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Conceiving Family: A filmmaker's journey to adoption

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

A BC film explores the bravery, determination, and humour it takes to rise above the legal systems, societal prejudices, and personal fears inherent in starting a family through adoption.

Nelson, BC-based filmmaker Amy Bohigian’s documentary film, Conceiving Family, follows her and partner Jane Byers’ journey to becoming a family, and combines personal interviews, intimate footage and family photos of four other same-sex couples to tell the collective story of what it takes build a family through adoption and through love.

New school, new name

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Amelia moved in with her adoptive family, changed her name, and changed schools this past November.

In the middle of Grade 9, Amelia found herself in a new school, with new friends, a new adoptive family and a new last name. Change is common for youth in care, so this was not the first time she found herself in a new school or home, but, of course, this time it was much different.

My big, beautiful, adoptive family

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

One day, Mom gave my sister an African-American Cabbage Patch Kid. I was given India Barbie. We didn’t know it at the time, but my sister and I were being prepared for our future.

My parents had decided that six kids by birth wasn’t enough so, when I was six years old, we welcomed through adoption my twin brothers Greg and Nicholas. I remember how proud I was to have them as my little brothers. It didn’t seem overly difficult or challenging for them to claim their places in our family. Our Irish and German family tree simply sprouted two new branches.

The proposal process explained

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Cathy Gilbert has been through the MCFD proposal process dozens of times (she’s adopted 11 children). Here, she shares what she’s learned.

Accepting a proposal is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make—it needs to an informed one.

Once parents, or a social worker have seen a potential child and parent match, information is given to the prospective parents in order for them to decide whether to move ahead. At this stage, basic, non-identifying information is given which may include:

The benefits of big

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Do big adoptive families work better for children with attachment issues? The families we spoke to all think so.

These days, having numerous kids tends to be considered eccentric. For some children though, a bursting-at-the-seams-family may be exactly what they need.

Parenting special needs kids

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Most parents shy away from adopting children with special needs. Here we meet parents who actually want to.

When I interviewed Carrie Hohnstein, mom of 11 children, I probed for quotes that might offer hints of the constant drama and stress that I assumed was an inevitable feature of her life.

There were slim pickings. Carrie just isn’t a dramatic person. She’s calm, thoughtful, and unflappable—qualities which are probably central to her success as a parent in a large family.

Adoptee finds a nest of her own

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

When, at the age of 16, April O’Neil’s social worker told her she’d like to adopt her, April’s world was turned upside down. Here, April movingly describes her immediate emotions moments after she was told.

It was clear to me that I was standing in one spot—so it must have been the room that was spinning. I was in the principal’s office standing face to face with a woman who, with very few words, wanted to shake up my whole world. 

Most teens do want to be adopted

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Social worker Anne Melcombe is a big believer in teen adoption. Why? Because she knows that teens want families and that there are families who want to adopt teens. In this article, we meet some of those parents and the kids they will adopt.

Anne Melcombe once asked a group of former foster kids if they would have liked to have been adopted. One man, 23 years old, 280 lbs, and covered in tattoos, held up his hand and said, “You bet your ass I would have liked a family. I still would!”

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