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Why don't you just adopt?

Caveat... I didn't write this. But the person that did is very intelligent and has an enormous heart. She posted this as a comment on an earlier blog entry. I think it provides an excellent overview of what can be involved for an Ontario resident who wants to adopt a child.

So the next time you hear someone say, "Well, you can just adopt!", point them to this.

For those of you who suggested to "just adopt" it is not all that easy. Let me explain the steps needed to complete before the paperwork can be sent the the province to approve (this applies to Ont only).

You meet with a social worker, who explores you and your spouses sexual and family history, you are asked intimate questions about your current sex life and your thoughts on sex. You are given scenario's where you have to explain how you would discipline your child in multiple situations. You need 5 reference check each from friends and family. You need to have a criminal check and get fingerprinted. You need a letter from your employer stating your annual income. You need to fill out your assets and liabilities to show you are financially stable. You need to send in copies of your assessments from CRA, showing you owe no back taxes. You need to take a 6 week parenting class and have a physical from your Dr. The last thing is a house inspection. The social workers comes to your home and ensures that you are properly prepared (now) for a child that you will probably not get for 2 years. There was a binder with various things that needed to be done for the home inspection. The only "exception" was that you did not need to purchase the car seat and the crib since you do not yet know how old the child will be. This takes approx 6 months and none of this is free (unless your Dr decides not to charge you for your letter) unless you adopt from CAS.

To adopt from CAS, they will do all of this for you but it is not easy from there (just free). At CAS, you are given a large binder with every disease, disability and syndrome etc possible. You then have to "pick" which illnesses you are willing to accept in a child. We were told that there were no babies (fine we were thinking an older child) and that there were no children available whose mothers did not either do drugs or drink during their pregnancy. All of the children will also have been either mentally, physically or sexually abused or a combination.

To adopt privately, you do all of that but then need to create a book to show to potential birth parents. These books cost an enormous amount of money and you need a number of them. If you are chosen to adopt, then you need to pay for certain medical expenses for the birth parents and they have up to 21 days after giving birth (and the child living with you) to change their mind - and some do change their mind - it happened to us. Cost is approx $40K

To adopt internationally, there are many different requirements from the different countries, so I will not go into more detail but it all costs money. Cost for this type of adoption s approx $60-85K.

And another exceptionally intelligent woman had this to say about comments such as, "There are so many unwanted children in the world. Infertile couples should adopt them instead of pursuing conception via reproductive technology."

Everyone has their own reasons for wanting to parent the way they WANT to parent. When finding out that their first choice isn't on the table, they visit their other options, and decide what they feel they can best live with. Adoption is that for some. Many parents want the whole parenting experience, from the beginning, and it's ridiculously hard to get a newborn placement in the public system. Fewer people are willing to adopt children who are over 3, and over 6? It's a hard sell. What I'm reading is that those who cannot physically bring new babies into this world without intervention are obligated to take the children who are currently occupying the system. Thing is, thousands upon thousands of children are NOT "given up" for adoption. They're apprehended. There's a HUGE difference. Many of these kids are kept in temporary care as infants and toddlers, and don't become available for adoption until they're older than most families are looking for. Don't get me wrong: my heart hurts for the kids who grow up as crown wards, who live in foster care, who face identity challenges and feel less valued because no one steps up for them. But why is it the responsibility of those families dealing with infertility to be solely responsible for providing families for these children? Why aren't we talking about putting structures into place to support the families these children came from initially, so that they're raised by their parents who may need more help, or by family members who need financial support to do so? Families dealing with infertility are not the dumping grounds for children no one else wants anything to do with.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Sep. 9th, 2011 01:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing this!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )