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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Though we often hear that one-in-five people are touched in some way by adoption, the level of public discourse about the subject is but a whisper. There is also very little sense of a general public attitude toward adoption—until now.
Two Canadian sociologists, Charlene Miall from McMaster University and Karen March from Carleton University, were aware of this lack of knowledge and in the first Canadian in-depth report on this subject decided to find out what Canadians really think about adoption.
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.
These are the findings of Dr. Elinor Ames' research on the Development of Romanian Children Adopted to Canada. In 1990, Dr. Ames, an adoptive parent and professor of developmental psychology at BC's Simon Fraser University, began her research on the effects of institutionalization on children adopted to BC from Romanian orphanages. That same year, 1013 children were adopted from Romania to Canada, the single largest influx of intercountry adoptions in Canadian history.
by Dana E. Johnson
The most difficult area in adoption medicine is predicting the needs of children adopted from orphanages. We are only beginning to understand how these kids are doing. Studies have been too few to say with certainty what percentage is normal (even if we could define "normal"). Also, the situation changes with time. Some children resolve problems, while others begin to exhibit them as the years pass. Because studies only deal with a two-to-five-year period after adoption, no one can speculate on long-term issues.
A summary from Dr Jill Waterman's session at the North American Council on Adoptable Children Conference in Pasadena, July 28 - August 1, 1999, on outcomes for adopted children affected by drugs. Waterman is the head of Clinical Psychology at UCLA and co-instigator on the TIES Adoption Project in LA. TIES provides Training, Intervention, Education, and Services to support the adoption of children who were prenatally exposed to alcohol and/or other drugs.