Permanency not a Current Priority within Ontario’s Adoption System
Elaine* and Steve* have been happily married for 14 years and together a total of 22 years. Soon after they married they discovered they could not conceive children. After multiple trips to specialists in the city they were saddened to learn that they could not have biological children even with medical intervention.
However, they were always open to adoption.
Elaine’s father was adopted as a young boy and adoption was a normal part of conversations in their family. So it was a natural choice to turn their efforts to growing their family this way.
When asked, Elaine and Steve said, « their adoption journey has been an emotional roller coaster to say the least. » It all began in 2010 with an adoption seminar to learn more about the process of adopting. In August 2012 they were finally able to register for their PRIDE Training at their local CAS. At this time they also received their homestudy checklist and began to complete the requirements including criminal background and medical checks. After 9 weeks of training they completed their PRIDE in December 2012 and in April 2013 their homestudy was finalized. The total process taking 3 years!
At long last, in May 2014, another year later, they received a call from CAS that they had been potentially matched. Unfortunately only 2 days later the match fell through. In July and October 2014 they were called for two more matches both of which also fell through leaving them to continue waiting.
They have asked on several occasions how they could help speed up the adoption process so they could be blessed with the sound of little foot steps in their home. Their worker has advised them of many adoptive parenting books to read to help with the adjusting process and attachment. They have purchased EVERY book that was recommended and read them all from cover to cover. Yet, despite all their efforts acquiring parenting skills, they are left to apply this knowledge to their pets.
On many occasions CAS employees have mentioned they are great people. They have been described as loving, caring, friendly, supportive and funny. Elaine and Steve have always felt blessed to have found each other 22 years ago and have only ever wanted what was best for each other and to have a family – the traditional Canadian dream.
Elaine and Steve can offer a loving home environment, are financial stable, have a supportive family and wonderful friend network. They have acquired great knowledge during their Pride Training and through reading the suggested books yet they are still waiting - feeling the pressure of aging with every passing year. They fear eventually they will be too old to be considered.
They have been asked many times by CAS to become foster parents and have given it a great deal of thought but feel that this is not the best solution for them. They wish for a child to come into their home permanently. The thought of attaching to a child and then having them leave would be heart wrenching and not something that they could emotionally go through. Although fostering is not for them, they look up to those who do foster.
They have shared their story in hope it will help shed some light on what people are going through in Ontario who can offer loving homes to children of all ages, race or ability. Their wish is that the legal system evolves to allow children the chance to be loved permanently by a stable and competent family. This is what all children deserve.
In the meantime they remain ever hopeful.
*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."