Advice from a counsellor on how to recognize and help wounded children and youth.
Trauma: adoption’s shadow
Many children and youth who are adopted have been exposed to highly stressful situations and traumatic events; however, the resulting special needs these children can experience aren’t always recognized or supported. It’s vital for caregivers and professionals to learn the signs and symptoms of trauma as they present in children and youth, and to know how to find and access age-appropriate trauma-informed care.
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).
Is it lying? No, it’s confabulation and there’s a big difference!
Time and time again we hear from adoptive parents that one of the hardest behaviours to take is children lying to them. They experience the lie as a personal affront, a show of disrespect, and a harbinger of anti-social behaviour to come. There are many reasons why adopted children may lie, ranging from the fight or flight reflex, fear of rejection or punishment, to delayed development. It is not uncommon, nor is it usually something to be alarmed about.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a highly infectious disease caused by the organism Mycobacterium Tuberculosis.
TB is caused by an infection of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. Malnutrition, crowding, poverty, and weak immune systems like those of infants and young children, all increase the likelihood of infection and its spread. TB is highly transmittable as it is spread through the air by coughing, sneezing, speaking, etc. For this reason, crowded areas such as orphanages are prime areas for transmission.
The placement of a child in an institution, such as an orphanage or group home, usually characterized by a large number of children and few caregivers. Unfortunately there is commonly a lack of financial resources, and caregivers, which leads to a number of problems for the children in their care.
A lack of staff, resources, and money creates a situation in which the children do not receive the type of care they need to thrive.
Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is a viral infection transmitted through blood, which focuses its attack on the body’s liver.
The virus is transmittable only through direct infection of blood. This includes blood transfusions done before 1990 and contaminated needles (injections, tattoos, piercing, drugs). There is a very small chance of the disease being transmitted through sex or giving birth as well. However, the disease is not transmittable through coughing, sneezing, physical contact, saliva, or insect bites.
Hepatitis B is one of the most common virus in the world. It is a disease which attacks and inflames the liver. It is transmitted directly through blood and other infected bodily fluids. The disease can remain dormant, or develop actively, into a chronic condition which may threaten life by destroying liver functions.
The following story is far from typical—most BC families that adopt from the US have a much easier experience. This story speaks to the immense strength of the desire to become parents. Despite the enormous difficulty of their journey, the couple we feature here persevered. That is a characteristic of many adoptive families—it is a quality that brings untold numbers of parents and children together.
Deciding to start a family took Jane Bartlett and Linda Coe (names have been changed) on one of the most difficult adoption journeys imaginable.
Though it is rare, there are occasions when a birth parent does not give consent to the adoption of a child within the 30-day limit. Focus on Adoption asked Adoption Agency Director, and lawyer, Lorne Welwood where an adoptive parent or parents might stand in one such case.