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.
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.
by Joanne Thalken
The Oregonian newspaper recently ran a story entitled “Sending Black Babies North.” Gabrielle Glaser, a journalist who visited BC recently, and who has shown great interest in Canadian adoptions of African-American children, is the author.
Once we decided that we’d create our family through adoption, we were overwhelmed with the many avenues we could pursue. It was after seeing a Christmas picture of the ACAN group, that we finally decided to adopt internationally, with the Open Door Agency in Georgia. The journey that led us to become a multiracial family had begun.
Once the process was underway, we read books to familiarize ourselves with the issues of white parents raising children of African heritage.
“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!
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
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.
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
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.