Though, of course, children are all different, research has shown that children who join their family through adoption tend to go through specific stages in their understanding of their family and their place in it. Here we summarize one of the best descriptions of these “ages and stages,” which can be found in Lois Ruskai Melina’s book Raising Adopted Children.
This may be the year you travel abroad to bring a child home. Make your journey easier with this guide.
Like new biological parents, some adoptive parents can become blue or even experience some depression once a baby or child comes home. This can occur for several reasons. It's nothing to be ashamed about, but you do need to recognize it and get some help.
I remember walking down the streets of East Vancouver pushing my newborn baby’s stroller and sobbing. I was exhausted from lack of sleep, trying to care for a baby—something I knew precious little about—and from loneliness. I felt that I had thrown away my season ticket to freedom, and I longed to go back to my previous life.
The Asante Centre, located in Maple Ridge, was started three and a half years ago by Dr Kojo Asante who worked in Northern BC for many years and became a pioneer researcher in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) through his work in Aboriginal communities. Asante provides assessments for people affected by FASD, a term that describes a range of disorders and effects that can occur in a person whose mother used alcohol while pregnant.
This information applies to any individual who is functionally dependent on others in some specific areas, and who does not learn from correction, or who does not “get” why people are distressed with their behavior.
Parents, teachers and support persons of individuals with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) are sometimes faced with episodes of extreme behavior. The first instinct we all follow is to use “common sense” methods for controlling the disruptive behavior of any child.
Renee Friedman attended the 2003 NACAC workshop presented by Ronald Frederici and Lisa Locke on “The Neuro-developmental and Attachment Related Disorders.” Here’s what she learned.
Despite its lofty title this workshop proved informative. Dr Frederici, an adoptive parent and ex-worker at an international orphanage, made the assertion that if a child has been institutionalized for two years or more, it is probable that he or she will display neuro-cognitive deficits. In other words, the child’s brain will have developed differently than if trauma had not occurred.
In a recent interview with a social worker with the Ministry for Children and Family Development, it was stated that the majority of children in care of the Ministry are there because of parental drug and alcohol use. Hair, urine, and meconium testing is becoming more and more influential in child custody cases and when the Ministry is determining whether children should be returned or removed from the home.
When we adopted our children, it was important to me that they not miss out on breastfeeding. There are proven scientific benefits for children who receive breast milk. Despite improvements in formulas and anecdotal experience, human milk is still the best food for human babies.
However, many adoptive parents of newborns either don’t know nursing is possible, or that there are many ways it can be done.
Even if sexual abuse is not disclosed in a child’s history, foster and adoptive parents must be prepared to deal with issues of sexuality and sexual abuse.
Was My Child Abused?
If your child’s worker does not mention sexual abuse, and records say nothing, did your child escape this form of abuse? Maybe. Maybe not. Sexual abuse often goes unnoticed, and unrecorded, and often children are reluctant to talk about abuse, and few abusers confess to their crimes.
For a period in this country’s history (1868 to 1925), more than 80,000 children from British orphanages were transported via steamship to Canada. They were settled with rural farming families in Eastern Canada. The younger ones, three to five years, were often adopted and grew up loved and happy. Many of the older children, ranging in ages from four to 17, were treated as chattel. The conditions they endured were harsher than those from which they had been "rescued" in the slums of Britain’s industrialized cities.