Chantal* began her adoption journey in 2005 when she first approached her local CAS. She was advised that it is policy that she needed to be residing in the same home and be in the same job for two years before she would be eligible to be considered for adoption. Due to personal circumstances including career growth and purchasing a home, she was only ableto meet the two year stability requirement in 2011. She became officially AdoptReady in July 2012.
Chantal has been waiting for two and a half years for a match. She is seeking an older child, or sibling group of two. In 2013, she was matched with two siblings that she was eager toadopt. Children in Ontario over the age of seven have the legal right to consent to adoption. One week prior to her first scheduled meeting with the children, the adoption process was put on hold. In this situation, the children decided to exercise their right to decline and the adoption was never completed. Chantal is continuing her wait.
Each CAS has the authority to implement their own rules and regulations, although they must adhere to Ontario Family Law and the policies outlined by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. In this case, there was a need to demonstrate stability, but no legal or policy requirement to demonstrate a full two years of employment or residence. Therefore, Chantal could have begun her homestudy in 2005 and a child or children could have been in a permanent home and out of foster care sooner.
Chantal wishes that CAS would be more consistent with their policies. Often there is confusion amongst workers in the ever-changing system. Likewise, she asks that there would be more understanding by CAS regarding the lengthy waiting period that expectant parents must endure. She asks that more resources be dedicated to matching children with available parents so that the length of time to a forever home is expedited, improving attachment and mitigating trauma.
Chantal recommends that awaiting parents be provided with more transparency aroundthe adoption wait process and the policies that surround the matching process. She is proactively working with another AdoptReady family to build a website for resources on the adoption wait.
Lastly, while Chantal is often told by her CAS to “be patient”, she hopes that the same is not being said to any child waiting for a placement when there are awaiting families that are a possible match. Still Chantal remains hopeful and dedicated to public adoption.
*A pseudonym has been used in this story
Disclaimer "These stories are the perspectives of awaiting parents. Adopt4Life aims to give parents a voice, and as such stories remain unchanged even if they may appear controversial. It is the hope of Adopt4Life that by bringing awareness to the thoughts and feelings of families, together we can work to bring change that benefits everyone."