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Inside Aboriginal adoption in BC

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

The importance of cultural connections

In a previous article, I wrote about the Exceptions Committee in the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD). The article was prompted by a list of questions that the Adoptive Families Association of BC had gathered from their membership. There were additional questions related to Aboriginal adoption in BC that I will endeavor to answer in this follow-up article.

The gift of adoption

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Romance, a ranch, and raising kids

Like so many children, I grew up on stories of Dick and Jane and Spot. I imagined I would fall in love with Prince Charming and have perfect children and live happily ever after. My youthful adventures took me across Canada to Yukon where I met my Prince, a commercial pilot who later morphed into a rancher. Between us we had twelve siblings and naturally assumed we would have at least half a dozen children to run wild on the ranch.

Making exceptions

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

The history of Aboriginal adoption

The history of the colonization of Aboriginal peoples in Canada can be a difficult and complex topic. The term Aboriginal is used in BC legislation to encompass First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples. Aboriginal people were subject to laws, policies, and programs designed to assimilate them into Euro-centric mainstream culture. In the area of child welfare, this culminated in the “60’s scoop,” where many Aboriginal children were removed from their families and placed for adoption with families of European descent.

Meet the Pinksens

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Embracing a different life

Nestled in the base of the Rocky Mountains, the small mining town of Sparwood is best known as the home of the Terex Titan, a hulking green hauler that once held the title of “World’s Largest Truck.” It’s also home to one very special adoptive family, and a community of people who embrace and support them.

Dominique and her husband, Corey, have been married for seven years. In 2008, after struggling with infertility, they started looking into adoption and discovered the profiles of waiting children on MCFD’s online Adoption Bulletin.

Top tips when choosing Aboriginal adoption

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Are you adopting children of Aboriginal heritage, or thinking about it? Indigenous social worker Kelly Davie shares her wisdom about travelling this unique path.

Keep an open heart, an open mind, and laughter in your life; it will serve the family well.

Be patient with yourself and others, and persevere. The path to permanency can be much longer than we first imagine.

Finding the connection

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

For one family, connecting their adoptive children with their Indigenous origins has been full of change and full of hope.

As adoptive parents who began our journey with our application to adopt almost 25 years ago, we’ve seen some changes along the way. One of those changes has been regarding the adoption of children of First Nations ancestry into non-First Nations homes.

Everyone has a story: Meet the Calhouns

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Like many couples, John Calhoun and Carly Bates found their way to adoption after experiencing infertility.

It wasn’t an out-of-left-field choice for them, though. Carly says she told John on their first date that she wanted to adopt. It just took them a few years to get there. They knew they wanted to experience what it was like to  parent a newborn, so they chose to pursue local infant adoption through an agency. Just four months after  completing the application process, they were chosen by the expectant parents of a baby boy.

Discussing Aboriginal media stories with your family

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In recent months, inspired in large part by the grassroots Idle No More movement and Chief Theresa Spence of Attawapiskat’s hunger strike, the media has overflowed with stories about Aboriginal people and issues relevant to them. Bill C-45, the Northern Gateway Pipeline, and the difficult living conditions in many Aboriginal communities are just some of the big issues in the news right now. Adoptive families of children with First Nations, Métis, or Inuit heritage may be wondering how to talk about these issues in an accessible way.

Finding families closer to home

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Two innovative AFABC programs prove that, in many cases, there are people in a child’s existing network who are willing to adopt the child. Social worker Anne Melcombe, of Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, and Kirsty Stormer of Fraser Kids, explain how their programs work.

“You mean I have 50 people who are actually related to me! All these people are my family!” -- Eight-year-old foster child who is shown his family tree after extensive research was done to uncover it.

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