International adoption

Parental advisory

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

I’m a mom of four children, all adopted at different ages and stages. My first child was born in the US in 1997 and adopted as a newborn. In 2006  I adopted three more children from Liberia in West Africa. They were 2, 4, and 13 years old (though the 13 year old wouldn’t actually join our family until he was nearly 19).

In 2006, Liberia was a country in turmoil, it was just a few years after the civil war had ended, the infant and child mortality rates were incredibly high, and the adoptions were being processed relatively quickly.

From Sierra Leone to Coquitlam - Part 1

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In December 1999, a small, wide-eyed toddler from a refugee camp in Sierra Leone, huddled in the arms of a Canadian celebrity, wary of the cameras that carried his image around the world.

Ten thousand miles away, in Coquitlam, BC, Angela Faminoff saw that fundraising appeal on TV four times that evening. After sobbing her heart out, she said to her husband, "That is our child." For Angela and Russell, that moment was the beginning of the long process of finding Joseph and bringing him home.

From Sierra Leone to Coquitlam - Part 2

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Joseph is now 11 years old. He was born in Sierra Leone, West Africa. In his first few years, he tragically lost his birth family and ended up in a refugee camp and then an orphanage. After a three-year search and a two-year adoption process, he came to Canada to join his new family in Coquitlam. It has been an incredible journey for this young boy.

Be prepared! Kids' health and international adoption

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Before you travel

  • Know the country you would like to adopt a child from and read up on the potential medical issues your child may have.
  • Before travelling, get your own vaccinations up-to-date by making a visit to your local travel clinic (if you don't know your local travel clinic, your local health unit should have a list).
  • Make an appointment with your doctor to alert them to the fact that you will be bringing a child home and some of the medical issues the child may have.
  • Buy plenty of medical supplies to take with you (see sidebar on right).

Adopted voice: Looking homeward

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

I remember the noise the most. Car engines idled noxious gasses into the air; heavy footsteps snapped across well-worn concrete. The delicious yet unfamiliar smells of Asian street food filled my nostrils. I stood close to my parents, at the edge of a street corner. Together, we gazed across the road to a building. Above its doorway was a sign filled with undecipherable Chinese lettering. Despite the language barrier, we all knew it what it said. Hospital.

Return to Russia truly complete family

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In 1996 we adopted our first daughter, Oksana, from Novosibirsk, Russia; she was two years old. When we returned to Canada, we had our documents translated and found a limited amount of birth family information. What we read piqued our interest and we contacted the authorities in Novosibirsk asking for more information. They declined our request.

Diary of an Intercountry Adoptive Mom series

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

In this five-part series, we present the diary of Mary Ella, an intercoutry adoptive mom. She shares the journey she and her husband, Wayne, took to Korea to meet their long-awaited daughter, Leelee.

  1. Day 1 and 2
  2. Day 3 and 4
  3. Day 5
  4. Day 5 continued, and Day 6
  5. Day 6 continued, Day 7, and one final entry

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Open borders

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Open domestic adoptions, where the birth family and adoptive family get together regularly for visits with the child, are the norm in British Columbia. In between visits they stay in touch through emails, phone calls, and text messages. If this is what an open adoption looks like, how can openness be possible in an international adoption where time zones and geography create barriers and birth parents may be unknown?

Everyone has a story: Meet the Alexanders

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Three years ago, Dave and Juanita Alexander found themselves halfway around the world with 18 suitcases, 12 carry-ons, a year’s worth of supplies and four children. Dave and Juanita, have collectively lived and worked in five countries (including Canada), and have four beautiful children through adoption. In 2012, they uprooted their lives to move to Uganda for a year. Since then, they have settled back into their daily lives in Langley and continue to enjoy new adventures together.

Adoption satisfaction survey

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Just over 650 people took part in BC's first adoption satisfaction survey. TWI Surveys, a Canada-wide, independent research and strategy development company, designed and hosted the survey which was conducted in September 2009.

Overall, the results were positive, but improvements can be made.

Because of the large number of responses to our survey, the results are extremely reliable. As well as areas for improvement, there is lots of good news.

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