When my brother, Cam, and his wife, Karin, went to Fuling, China, to bring home a 10-month-old baby girl, they invited Karin’s sister, Nancy and I, the aunties, along for the trip. The four of us met in Shanghai to begin what turned out to be a momentous experience.
While many adopted teens appear to navigate the challenges of adolescence in a similar manner to their non-adopted peers, there is consensus that the teen years can present special challenges for adopted children. For this reason, parents are well advised to at least inform themselves about what these might be.
Spending a few hours with David Kirk, author of the books Shared Fate, Adoptive Kinship, and Exploring Adoptive Family Life, is a remarkable experience. He has lived through so much in his life and has much to say about politics, religion, sociology, and, more personally, what it means to be Jewish, a father, and an adoptive parent. He is one of those people who can make meaningful connections between events and experience, effortlessly.
Though they are rare, and most adoptions go through seamlessly, revocations by birth parents happen.
In BC, birth parents have 30 days from the time their child is born to change their minds and decide to parent their child.
Usually those 30 days pass by, albeit slowly, and the parents can breathe a sigh of relief. For others, it’s not quite so simple.
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.
Aleisha and Garry Jenkins adopted their first child, Sadie, as a newborn from the US. Two years later, they approached the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD), hoping to adopt two older children. They were surprised when the MCFD proposed a sibling group of two: Elliot, a little boy of 18 months, and his sister, Maya, three years old. Though they didn’t expect such young children, the couple pursued the adoption.
Attachment theory and children in care
About six years ago, we decided it was time to start building our family. When the old-fashioned way didn’t work for us, I began researching international adoption. The enormous costs, as well as the health problems many children face, were discouraging, so I spoke with our doctor about other options. He referred us to a fertility specialist. Our unsuccessful efforts brought us back to adoption.
Rena and husband Jim Jones already had four biological children when they made the brave move to adopt a sibling group of four from the Ministry For Children and Family Development (MCFD) in 1996.
Tell me about your family.
After 10 years of infertility, my partner and I decided to adopt a child. The race of the child was not an issue for us, we simply wanted to be parents. Looking back on it, I admit that we were naive.