Glossary of Terms

Adoption: When an adult becomes a parent of a child through a service or court hearing. The biological parents give up the rights to their child and in a judicial process someone else gets the parenting rights to the child.

Aging Out: When a child of foster care becomes an adult at age 18 and has not found a permanent family.

Birth Family: A family consisting of parents and their biological offspring.

Birth Parent: One’s biological parent.

Elder: An older, influential member of a family or community.

Exiting Foster Care: When a young person living in foster care reaches the age of 18 and is required to leave their foster family and the state system of support. Some states provide foster care through 19- 21 if the youth is enrolled in a higher education or vocational program.

Forever Families: Term used by adoptive parents to describe themselves and their tie with their children and to emphasize the permanency aspect.

Foster Care: Temporary state supervised care for children who have been abused or neglected.

Grandfamily: A family where grandparents, great-grandparents, other relatives, or close family friends are raising a child because the biological parents are unwilling or unable to do so.

Guardian: One who is legally responsible for the care and management of the person or property of an incompetent or a minor.

Kinship: Connection by blood, marriage, or adoption; family relationship.

Kinship Care: The full time care of children by relatives, godparents, stepparents, or any adult who has a kinship bond with a child.

Multigenerational: Of or relating to several generations.

Open Adoption: An adoption in which the biological mother or parents and adoptive family know the identity of each other.

Parent: One who gives birth to, or nurtures and raises a child; a father or mother; a guardian; a protector.