In 2005, Jordan and Kelly Brinton adopted three children from foster care: Jinny, James, and Ron. The couple also have two other children, Steve, 8, and Heidi, 9, adopted at birth. Despite careful preparation, and being experienced foster parents, the couple were soon devastated by the behaviours of their severely traumatized children. Each child exhibited different symptoms of trauma, abuse, and neglect; but it was their oldest son who proved the biggest challenge. Here, Kelly shares her story.
The Canada Adopts website describes itself as a place where prospective adoptive families and birth families connect. It boasts that it is the only Internet site that provides adoption-related information and a parent registry in one place.
Two adoptive parents in Calgary, who adopted their first child through a similar US service, started Canada Adopts.
The website allows adoptive parents to post a personal profile, a “Dear Birth Mother” letter, a family photo album, a description of their family, and the contact info for the agency they are working with.
Two years ago, through the Ministry of Children and Family Development, Leah Elliott adopted a set of siblings aged four and five years old. These children joined the sibling group of three who had joined Leah’s family earlier. Leah wrote to Focus about the wonderful job Vickie, the children’s foster mom, did in preparing the children for this momentous move. Though each adoption is different, much of this foster mom’s painstaking and unselfish work serves as a blueprint for successful older child adoption preparation.
“On the sidewalk that leads to the grade school near us, his name is in that cement. We see it every day. It’s nice. It makes me feel good to see it, but the other side is that the feeling of loss resurfaces.”
You are close to fulfilling your dream of becoming a parent. This is a time when it is easy not to ask the hard questions. But they must be asked so that you are as well informed as possible and you are better prepared to parent the child.
Every toddler without a family is ready for a placement, but not every prospective adoptive family is ready for a toddler. The good news is that the vast majority of parents who have the ability to be effective adoptive parents can develop the skills to parent an adopted toddler, but there are unique concerns and issues that need to be considered.
The parents of biological children know their child’s prenatal history and most of what we might call their medical inheritance. Adoptive parents, even those who adopt “healthy newborns,” usually have far less information. They must take a leap of faith that all will be well and, that if the child has unexpected disabilities or challenges, that they will adapt and cope.
In a recent interview with a social worker with the Ministry for Children and Family Development, it was stated that the majority of children in care of the Ministry are there because of parental drug and alcohol use. Hair, urine, and meconium testing is becoming more and more influential in child custody cases and when the Ministry is determining whether children should be returned or removed from the home.
Having directed both foster care and adoption programs that place teenagers into permanent families, and then having founded an agency that places teenagers into permanent families, I often get asked, “What kind of people will offer their home permanently to a teenager?” My answer is always the same, “Any and all kinds of people who, after a good preparation experience, are willing to unconditionally commit themselves to a child no matter what behavior that child might ultimately exhibit.” Teenagers need, first and foremost, at least one adult who will unconditionally commit to and claim th
We are planning to adopt a baby and have heard stories about birth fathers coming forward at the last minute, to disrupt adoptions. What is the situation if this happens?
As with all questions involving the law, an accurate answer begins with, “it depends.” The first thing it depends on is where the child (and birth father) reside. Different countries, and even different provinces or states, have differing laws and procedures. For the purpose of this response, I will assume all parties live in BC.