What is the difference between foster care and adoption?

Foster care is temporary; foster parents do not assume legal guardianship of the child and usually a child residing in a foster home will continue to have visits with members of the natural family. Where possible, the intention in fostering is to re-unite the child with his or her natural family. Adoption, on the other hand, is a permanent arrangement; parents assume legal guardianship of the child and there is no contact with the natural family.