What is the difference between child sponsorship and adoption?

Here at Children of the Mekong, we provide support for children in Southeast Asia through child sponsorship and education programmes. Both adopting and sponsoring children contribute to helping children in need and evicting them from the poverty cycle that they may be stuck in. However, there may be option better suits your hopes and needs, for yourself and your family. Deciding to either adopt or sponsor a child is a life-changing decision for both yourself and more importantly the child or children being adopted or sponsored, giving everyone involved hope for the future. Furthermore, both adopting and sponsoring a child allows a strong bond to be formed, but the nature of the relationship is very different.

The question is: What really is the difference between child sponsorship and adoption; how can the difference be justified to help you make the choice?

Hmong children

What is adoption?

Quite simply put, adoption is formally defined as the legal action of taking the child of someone’s biological or legal parent(s) and raising them as one of their own; the child is therefore adopted. Something that may not be known is that there are in fact many different types of adoption depending on the relationship you may have with the child or their parents, their previous living situation and whether they have other siblings or not. Examples of these include: closed, open and independent adoption, adoption of a relative, international adoption and foster care adoption. Whether you are a single parent or a couple, the new life you will be providing an adopted child will bring many positive outcomes, by allowing children to lead better lives, however, being a parent comes with much responsibility. Furthermore, adopting a child can help individuals or couples who may not be able to have a biological child.


What is Child Sponsorship

Child sponsorship is highly acclaimed for being a saving grace for many children in need in Less Economically Developed Countries. In the Mekong region, there are thousands of children that could be given the opportunity to have a better life thanks to the gift of education. The big majority of sponsored children live with their parents or extended families, and would not be eligible for adoption. It is a completely different way to help a child. Sponsoring a child allows donors to ensure that a child in need of education can be given everything they need without putting a huge strain on their affordability.

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The key differences between sponsorship and adoption

  • Adoption is the act of physically looking after a child and adopting them into your home with yourself and family.
  • The process of adopting a child is long and complex as it is a higher legal action that requires more commitment. Indeed, when you adopt a child you legally have to look after the child, provide them with a home and an education as they live with you.
  • Sponsorship is a financial and moral support. It does not allow you to physically look after the child you sponsor, you will probably never meet your sponsored child as they live in a faraway country.

What sponsored children are provided with for less

Being able to sponsor a child is accessible to anyone who would like to help. £28 (or $35) every month ensures that a child can go to school to complete their studies. When the child live too far from the school, they will be welcomed in a boarding school during the school term, and go back to their parents for the holidays. The sponsorship also provides for any medication that they may need.

Sponsoring a child can also keep a child within their community with their families but with an improved standard of living so that they can remain healthy, lead a new life out of poverty, educate their family on the way and have careers to look forward to. A sponsor is able to connect with one child and both the sponsor and child are able to get to know each other, and exchange letters, stories, and photographs. A long-distance relationship is built between them which helps the child have things to look forward to and someone to share their life with over years.

The longer the sponsorship the stronger the relationship can develop; although the child does not live with the sponsor as an adopted child would, the sponsor may be able to travel and visit the child in person.

Do you want to make a difference in a child’s life?

For £28/$35 a month, you sponsor a child and give them access to education. Your sponsored child can aspire to a brighter future.

Sponsor a child today