Everyone has a story: Meet the Vaillancourts

Focus on Adoption magazine

My first encounter with the idea of children in care who needed families was during a church service as a little girl.

The speaker shared unsettling statistics about kids who age out of care and end up incarcerated, homeless, or worse; kids who are separated from their siblings; and young adults who have no place to spend the holidays or summer vacation. I suppose it all resonated with me because I came from a family of five siblings, and I couldn’t imagine my life without them. At that church service I made up my mind that I wanted to adopt older kids one day.

Breaking the language barrier

Focus on Adoption magazine

For many internationally adopted children, a part of adjusting to their new home will include learning to hear the sounds of English. They will then need to learn how to move their lips, tongue, and jaw to produce these sounds, and then put words together.

Language learning

Encourage language learning by creating fun  activities like Peek-a-Boo, singing songs, or other age-appropriate games.


Inside Aboriginal adoption in BC

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.

An adoptee's bill of rights

Focus on Adoption magazine

I have a right to feel confused.
Who wouldn’t? After all, I have two sets of parents, one of which was shrouded in mystery.

I have a right to fear abandonment and rejection.
After all I was abandoned by the one I was most intimate with.

I have the right to acknowledge pain.
After all, I lost my closest relative at the youngest age possible.

I have the right to grieve.
After all, everyone else in society acknowledges strong emotions.

I have a right to express my emotions.
After all, they have been shut down since adoption day.

Adopted Voice: It's not about gratitude

Focus on Adoption magazine

My adoption story

Prior to my adoption, I lived in Tennessee with my birth mother (in utero) and then spent one year in foster care. Doctors’ assessments of my potential medical issues deterred black families from adopting me, so a white couple with experience parenting children with special needs was selected. I moved across the country to the most northwestern corner of the United States and joined what would become a family of seven adopted and biological children. All of us varied in our racial makeup, ethnic background, cultural affiliations, and physical capabilities.

Adult adoption: My journey

Focus on Adoption magazine

A story of two unconventional adoptions

This is the story of an adoption that seemed like it would never happen, but that worked out almost miraculously in the end.

I was adopted twice. In the first year of my life my adoptive mother and I were united in an unconventional way. At the age of five, I was adopted by her and my first adoptive father. Sixteen years later, I was adopted again by my stepfather, who had become my primary father figure.

Making exceptions

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.

PASS program

Focus on Adoption magazine

Early intervention for adoptive families

“I was going through a very difficult time at the beginning of my adoption,” says adoptive mother Carrie Crowley. “I was breaking down and was desperate for support. I was isolated and emotionally exhausted.”


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