Question: "My wife and I are looking to adopt. We’ve been told that open adoption is the trend these days. Just how open is open? I'm concerned that the birth mother will take over our lives and that our child won’t know who his or her birth parents are. I think the closed system is better for children and parents.”
by Harriet Fancott
As the millenium comes to a close, we thought a recap of the most important changes in adoption over that period would be fitting. For simplicity, however, we decided to stick to the last decade.
The Adoption Act: The biggest catalyst for change within the BC adoption community over the last decade came with the new Adoption Act, which was introduced in 1994 and came into force Nov 4, 1996. The 1994 Act replaced the 1957 Act and was hailed as one of the most progressive in North America.
In this discussion paper, I hope to open a door for reflection and discussion within the adoption community, meaning adoption agencies, support services, and adoptive and prospective adoptive parents. It is time to examine our underlying values and biases in adoption, and address how the adoptive system advantages some, while disadvantaging others.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says children who are born to, or adopted by, one member of a gay or lesbian couple deserve the security of two legally recognized parents. A new AAP policy statement supports legal and legislative efforts that provide for the possibility of adoption of those children by the second parent, or co-parent, in same-sex relationships.
"Two years ago we adopted a child of six. We have found parenting him far more difficult than we ever expected, or were prepared for. He has not really settled down and we find his behaviour very demanding. My husband and I are in despair. We don’t know what to do or where to turn."
Many families enjoy a good relationship with their adoption agency and are thrilled with their adoption experience. You are more likely to have a similar experience if you do your homework first. Here are some basic pointers on what to ask a prospective agency.
AFABC receives many enquires about how to select an adoption agency. This article is a general guide on what questions you should consider before you make your choice.
When families are preparing to adopt a child, the person they usually want to impress most is their adoption social worker. The social worker is seen as the gatekeeper to the children that may become part of their family. They are universally viewed as having enormous power.
The Decision to Adopt
Kathy and Rick Miller already had four birth children between the ages of nine and 16, when they decided to add a sibling group of two to their family. "We enjoy children a lot," said Kathy, who has a degree in Child and Youth Care. "We have lots of parenting experience, and we felt we had a lot to offer as a family." She and Rick, who is a teacher, wanted more children, but felt that it was better "to expand our family by adding children who genuinely needed a home, rather than biologically."