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Perspectives: Adoption in Alberta

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Adoption across the Rockies

At any given time last year, there were about 5,300 children and youth in permanent government care in Alberta. In the same year, 449 of these children found a loving and permanent home. Alberta children are almost always placed with Alberta families in order to keep them connected to extended family, culture, community, and resources.

A celebration of Aboriginal roots

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

A passion for culture

June 2015 will mark the eighth annual Roots Celebration within Okanagan First Nation Territory, the land of the Syilx people. The event serves Indigenous children and youth in care by helping to instill in them a sense of pride, honour and respect for their identity and heritage. Organizers and participants represent many Nations and bring together the best of what they have to share over a weekend rich in Indigenous cultural experiences focused on children and youth.

Sharing our hearts

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Adoption is only the beginning

In the spring of 2013, my husband and I completed our first adoption--a process that we found gruelling,  confusing, and bewildering. We didn’t know much about the ins and outs of adoption through foster care when we asked if we could adopt our precious foster daughter, who had been with us since birth. We didn’t even know what “CCO” (continuing custody order) meant. All we knew was that we loved her and wanted her to be part of our family forever. When the adoption went through, we were over the moon, but it was only the beginning.

Choosing adoption

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

For years, I tried to avoid even considering adoption. The idea of being put with people I didn’t know anything about and hadn’t even seen before was a little scary. I’d mostly lived with my great-grandma my whole life. That felt like home to me, and I didn’t want to leave. Unfortunately, my grandma’s age and health problems were getting bad and she wasn’t able to continue taking care of me. I had nowhere to turn. Adoption became the best option for me. Deciding on adoption was very scary, and I felt like I was risking my future.

Adoption satisfaction survey

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Just over 650 people took part in BC's first adoption satisfaction survey. TWI Surveys, a Canada-wide, independent research and strategy development company, designed and hosted the survey which was conducted in September 2009.

Overall, the results were positive, but improvements can be made.

Because of the large number of responses to our survey, the results are extremely reliable. As well as areas for improvement, there is lots of good news.

Everyone has a story: Meet the Vaillancourts

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

My first encounter with the idea of children in care who needed families was during a church service as a little girl.

The speaker shared unsettling statistics about kids who age out of care and end up incarcerated, homeless, or worse; kids who are separated from their siblings; and young adults who have no place to spend the holidays or summer vacation. I suppose it all resonated with me because I came from a family of five siblings, and I couldn’t imagine my life without them. At that church service I made up my mind that I wanted to adopt older kids one day.

Inside Aboriginal adoption in BC

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

The importance of cultural connections

In a previous article, I wrote about the Exceptions Committee in the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD). The article was prompted by a list of questions that the Adoptive Families Association of BC had gathered from their membership. There were additional questions related to Aboriginal adoption in BC that I will endeavor to answer in this follow-up article.

Diary of an Adoptive Mom #19

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In the nineteenth of our series, our mom of three kids--Emily and her new siblings, Grant and Lynn--wonders why so much information about her childrens’ past is still unavailable, and why she’s listed as Mom on their birth certificates.

The other day I started to think about all my kids’ personal information being completely sealed and stored in some undisclosed location in Victoria. I just don’t understand why we can never access it again. 

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