My partner and I waited 2 years before we found out we were matched with 2 brothers and would become a family. Almost immediately, everything we learned about the transition period from PRIDE training (PRIDE: Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education – is a mandatory training in order to become AdoptReady) was thrown out the window. Due to an uncooperative foster family, the placement needed to be expedited to prevent them from sabotaging the placement. Ten days after we met our boys for the 1st time, the boys moved in. We immediately went from having no kids to having 2 school-aged children in our home without having much time to think about it; support was going to be needed!
The agency assigned adoption worker told us about the province’s sibling subsidy. However, we earned more money than the province allowed in order to receive a subsidy. An issue is the maximum income threshold does not take into account the location where the family resides. A family earning $85,000 in downtown Toronto has a much different lifestyle than a family earning the same amount in rural Ontario. The subsidy definitely would have helped but, according to the province, we earned more than needed to parent 2 boys.
A few months into the placement stress levels were high, the shock of instantly becoming a family had not gone away, we felt alone, and were worried the adoption might fail because we weren’t bonding with our children. We asked the adoption worker if there was an adoption support group we could attend. The adoption worker thought the local CAS offered one; . unfortunately, because the boys were adopted out of a different CAS, CAS in our catchment area refused to allow us to attend their support group; they denied us services.
We did receive some positive support. The CAS we adopted our boys from immediately agreed to pay for an attachment therapist to help our family. Initially we were not sure how to use the therapist, but as time went on we were very happy to have the therapist’s support. She has helped us get through some scary periods and helped the boys understand why everything happened. We are optimistic the agency will continue to pay for the therapist after the adoption is finalized.
The adoption worker has also been very helpful and supportive. Being able to be open and clear in communications has helped us feel we didn’t have to hide our fears and concerns, allowing us to get needed and appropriate help sooner.
We are now doing well and all fears of an adoption disruption have disappeared. We are happy to be where we are now, but know that things could have been easier if the post permanency support structure in the province was stronger and in place throughout the province. Ontario can do better in ensuring adequate, accessible and timely #Support4EveryFamily!