Female couples struggle harder than men to go through private adoption process.
Rita* and Ann* have been together since 2000, but it wasn’t until 2005 that they started to give thought to having children. The idea of adoption started to be seriously considered after a couple years of fertility treatments, and a couple ectopic pregnancies. They began their journey to have a family the idea so that they wouldn’t look back with regret. They wanted to be parents. As they moved forward it became impossible to imagine living without children, no matter how those children found their way into the family.
They attended PRIDE in May 2012 but it wasn’t until October of that same year that they started the Home Study with a private practitioner. They decided to go this route because it appeared it might be a long time before one would be done through CAS. The Home Study was completed in April 2013 and sent to their local CAS. The agency didn’t contact them for four months.
It became apparent to Rita and Ann that there are a lot of variables for a lesbian couple hoping to adopt. First, they were told International adoptions are out of the question because there is no country that will allow same sex couples to adopt. Next, private adoption was presented as an option to avoid because they are older (40ish) and there seemed to be a preference among birthmothers to choose gay couples that are male, rather than female. After pursing public adoption they learned it wouldn’t be possible to work with all CAS agencies. Both Rita and Ann are Catholic, but they found that regardless of their religion, Catholic CAS has a policy against placing children with same sex families. The fact that Toronto Catholic CAS will not consider them as potential parents for their children has been difficult for them. They feel they would be excellent parents to many children they have seen Toronto Catholic CAS present at the Adoption Resource Exchange.
Another avenue they have explored is Foster-to-Adopt. They were told about one CAS in particular that has a great program for this and allows families from outside the region, but when they approached that agency they received mixed messages. They know couples outside the region who have been a part of their program and successfully adopted, but as it stands that particular agency has indicated it’s not very likely they will be accepted due to being outside the region.
Although Rita and Ann began wanting to adopt a young child, their openness to an older child has evolved. They would also welcome a sibling group, and feel this would be a blessing since they wish to have two kids.
Regardless of all the road blocks, they remain committed to growing their family and fulfilling their dream of becoming parents. They say they have met some really wonderful workers at the ARE and through their own local CAS. It is a roller coaster ride, and patience is definitely a requirement. In the grand scheme of things their adoption journey has not been that long, even though it feels like forever to them. They have kept in touch with several couples met at PRIDE and all of them have adopted and that gives them hope. Rita and Ann continue to do all they can to be educated by attending the ACO’s educations days and anything offered through their local CAS. They find it helps keep them motivated.
*Pseudonyms have 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."