the child into foster care in the first place. This process can take weeks, months, and sometimes a year or longer. In some cases, the birth family may never resolve the issues, which means the child would become available to adopt.


There are situations where, for safety reasons, a child cannot return to their biological family's home. In such cases, the court may decide to terminate the biological parents' rights, allowing the child to be eligible for adoption. This process legally transfers all parental responsibilities and rights to the adoptive parents.

In instances where the child is in foster care, the current foster parents might choose to adopt the child. If this is not an option, a social worker from Wellspring will work with the adoption worker to secure a permanent home for the child. Once an adoptive family is identified, the adoption process is completed, and these individuals legally become the child's parents.

Whether you are interested in fostering or adopting, we would love the opportunity to explore both options with you.

Let Hope Flow Through You.

We need foster parents. Schedule your orientation today.

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