Friday, March 4, 2011

BC's Waiting Children

If there was ever an easy way to give a child a home, adopting one of BC’s Waiting Children would be it. In Canada there are no orphanages to remind us of how many children their are waiting for a home. Instead they reside in foster homes or group homes, and like the old saying goes, out of sight, out of mind! But there are currently more than 600 children in BC waiting to be matched with their forever families! A number that I think could be reduced to zero so easily. Unlike other adoptive avenues, adopting through the ministry eliminates almost all the hurdles of private domestic and international adoption. For starters, there are no fees associated with adopting through the ministry. Aside from perhaps the nominal fee of a criminal record check and medical form, everything is covered by the government. In fact, they even help support the child after the adoption is complete. Known as “Post Adoption Assistance,” an adoptive parent can apply for funds for such things as respite (child care), therapy, special equipment, assessments, and other miscellaneous expenses that might come up regarding the special needs of a child. Second of all, there is usually no travel. Efforts are made to match you with a child in surrounding areas. While it is possible you might live in northern BC and get matched to a child in southern BC, efforts are made to keep matches geographically close, minimizing the need for extended time off work and travel costs. It also opens up the door for a more open adoption. Openness with birth parents, foster parents, or extended relatives can become more than just yearly photos and updates, but actual in person meetings just around your corner. Wait times can also be very minimal. If you are open and willing to children of many cultures, special needs, and levels of openness, then there are hundreds of children waiting for their forever home.

What the process looks like

1. Once you’ve made the decision to adopt through the ministry, contact a social worker at 604-951-5701 and make arrangements to attend an info session.

2. Attend the Adoption Education Program

3. Submit a completed adoption application

4. Meet with a social worker and begin the home study process

5. Become an open home and wait to be matched with a child

6. Review proposal of child and decide on placement

7. Attend pre-placement visits at the child’s foster home.

8. Bring home your new forever family member!

And that is it! My husband and I have adopted through BC`s Waiting Children 3 times, soon to be 4, and couldn’t imagine a greater blessing!

Who are the Waiting Children

BC`s Waiting children are children in foster care. They are children who:

May have lost one or both parents
May have come from an abusive or neglectful home
May have been voluntarily given up for adoption
Are usually between the ages of 4-10, but can be younger or older
May have special physical or medical needs
May have been exposed prenatal to drugs and alcohol
May be of different race, religion, or background

If travel or finances are preventing you from beginning the adoption process, then I would encourage you to attend an info session with the Ministry of Children and Families today, and find out how you can give a waiting child their forever home!

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