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Looking Back — Adoption in BC. The Last Decade.

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

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.

Canada's home children

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

For a period in this country’s history (1868 to 1925), more than 80,000 children from British orphanages were transported via steamship to Canada. They were settled with rural farming families in Eastern Canada. The younger ones, three to five years, were often adopted and grew up loved and happy. Many of the older children, ranging in ages from four to 17, were treated as chattel. The conditions they endured were harsher than those from which they had been "rescued" in the slums of Britain’s industrialized cities.

The Complexity of Adoption Ethics

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

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.

Answering your child’s questions about adoption

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In her workshop "Answering Your Child’s Questions about Adoption," Lois Melina stressed that adoptive parents must commit to speaking openly with their children. Adoption is a significant event in the lives of families and connects them through shared memories and histories.

Melina also emphasized that adoptive children deserve to hear about their backgrounds in a loving way. This reduces feelings of abandonment or rejection. She cautioned that if parents try to hide the facts, their children are likely to hear them from someone else.

Adoption reversal and revocation

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Adoption reversal and revocation strikes fear in the hearts of adopting parents. Under section 19 of the Adoption Act, "a birth mother may revoke her consent within 30 days of the child's birth, even though the child has been placed for adoption during that period." In a reversal, consents have not been signed; in revocation, consents have been signed. In most cases the child was living in the adoptive home. Under the old Act, there was no revocation period.

Embracing the twin roles of love and loss

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Talking about grief and loss is a difficult conversation for adoptive parents to have with each other and with children. For my family, adoption is neither a win-win-win nor a lose-lose-lose situation, but rather it is both. Together the losses inherent in the adoption process and the deep love we share bind our family together. After eight years and lots of difficult work acknowledging my own losses, I am more able to embrace the role that both loss and love play in our family.

Can a birth father override a birth mother's wishes in BC?

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

An adoptive family was ordered to give up their 10-month baby girl, adopted at 11 days old, when a birthfather applied for custody of the child. The ruling was later overturned. In light of this case, we have chosed to reprint various clarifications on the legal rights of birth fathers and adoptive families. To put things in perspective, less than one per cent of adoptions are contested by birth fathers.

Diarrhea in internationally adopted children

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Some people consider diarrhea a right of passage. After all, almost all children around the world have been infected with diarrhea by age two.

Diarrhea: What it is
Diarrhea describes an increase in the frequency, fluidity, and volume of bowel movements (BMs). This assumes a change in the previous pattern, which is often difficult to know in newly adopted children. All children, like all adults, have their own rhythm of BMs. Some children have BMs several times a day, while others have BMs every few days.

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