Systemic barriers to adoption persist, according to a new study by UBC graduate student, Marg Harrington. In an attempt to provide an analytic glimpse into the perceptions and realities of adoption in BC, Harrington recently conducted ten interviews with social workers, adoptive parents, and individuals who had previously inquired about adoption. While she acknowledges that this sample size does not allow for generalizations among the population at large, her findings indicate that greater resources are needed to adequately support the adoption system in BC.
BC's Waiting Children
Two years ago, through the Ministry of Children and Family Development, Leah Elliott adopted a set of siblings aged four and five years old. These children joined the sibling group of three who had joined Leah’s family earlier. Leah wrote to Focus about the wonderful job Vickie, the children’s foster mom, did in preparing the children for this momentous move. Though each adoption is different, much of this foster mom’s painstaking and unselfish work serves as a blueprint for successful older child adoption preparation.
“On the sidewalk that leads to the grade school near us, his name is in that cement. We see it every day. It’s nice. It makes me feel good to see it, but the other side is that the feeling of loss resurfaces.”
You are close to fulfilling your dream of becoming a parent. This is a time when it is easy not to ask the hard questions. But they must be asked so that you are as well informed as possible and you are better prepared to parent the child.
“I’m not your real Mom. You are adopted.” Those may not have been the exact words, but at age two-and-a-half that’s what I remember hearing. From that moment on, my life changed. Although my mother’s intentions were good, she could not have known how this would impact me.
At the same time as making this comment, she also told me that I would accompany my parents the next morning to bring home a new sister. I was told that we would take a ferry and drive through tunnels to get her- a curious place to get a baby sister, I thought!
The parents of biological children know their child’s prenatal history and most of what we might call their medical inheritance. Adoptive parents, even those who adopt “healthy newborns,” usually have far less information. They must take a leap of faith that all will be well and, that if the child has unexpected disabilities or challenges, that they will adapt and cope.
Having directed both foster care and adoption programs that place teenagers into permanent families, and then having founded an agency that places teenagers into permanent families, I often get asked, “What kind of people will offer their home permanently to a teenager?” My answer is always the same, “Any and all kinds of people who, after a good preparation experience, are willing to unconditionally commit themselves to a child no matter what behavior that child might ultimately exhibit.” Teenagers need, first and foremost, at least one adult who will unconditionally commit to and claim th
David Murphy of Abbotsford, is brimming with family pride. There’s him, his wife Nikki, two-year-old Cody, the dog and two cats. Children were always going to be part of the Murphy family—there was no doubt about it. David recalls that on their honeymoon Nikki talked about starting a family. "I wanted to wait a year or so. But five years later we had still been unable to conceive a child."
Attachment theory and children in care
Tracy and Keith recently adopted a little girl through the Ministry. While the ecstatic parents were enthusiastic about telling their story, we cannot use their real names until the adoption is finalized. Otherwise, all information is accurate.
Describe Your Family