Jeremy and Amanda decided to build their family by adoption in early 2006. They contacted their local CAS and were told that they could be interviewed for intake in 6-12 months if they were open to a child over the age of 3 and with special needs. The wait would then be 5-7 years. Anxious to start their family right away, they pursued international adoption in fall 2007 and adopted their first child in early 2008, and grew as a transracial family.
A year later, they decided to start the process to adopt a second child. They contacted their local CAS agency and were told they would not be considered for intake because they would not be considered a transracial family, as they were not a mixed race couple. Likewise, they would not place a child of colour with them because they are both white, and would not place a white child with them because they had a child of colour.
Frustrated but undeterred, they began a second international adoption process in the fall of 2009. They expected a referral within less than 2 years, but the program was suspended in 2010 due to "possible irregularities". This held the program in limbo for 3 years.
Their second child was born in 2010. When they received their child proposal in 2012, Jeremy and Amanda consulted their local MP for assistance due to the program suspension and the time sensitive nature of their travel visas. The MP promised weekly progress reports, and was never heard from again, despite repeated calls and letters to the constituency office from Jeremy, Amanda, their families, and friends. Likewise, they wrote letters to their MPs to petition the minister of immigration to review the program suspension for a year.
Ultimately, an in-country advocate appointed for the children reported that it violated the children's rights for their adoption to be delayed further. Finally in mid 2013 they were granted permission to travel by Canadian Immigration, which permitted their country to issue a court date. Their child turned 3 a few weeks after they first met. His birth mother had chosen adoption for him and consented to an international placement before his birth, and yet he stayed in foster care for 3 years.
Jeremy and Amanda settled in at home with child #2, and after a year, decided to once again grow their family by adoption. They consulted their local CAS, feeling they were a family well suited to parent another child or children by adoption, and their children at home looking forward to siblings. CAS informed them that it did not matter how many black children they adopted, they would never be considered a mixed family. However, they discovered after consulting other CAS agencies they would be considered a mixed family. Clearly, each CAS has their own guidelines and interpretations. Reaching out to their social worker who had worked with them now for 7 years, they expressed their frustration with being refused by their local CAS as domestic adoption candidates.
Jeremy and Amanda are planning to attend the ARE and network with other agencies. Their youngest child is 5.5 and they are open to a child of either gender, twins or a sibling group. They feel confident that they will be a good fit for a child or children who will thrive in their family with two older siblings. They remain frustrated at the policies of their local CAS which seems very discriminatory.