My son Gabriel has been talking about tattoos since he was about 14 or 15. He has always talked about wanting the tattoos to have some meaning for him, as opposed to just being a picture he likes. His first tattoo, which he got at age 18, was of the Liberty bell. It was representative of where he was born (Philadelphia) and says “circa 1993,” which is his birth year.
Why teens think teen adoption is a great idea:
Parents who are willing to wait for personal gratification.
Attachment with teens can take longer and may look very different than attachment with younger children.
Someone with a great sense of humour, patience, tolerance, and adaptability.
Self explanatory if you know teens.
People who can see beyond the rebellious teen to the blossoming young adult that they are becoming.
Are you able to quietly nurture the child that is still crying out for love and attention?
As awareness and recruitment around teen adoption grows, hope is on the rise for youth who were once considered "unadoptable." We talked with Wendy's Wonderful Kids recruiter Anne Melcombe about how she looks outside the box to find families for the unique kids on her caseload.
Some 1,100 former wards of the Crown enter adulthood yearly. What can be done to improve their chances for success?
You’re 19, officially an adult. Happy birthday. Now get out of the house.
As parents, few of us would take such a brutal approach. Yet in our role as citizens that is exactly the style we adopt toward teenagers “in care” of the Crown -- for whom the government is, institutionally speaking, their legal “parent.”
What is it about fathers and daughters? Why is it that fathers are supposed to worry so much about their daughters, their future, their behaviour, their friends? No real reason anymore, in this day and age, at least, no more than they should worry about a son. But still we make jokes about it, still we tend to be more strict with our girls, and tend to worry that little bit extra.
Claire's 10-year-old son was adopted from a Russian orphanage when he was 19 months old. Her other son, Ethan, joined their family just over a year ago, when he was 7. Ethan was born in Canada and at the age of 2 was taken into government care, where he remembers at least three sets of foster parents over five years and acquired two behavioural designations – reactive attachment disorder and severe adjustment disorder. Read on for Claire’s lessons in extreme parenting.
I’ve certainly benefitted from the care of some very supportive foster parents over the years, since my placement in goverment care at the age of 15. My need for care was determined by the presence of serious mental illness in the family. My beautiful and brilliant mother was a professor of linguistics at the University of Victoria, when she experienced the onset of schizophrenia. It certainly doesn’t discriminate. All of the degrees, merits and accomplishments did not matter, in the slow decline of her beautiful mind.
Despite being in 10 different foster homes in five years, how did I manage to not let instability take over my life?
The stereotype of foster children is that they will age out of care and enter a life filled with poverty, unstable relationships, and overall instability. I did not - well poverty maybe - but what student who supports herself doesn’t carry the label “starving student?”
Gayla was adopted from Russia at age 11. Here, Gayla's mom describes how the family navigated teh academic challenges of high school.
Galya spent three solid years at elementary school and, though she was older than her friends and classmates, she neither felt nor behaved out of place. How would the move to high school go?