The Adoption Council for Canada estimates that there are about 30,000 children in Canada’s child welfare system eligible to be adopted. Although many of these children are aged 6 or older, they still need a permanent home where they can grow and thrive in a loving environment. If you’ve been considering an addition to your family, but were afraid of adoption, learn more about it to know if it might be a good solution.
Myths Surrounding Adoptions
Many people are concerned about the costs of adoption, which is understandable. However, a public adoption costs very little, according to the ACC. A private adoption will cost more, but costs vary by organization. It’s estimated that a public adoption costs $3,000 or less. Through a licensed agency, it can run $10,000 to $20,000, and an international adoption can cost $20,000 or more.
Then, there’s always the fear that a biological parent can take back the child. Once a parent’s rights have been terminated, the parent cannot regain custody of the child. Once the adoption is finalized, adoptive parents have the same rights and responsibilities as biological parents when it comes to the child.
Another common myth is that “I don’t qualify.” Whether it’s age, marital status, or relationship-status, there are no hard and fast rules about who qualifies to adopt. Many people over the age of 40 have been able to adopt children. Single parents can also adopt, as can same-sex couples. Actually, in Canada, each province regulates adoptions based on rules that have been set by their government.
Many people are concerned with the needs of the child who has been abandoned or abused. It’s true that children in the foster care system can have emotional, mental or even physical needs that have to be addressed. Their best chance at success is a loving, permanent family who works toward a positive future with the child.
What’s the Process Like?
Although the process may be slightly different based on where you live or the agency you’re using, there is a basic process that can help you understand what it will take to adopt a child. The first thing you need to do is contact the agency and attend their intake meeting. Here, the agency will outline their specific guidelines.
Adoption is a very intrusive process. You’re going to be given an application that is very personal. You may not have even considered some of the questions you might get asked. You can’t get upset by the process. You’re asking to be entrusted with a human soul. This is a very serious matter. The agency has to do its due diligence to know that you are capable of the job. A medical exam is required. You may also be subjected to a police check. Prepare to give references for a background check.
Each applicant will be required to have a homestudy by a licensed social worker. Some agencies offer a class to prepare you for this step. You may choose to delay the process at this point while you prepare or even withdraw. The homestudy is more than just paperwork. You and your spouse (if applicable) will be interviewed. You should expect at least one home visit. The agency worker will probably want to meet with family members to assess your readiness and ability to deal with the adopted child.
Is It Worth It?
There’s no real timeline for the process, because it depends on many different factors. Be patient, because the most important aspect is the child’s needs. Although you may be trying to find your child, the real purpose of adoption is to find a family for a child. There may be disappointments along the way, but once the process is complete it is very rewarding. Think about it. Maybe you can be the difference in the life of a child.