Jennifer*, along with her husband Michael*, are currently pursuing an adoption in the public system.
As a young child, Jennifer dreamt of being a mom. She dreamt of having babies with her partner and creating a family. After going through the infertility process and learning that biological children were not possible, they turned to adoption to create their family.
In 2013, they contacted their local Children’s Aid Society to start an application process.
Jennifer and Michael’s wide eyed hopefulness changed to fear when they heard some of the following statements by their local CAS:
“All our kids have special needs”
“If you want a baby it won't happen and if it does, the baby will be addicted to drugs”
“If you only want a child under 3 we won’t consider you”
“You will be a dinosaur (in age) before you will get a child”
“If you want a “normal” child this may not be the path for you”
These were also the messages they heard from their PRIDE facilitators. Some of these messages would scare people away (and have in some cases). Yet Michael and Jennifer, instead of giving up and walking away, they pushed forward because their desire to have family is stronger than these phrases. They also believe that every child deserves a chance and has potential.
Jennifer and Michael were also told during PRIDE class that it would take months before a home study could begin. Instead of waiting, they went to a private practitioner and completed a home study. They are now adopt-‐ready since 2014 and waiting to welcome the right child/children into their home.
If they could change anything about adoption in Ontario, if would be:
1. Children’s Aid Societies should work with potential parents. It is important to stress the realities and needs of children in care, but it is also important to encourage strong families to gain the skills and insights to parent these children. Discouraging statements means people walk away from the process and children miss out on a potential home.
2. More resources dedicated to home studies so that families are approved faster and children are matched sooner. Completing a personal home study came at a cost of thousands that not all families can afford. Likewise, the longer a family must wait for a home study means the longer a child is in care. As well as ensure that privately completed homestudies are portable and recognized by all CAS agencies without the need for further updating by CAS.
*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."