foster parent

noun

plural foster parents
1
: a person temporarily serving as a parent for a child who has lost or been removed from a parent's care and who is not the person's own biological child
specifically, US : such a person who has been trained and approved by a government or social-service agency
Many foster parents … continue to act selflessly as important way stations for at-risk kids while their biological parents get their lives together. Timothy Roche
Foster parents adopt children in Ventura County [California] more often than relatives do. Stephanie Hoops
2
a
: a person temporarily caring for an animal (such as one that is injured or awaiting adoption)
The 36-year-old Owosso [Michigan] native became a foster parent to dogs through the shelter five years ago.Anamaria Dickerson
b
: an animal caring for an unrelated offspring
Cowbirds deposit their eggs in the nests of other birds, and unknowing foster parents raise baby cowbirds along with their own young.The Tuscaloosa (Alabama) News
Tom hoped the little eaglet could be placed into an active nest, adopted and raised by wild foster parents, and could ultimately fly free.Massachusetts Wildlife

Examples of foster parent in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The nonprofits, known as foster family agencies, play an important role in this process by recruiting foster parents and training them, as well as providing social work support. Ana B. Ibarra, The Mercury News, 2 Apr. 2024 Ricardo’s principal and foster parents worried about inflicting another disruption. Deborah Sontag, New York Times, 25 Mar. 2024 The lawsuit contends both the foster parent and state social services were negligent. Samantha Latson, Kansas City Star, 22 Mar. 2024 Grape has been living with foster parents Cailee and Jack, who took him to the Santa event. Erin Clements, Peoplemag, 23 Dec. 2023 Krueger endured an abusive childhood at the hands of a foster parent played by Alice Cooper in Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare. Dustin Nelson, EW.com, 30 Oct. 2023 Donovan Roth Metcalf and Roth adopted their second child together, son Donovan, after being his foster parents. Francesca Gariano, Peoplemag, 28 Mar. 2024 Related Articles Kids’ clothes and toys: When a child comes into foster care, many foster parents run to their local Foster Closet, which are in almost every community nationwide, to get age-appropriate clothes and toys, said Mara Shorr, a former foster parent and volunteer child advocate. Marni Jameson, The Mercury News, 22 Feb. 2024 That estimate is based on the rates for foster parents set by the state and is the minimum possible amount required to cover seven children in their age range — not including any special subsidies for the two with additional behavioral needs. Stephannie Stokes, ProPublica, 18 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'foster parent.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1649, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of foster parent was in 1649

Dictionary Entries Near foster parent

Cite this Entry

“Foster parent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/foster%20parent. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

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