My husband and I have been Adopt Ready for a year and-a-half. During this time, we have done what seems like more paperwork than we have ever done in our lives and more research and learning than we ever did in school. Welcome to the world of private domestic adoption! I am not going to sugar-coat anything – adoption is a difficult process and I think that there are a few things I feel need to change.
Portability: The process of applying to adopt is filled with paperwork. The applications and forms vary from agency to agency, licensee to licensee. It would be nice to have portability in these documents. Awaiting parents should not have to repeat the process at each new agency and licensee. It would also be nice to be able to be able to port your home study between private, public and international adoption.
Information and Support: During the initial stages of our adoption, we found it very hard to find information. We did not know where to look and found the whole process very daunting. I feel like we need to streamline where to find information on how to adopt on the Ministry of Children and Youth Services website. As well, we had to do a lot of research on the effects of alcohol intake, drug use, and smoking during pregnancy. All of this information could be made available to agencies and licensees so that in turn, it could be passed on to awaiting families.
Parental Leave: At present, Canadians who adopt are entitled to 35 weeks parental leave. This is not nearly the same as biological families who get 52 weeks. All children are children and all families are families. No matter how they were created, we deserve equal time.
My journey hasn't been easy and I know it's because I pour my heart and soul into everything I care deeply about. I can't just dip my toes in. I dive right in! Becoming a mom would be the best thing in the world. While it's not always an easy process, adoption is an absolutely wonderful way to build a family and in the end, every disappointment and heartbreak will have been worth it. Of this, I couldn't be surer.