Focus on Adoption and AFABC have always sought to centre adoptee voices and perspectives, but the #FlipTheScript campaign (launched during Adoption Awareness Month in 2014) inspired us to launch a regular column called "Adopted Voice." The series ran from 2015 to 2016.
In this series Marion Crook, author and adoptive mom, takes us on a journey through changes in adoption in BC. Part two looks at international adoption, and part three focuses on adoption from foster care.
In Lion, which stars Dev Patel of Slumdog MIllionaire fame, international adoption gets a rare, heart-wrenching, nuanced portrayal on the big screen.
Edmond Kilpatrick is the proud adoptive father of two daughters. As we approach Father’s Day, we’re pleased to share his thoughts on unconditional love and the meaning of family.
For almost twenty years, China has been the most popular source country for international adoptions by Canadian families. Since the peak year of 2005, however, adoption numbers have decreased while wait times have increased. The exception is China’s special needs (“waiting children”) program, which is now the largest source of international adoptions to Canadians. In this Q&A, we talk with two families who recently adopted through the waiting children program.
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).
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.
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.
In this five-part series from 2006, we present the diary of Mary Ella, an intercountry adoptive mom. She shares the journey she and her husband, Wayne, took to Korea to meet their long-awaited daughter, Leelee.
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?