For years, I tried to avoid even considering adoption. The idea of being put with people I didn’t know anything about and hadn’t even seen before was a little scary. I’d mostly lived with my great-grandma my whole life. That felt like home to me, and I didn’t want to leave. Unfortunately, my grandma’s age and health problems were getting bad and she wasn’t able to continue taking care of me. I had nowhere to turn. Adoption became the best option for me. Deciding on adoption was very scary, and I felt like I was risking my future.
The importance of cultural connections
In a previous article, I wrote about the Exceptions Committee in the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD). The article was prompted by a list of questions that the Adoptive Families Association of BC had gathered from their membership. There were additional questions related to Aboriginal adoption in BC that I will endeavor to answer in this follow-up article.
These stories illustrate the power of the elemental need to parent, the ability to mourn but not blame, the uniqueness of every adoption, and what an agonizing decision adoption can be for birth parents.
In BC, birth mothers have 30 days form the time their child is born to change their minds and decide to parent their child. Usually those 30 days pass by, albeit slowly, and the adoptive parents can breathe a sigh of relief. For others, it's not quite so simple.
A strengths-based approach
Everyone begins a new adoptive placement with high hopes that a “forever” family has been created. Sadly, about 15% of adoptive families find their dreams shattered as they realize that despite everyone’s best intentions, the adoption isn’t going to work.
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.
New York adoption agency says, "Slow down!" Speed is the enemy of successful adoptions.
According to Maris Blechner, in making a successful adoption placement, the age, race, or health of a child makes little difference. Neither do the marital and financial status, the location, or the parenting experience of the prospective parents. What matters most is the parent’s ability to claim a child, and a long, careful, transition.
In the eighteenth of our series, we present the, until now, secret thoughts of an adoptive mom of three kids--Emily and her new siblings, Grant and Lynn. This time, mom celebrates the imminent finalization of the children’s adoption, and gains some valuable information.
I can’t believe it! The social worker just phoned and said she is preparing the court package to finalize our adoptions! It feels like we’ve been waiting forever. After the last visit, I wasn’t sure it would ever happen.
In the third of our series, we present the edited diary of Mary Ella who is in Korea with her husband Wayne, only hours away from meeting their long-awaited daughter, Hee Young (Leelee)—at least that’s what they think…
Day No. 5, June 28
We didn’t really know what was going to happen today.
In the second of our series, we present the edited diary of Mary Ella who is in Korea with her husband Wayne, only hours away from meeting their long-awaited daughter, Leelee—at least that’s what they think…
Day #3, June 28
Well, today is the big day! I am trying really hard to keep my excitement at bay. We don’t know exactly what will happen, but Wayne feels they won’t let us have Leelee until tomorrow. I agree, but I had better be prepared. I figure the office will be open around 8am, so I probably have a couple of hours. Ugh!
Our adoption journey started in 1998. We chose domestic adoption for a number of reasons, including wanting a newborn, and the possibility of openness with a birth family. We were prepared to wait, knowing we had no control over when, or even if, we would be chosen.
We did all the paperwork and education sessions, and by March 1999, our homestudy was ready. We jumped into the pool of waiting families and prepared to wait.