Raising a child is one of life’s most precious responsibilities. Many people have become parents by birthing their kids, adopting, fostering, or becoming step-parents.
No matter how you become a parent, the focus remains the same- raising a child in a loving environment and in a responsible manner.
In this article, we take a close look at the difference between a step-parent and a foster parent.
Foster Parent Vs. Step-Parent
Whether or not there is a difference between a foster parent and a step-parent is an unanswered these days as more people are beginning to use both terms interchangeably.
However, there is no striking similarity between both forms of parenting, asides from the fact that childcare is a part of both cases.
Knowing the difference would mean understanding each concept independently. Below is all you should know:
Who is a step-parent?
Step-parenting is a type of parenting that involves caring for the biological child of a spouse. In this case, the step-parent has no biological relationship with the step-child.
The step-parent has to provide for the children with or without the help of the biological parent. Because of this, there are various views on how to maintain a relationship with the other biological parent who is no longer in the picture.
Once you’re a step-parent, it’s natural to ask if you should function as a parent right away or if you should take a more cautious approach and wait and see.
There is no one correct method or way to be a step-parent. There are many different approaches. Over time, you and your family will come up with a method of step-parenting that works for both of you.
The advantages of being a step-parent
One fantastic benefit of being a step-parent is the chance to play a key role in a child’s life. Not to mention the joys and support of a wider family network.
Another benefit is the option for your children to develop good bonds with their stepsiblings and half-siblings. You also get the chance to develop great relations with your spouse and step-kids.
The difficulties of being a step-parent
One of the difficulties of being a step-parent is adjusting to a new family. It’s so becaise everyone else already understands each other well. To begin with, you could well feel a little out of place.
Your step-child may reject or ignore you, or they may simply feel uneasy or shy in your presence. It can be difficult to cope with this and find beneficial ways of relating to your step-child.
You may have to cope with bad responses or critiques from the other parent of your step-child. Furthermore, if your stepkid’s other parent is not enthusiastic about your presence in their life, you may have challenges.
This could have an impact on how your step-child conducts toward you.
With your child or children, you may feel biased towards them or upset if you believe that your partner isn’t fair to your child or children.
Differences with your spouse
You and your significant other may have varying approaches to and expectations regarding parenting. You will need to collaborate with your partner in order to resolve any issues that arise as a result of your differences.
Also possible is the feeling of being under pressure to fulfill a specific role. For example, stepmoms often believe they must take on the primary caring role, or stepfathers may believe they should take charge of boundaries and rules.
Taking care of and encouraging foster children requires a great deal of nurturing, culture, and encouragement. There is also a lot of paperwork and meetings to attend.
However, being a foster parent is most important because it means giving a child new opportunities to live better.
Because state laws control foster care regulations, they often vary from one state to another. However, becoming a foster dad or mom almost always begins with a visit to the legal division responsible for that state’s child welfare program.
An application is important, but many states make these applications available online. General information about your family and your home part of the application.
Also, you have to answer why you wish to foster a child. In some cases, you may need to say whether you would prefer an infant, or an older child to care for.
An orientation class, or a series of classes, comes up after applying. Those who are interested in becoming foster parents often attend the training session with you.
Not only is it a group activity, rather than a private lecture, but it is also a form of training. If you have any concerns about the type of relationship you’re about to enter, you can express them.
Do this by asking questions to get a sense of what to expect. The majority of the time, a home study is required when fostering children.
A social worker will visit your home, who will meet with you and other family members and check your environment.
Although your age is considered a huge factor to some extent (you need to be at least 21 in most cases), nothing else matters.
Your race, religion, gender, and marital status are never judged or taken into consideration. There may be as many as five or ten visits to the home during the study.
Prepare to eventually let go
You may have to learn to let go at some point. It is always the end objective of foster care to reconnect the child with his or her biological parent(s).
When a child is removed from his home because of some incident, the state will work to correct the situation. This is done so that the family can be reunited.
However, there are times when this is simply not possible, and the child is put up for adoption instead.
In many cases, foster parents are given the initial opportunity to adopt; however, should they decline the opportunity for any reason, the kid will be placed in a different home.