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.

The gift of adoption

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.

The heart of ceremony

Focus on Adoption magazine

Celebrating life’s big moments

When people hear about the work of Celebrants, their excitement reminds me of the importance of stepping intentionally into life’s big changes. People who participate in a Celebrant-led ceremony (such as a homecoming or a baby blessing) experience joy, tears and deep gratitude for the opportunity to respectfully celebrate life’s meaningful moments. Adoptive families, because of the lengthy and sometimes difficult process they have walked through to bring their children home, are primed and ready to share their stories with those they love.

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.

Everyone has a story: Meet the Eislers

Focus on Adoption magazine

Within our first year of being married, my husband and I knew that building our family may come by way of adoption.

I suffered from debilitating but undiagnosed pain, and doctors raised the possibility of a hysterectomy. It took another 14 years of pain and failed attempts to conceive before I found a doctor who finally diagnosed me with endometriosis.

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.

Extreme parenting: Goals, behaviours, and... ducks?

Focus on Adoption magazine

So far in this column I’ve talked quite a bit about my second son, Ethan. I’d like to give you a little bit more background information about him so you can better understand where I’m coming from. First of all, you should know that Ethan is very bright and has a great sense of humour. He has his own brand of wisdom, which lives just under the surface of his impulsive little boy exterior.

Ethan did a ton of work with counsellors and therapists prior to coming into our family. He has “feeling language” down to an art and truly tries to move and heal his troubled soul.


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