Domestic vs. Refugee Foster Care

There are some significant differences between domestic foster care and refugee foster care:

  1. Within the domestic foster care system, children maintain regular visits with their birth parent(s) and possibly siblings. Refugee foster children come to the US without their birth parents and do not have regular visits with family.
  2. Domestic foster children range from newborns to 21 years old. Refugee foster children come to the US as teenagers, typically between the ages of 15-16 years old, and are usually boys.
  3. Domestic foster children may be eligible for adoption if the rights of the birth parents have been terminated. Refugee foster children can not legally be adopted because the birth parents’ rights have not been terminated.
  4. Refugee foster children typically lived in refugee camps in different countries around the world before coming to the US. When they come to the US, not only are they experiencing a new family, but they must also adjust to a new culture and new language. Refugee foster children have typically missed some years of formal education.