What is the difference between foster parents and surrogate parents?

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What is the difference between foster parents and surrogate parents?

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A surrogate is someone who *births* someone else’s child. Maybe their body isnt healthy enough to sustain a baby, so she asks a friend to take the responsibility of pregnancy for her. Her friend is a surrogate.
A foster family is someone who *raises* someone else’s child. Maybe deadbeat parents couldn’t raise the child, so the child is adopted by someone else. These people are foster parents. Not the original parents, but they take the roll.

A foster family has a fairly strictly defined relationship with the person they’re fostering. They have some legal responsibility for the person for at least a short period (fostering can be a short term thing, for weeks or months before return to the birth family, OR it can be long-term/permanent), and they’ve usually undergone some kind of screening or background check beforehand. They may be receiving money from the relevant authorities to help pay for the person they took in.

A surrogate family is a lot more vague. Basically surrogate means substitute. If your family life is shit, your best friend’s family may be emotional surrogates for you and fill that need for warmth and stability. Or a woman may be a “physical surrogate”, carrying someone else’s child to term in her own body as a substitute for them because they can’t.

Foster parents are people who take care of *children* at some point. They are the child’s legal guardians but usually have no relationship to the child. They *might* have a relationship like aunt or cousin, but they might just be people assigned to take care of the child by social workers in the foster care system.

A surrogate mother is a woman who carries a fetus to term in her uterus with a legal contract that states she will give that child to a couple who will become that child’s legal parents on their birth certificate when born. Usually she is not genetically related to the fetus, but she might be genetically the mother. She has signed a contract with the child’s parents to carry the fetus.

Legally, a lot. Fosters have a legally binding contract with the state with precedent that protects all involved, especially the child. Surrogate law is in its infancy (pun intended) and there are a lot of risks involved.

A surrogate parent is somebody who carries a fetus for parents unable to conceive themselves, often with embryo created by parents’ egg & sperm, giving birth to a baby that goes to its permanent parents (who did not give birth to it)…

A foster parent has temporary custody for a child whose own parents/family cannot care for it.