We interrupt our regular programming for something a bit different today.
I suddenly noticed late last week that it’s been a year since I started this blog, and a the one year anniversary of our move to Burlington! Wow time flies! Both of us have moved quite a bit in our lives, including a few times together, so settling in here was easy and we felt comfortable and at home very quickly. We’ve also been working on something very special to us over the last year and a half, and I’m going to share some of it here now, with more to come later.
Hmmm… maybe grab a cup of your favorite warm beverage, this is a wordier post than my usual ones, and it doesn’t have any pictures.
I’ve mulled over writing this post a long time – and finally decided with the encouragement of some very dear people to write this in the spirit of sharing information and as a way to document the experience. Just spit it out already, you say?
Well, since October 2012, we’ve been working through the process of becoming approved to become adoptive parents. It was definitely a challenging path to choose (at any time really) at the time of so much turmoil and uncertainty with a renovation, horrible neighbours etc. But we wanted to move forward with our lives and to focus on something positive. Fortunately, all of our efforts culminated in our approval to adopt internationally early this year! <insert happy dance here>
We’ve been very lucky to have people who graciously shared their adoption experiences and stories with us – both the good and the bad, and I am so grateful for the support they continue to provide. Thanks to them, we didn’t have to rely solely on the usual resources – books, endless websites, government resources, but we also got to hear the personal stories of adoptive parents. Maybe one day, the information we learn will come in handy for someone else. A “housekeeping” item before we get into things…
- Opinions in this post are entirely my own, and the information presented here is based on personal experience, and not intended to be used as a guide to adoption. Those interested in adoption should contact the appropriate authority in their province/state/country of residence.
So, with that said – it’s probably good to start at the beginning with a little bit of background info on adoption.
One of the first things we learned is about the different types of adoption, the process of a home study and the concept of openness in adoption – so let’s start here.
Types of Adoption
- Public Adoption: the process by which children living in foster care as a Crown Ward are connected with adoptive families through the help of the Children’s Aid Society.
- Private Adoption is the process by which birth parents or expectant parents are connected with an adoptive family through the help of a adoption professional.
- International Adoption is the process by which an Ontario family adopts a child from another country. Adoptive parents can only apply to adopt from one international country at a time.
- Relative Adoption involves the adoption of a child by a step-parent or close relation. “Close relation” is defined in this context as a grandparent, aunt, uncle, great-aunt or great-uncle of the child. Any other relation must proceed through the private adoption system.
The approval process in Ontario is the same, regardless of which type of adoption one chooses – completion of an adoption home study and approval by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services of your home study. A homestudy is the mandatory process by which an adoption practitioner assesses a family or individual who is considering adoption. At the completion of the homestudy process, the adoption practitioner and the applicants will arrive at a decision about the characteristics of the children most appropriate for their family. Adoption Council of Ontario.
Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education (PRIDE) Training
PRIDE is a mandatory 27 hour course that is a required component of the home study. The course covers topics such as adoption types and laws of adoption; attachment and loss; considerations and impacts for the adoptive family; child development and related issues specific to adopted children; continuity and permanence and the importance of racial and cultural sensitivity. We completed ours over two weekends, and yes I think they should change the name.
Openness in adoption denotes maintaining some degree of contact between adopted children and youth, their birth families, and other individuals with whom the children or youth have had significant relationships prior to the adoption (for example, a foster family) Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies
Those are the basics for now!
You’re still here? Thank you so much for reading this far!
It’s a challenging experience navigating the waters of adoption, exploring different perspectives, and learning about ourselves and about the perceptions of others in the process. But as I mentioned earlier – our decision to focus on this was a good one. As of early this year, we are waiting for a child proposal from Bulgaria! This is a long way away, at least 3 years, last we heard, so in the mean time we are learning more, reading more, and like everyone else in this neck of the woods, waiting for spring to arrive!
Why Bulgaria, why international adoption? Well, that’s another (long story) – better saved for another time, if you’re interested…
We now return to our regularly scheduled programming, and to the dog snoring under my desk.