LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||03/OUT/2005 5:43 AM|
I've never heard "foster mother" used to mean the lady of the house where a home stay is living. The term "foster mother" implies a legal relationship, usually temporary. Let's say that an abused child is found in a home. You can't leave the child there, you can't put him into an orphanage, and you can't put him up for adoption. What you want for the child is a temporary haven, a place where the child will be safe until permanent arrangements can be made. This is a foster home.
"House mother" is sometimes used to describe a woman who is responsible for students living in a fraternity/sorority house. (Something like a "república" in Brazil, but not exactly.)
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