“The advertisements that talk about public CAS adoptions being free isn’t the total picture.”
When Monika* and Alek* began their adoption journey, they were told by their local Children’s Aid Society that the wait list and time for parents to have a homestudy completed would be lengthy. It was actually a worker that recommended they go for a private homestudy to expedite the process. They paid for a private homestudy and PRIDE training. They then decided to pursue an international adoption via China. Unfortunately, their hopes were unrealised when wait times increased dramatically.
Alek and Monika decided to attend the Adoption Resource Exchange (ARE), a twice a year event where children a profiled to adopt paper ready families. At first, they were intimidated by the process: watching videos of children, walking in a room full of workers talking about children and information cards about them. It looked like a marketplace and it took them some time to get over the feelings they had about this process.
It was at the ARE that they learned about their daughter. She was a single child with an infectious smile. Their child had spent over 2170 days in foster care and had been a part of two disrupted adoptions previously. She was so excited to move into Alek and Monika’s home. They were glad that she remained hopeful and wanted to try again to be a part of a family.
Monika and Alek’s child was not from their jurisdiction. A worker from the Children’s Aid Society from where she originated came to their home for monthly visits. Time from work was needed as workers would not visit at night. At Alek and Monika’s respective workplaces, both got into trouble about the repeated absences for meetings to deal with the CAS home visits and various appointments. As Monika states, « Everyone is happy when they hear you are adopting but when the process goes on and on - people wonder what you have done wrong. »
Monika and Alek also paid for their local adoption practitioner to be a part of these meetings to support them in the transition of their child. Alek explains, « The advertisements that talk about public CAS adoptions being free isn’t the total picture ».
Right now, Alek and Monika are thrilled to have their daughter in their lives but were not so thrilled with the process to get her. They believe that Ontario can do better!
*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."