Martin and Lori began their adoption journey in 2012 with a call to their local CAS. In their first phone call, they were informed that due to their culture and age of child they were seeking (under 6yrs of age) they would be unlikely able to meet the needs of any of the children at CAS. They were advised to consider international or private adoption.
Lori and Martin decided to invest in a private homestudy and completed their PRIDE training. They became “AdoptReady” in February 2014 and were working with an international program. Since Lori is of Polish heritage and her husband German, they selected Lithuania as it has an excellent adoption program and is the closest country geographically to their own heritage to allow international adoption. They both know the importance of cultural heritage and felt this would make it possible to maintain healthy ties.
Lori and Martin were selected on two occasions, for two different boys. Unfortunately in both cases, other parents came forward whom the Lithuanian agency felt would be better suited for these children.
International adoption is a very expensive endeavour. Already, the private Ontario homestudy had cost thousands, as had practitioner fees for Lithuania. Money factors aside, they were heartbroken after their two declines.
By this time, Lori and Martin had done a lot more research and talking to other adoptive families which expanded their thoughts about adoption. They were also inspired by a young girl who spoke at their PRIDE training who was adopted at fourteen. Lori was previously a high school teacher and often worked with youth who had trauma as well as developmental needs. They now felt open and excited about adopting older children.
They reached out again to their local CAS. The answer was still the same, despite now being an AdoptReady family. After insisting on speaking with an adoption worker they were told that they should attend in-take. Unfortunately, the next session was not for five months. Likewise, the homestudy they had paid for and was approved by the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services was not sufficient for CAS. Updates would be required and this could not happen until after in-take.
During the wait for the next in-take session, Lori and Martin applied for two children at the Adoption Resource Exchange, as well as a sibling group of two via their private practitioner. In the case of the children from ARE: months passed with no communication, files were lost, and they were not shortlisted for either child. They were also not selected for the sibling group.
Lori and Martin have now ceased their efforts to adopt. They no longer have confidence in the adoption system in Ontario. This is certainly not because they weren’t selected as prospective parents. While devastating, they know different parents bring unique strengths. Rather, Martin and Lori’s experiences lead them to believe that the system is bloated and broken. It is this loss of trust that prevents them from continuing.
For more about their story visit: www.dorothywasadopted.workpress.com