Teen adoption

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Teen finds being loved isn't always easy

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Adopted at 16, April O'Neil explains that accepting the love and involvement of a new mom isn't an automatic or smooth process.

Because of the support of my mom, and our choice to go forward with adoption, my life has changed in ways I never would have imagined.

In the last few years, I have graduated from high school, got through my first year at Simon Fraser University and, somehow, managed to convince ICBC to give me a driver’s license.

Out of time

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

A youth speaks his mind about aging out of care without an adoptive family

We spoke with Chris Tait, a young man who recently aged out of care, about his thoughts on permanency for waiting children and teen adoption.

How do you feel about aging out of care without having found a forever family?

When forever comes

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

"Imagine being married to someone for eight years, and then being told that you have to get a divorce and some stranger will choose your new spouse. Then imagine moving in with that person after only knowing them for a little while. What if they don’t like you, or you don’t like them — what next?"

Finally a family

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

When I was younger I lived with my mom, my big sister, and big brother. I was the youngest. I had never met my birth father, so he wasn’t a part of the picture.

When I was four, I was put into foster care for the first time. My sister came with me to my first foster home, but then moved out shortly after. That was the last time we were in a foster home together. I have lived in five foster homes since then.

The first four times I went into care because my mom was using drugs, along with her boyfriend at the time.

New school, new name

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Amelia moved in with her adoptive family, changed her name, and changed schools this past November.

In the middle of Grade 9, Amelia found herself in a new school, with new friends, a new adoptive family and a new last name. Change is common for youth in care, so this was not the first time she found herself in a new school or home, but, of course, this time it was much different.

Adoptee finds a nest of her own

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

When, at the age of 16, April O’Neil’s social worker told her she’d like to adopt her, April’s world was turned upside down. Here, April movingly describes her immediate emotions moments after she was told.

It was clear to me that I was standing in one spot—so it must have been the room that was spinning. I was in the principal’s office standing face to face with a woman who, with very few words, wanted to shake up my whole world. 

A vote for orphanages - Until...

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Would teens who move from foster home to foster home be better off in an orphanage?

There's a "new" debate going on about building orphanages for foster kids. There's even a group in Minnesota that's proposing orphanages for younger children. When asked at a public hearing what ages of children they would place in their orphanages, they noted "60% of the children will be 8 or 9 to 15 year olds with the rest being older or younger." So we know that at least one group out there is advocating for children even younger than 8-year-old.

Most teens do want to be adopted

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Social worker Anne Melcombe is a big believer in teen adoption. Why? Because she knows that teens want families and that there are families who want to adopt teens. In this article, we meet some of those parents and the kids they will adopt.

Anne Melcombe once asked a group of former foster kids if they would have liked to have been adopted. One man, 23 years old, 280 lbs, and covered in tattoos, held up his hand and said, “You bet your ass I would have liked a family. I still would!”

The language of hurt kids

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Psychologists have given us a concept of non-verbal communication that makes an incredible amount of sense in the context of adoption—it is called inducement.

Those of us who live or work with adopted children need to understand that inducement is the language of the abandoned. Inducement is the most important conceptual tool we have to understand why children act the way they do.

Have you found me a family yet?

Source: 
Focus on Adoption magazine

Four years ago, Focus on Adoption profiled Colleen, an 11-year-old girl who desperately wanted to be adopted. The staff at AFABC were touched by this child’s clear-eyed vision of what her future could and should be. Since then, we’ve kept in touch with Colleen’s progress—as you know, each year that a child waits for a family reduces his or her chances of being adopted. We were thrilled that last year Colleen and her new family’s dreams came true. Here her social worker explains how it finally happened.

I first met Colleen when she was only eight years old.

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