I'm a youth who was in foster care. I know what it's like to meet with social workers and have conversations about my future. I think that planning permanency and adoption is a good thing because it gives youth a sense of stability and belonging. Permanency is important because it sets the ground work for the youth's future; it sets up a permanent family life and also might help to make sure that positive outcomes are possible for the youth in the long run. Here are some suggestions I have for people who work with youth in care or adoptees!
Ministry of Children and Family Development
Sarah Groothedde had been in foster care since she was an infant, bouncing from home to home and suffering abuse and neglect.
As a young teenager, she asked her social worker to find her a family. The worker told her she was too old for adoption, and that it would be “against the rules” and a waste of resources to try. “All I ever wanted was a home and a family,” says Groothedde. “But it wasn’t in the cards for me.”
Like many couples, John Calhoun and Carly Bates found their way to adoption after experiencing infertility.
It wasn’t an out-of-left-field choice for them, though. Carly says she told John on their first date that she wanted to adopt. It just took them a few years to get there. They knew they wanted to experience what it was like to parent a newborn, so they chose to pursue local infant adoption through an agency. Just four months after completing the application process, they were chosen by the expectant parents of a baby boy.
I knock gently on my son’s door. No answer. I open the door, and peer in. I can just make out the sleeping body, huddled underneath a pile of blankets.
I go into the room, peel back the covers, and stroke my ﬁnger along his cheek. “10 more minutes,” he says.
“OK,” I say, turning to leave the room.
“No, in your bed.”
He gets out of his bed and, still half asleep, walks across the hall to my room. He crawls under my duvet and snuggles in.
Earlier this year, my wife and I started getting serious about the adoption process. My first question was, “How long will the adoption process take?” As a financial advisor, my next question was, “What are the associated costs?”
Each family’s cost will vary depending on their adoption path (international, domestic newborn, or Ministry of Children and Family Development). No matter which path you take, there will be some costs. The reality of children, and adoption, is that the costs associated with the process are only a small portion of the total funds needed to raise a child.
Why teens think teen adoption is a great idea:
Parents who are willing to wait for personal gratification.
Attachment with teens can take longer and may look very different than attachment with younger children.
Someone with a great sense of humour, patience, tolerance, and adaptability.
Self explanatory if you know teens.
People who can see beyond the rebellious teen to the blossoming young adult that they are becoming.
Are you able to quietly nurture the child that is still crying out for love and attention?
Some 1,100 former wards of the Crown enter adulthood yearly. What can be done to improve their chances for success?
You’re 19, officially an adult. Happy birthday. Now get out of the house.
As parents, few of us would take such a brutal approach. Yet in our role as citizens that is exactly the style we adopt toward teenagers “in care” of the Crown -- for whom the government is, institutionally speaking, their legal “parent.”
My three-year-old son Callum had his first horseback ride today. He’s always been drawn to horses, and spends a large amount of his play time trying to “ride” almost anything he can straddle. So we knew he needed to ride a horse. But we were surprised to see the ease with which he rode, holding the horse’s mane in one hand and my hand in the other, as the horse (named Whinny) was led around the pasture by her owner: Callum’s birth mother, Lisa.*
I’ve certainly benefitted from the care of some very supportive foster parents over the years, since my placement in goverment care at the age of 15. My need for care was determined by the presence of serious mental illness in the family. My beautiful and brilliant mother was a professor of linguistics at the University of Victoria, when she experienced the onset of schizophrenia. It certainly doesn’t discriminate. All of the degrees, merits and accomplishments did not matter, in the slow decline of her beautiful mind.