Adoption Services Program
Ariel, 38, and Patrick, 39, have been married for 10 years and have been trying to have a child for 6 years without success. After several unsuccessful in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures, they decided to pursue adoption, hoping to adopt a newborn or young infant. They then approached… [CONTINUED] Milestones & Transitions to do their adoption homestudy. As required in Ontario, they took PRIDE (Parent Resources for Identification, Development, and Education) training, the 27 hour training program for adoptive applicants. Through PRIDE they learned a lot about children in foster care and began to explore the idea of adopting an older child, up to age 6. Through the homestudy sessions, our discussions included their childhood, family experiences, health, education, work and home life, their relationship, their support network, their experience with children, their infertility journey, and more. We spent time looking at open adoption relationships and what this might look like for them and their child. We also focused on the needs of adopted children and how early experiences can impact them. Given their interest in older child adoption, we spent a lot of time examining the kinds of circumstances and behaviours that older children may present, and helped the couple to examine their readiness to assume the special role of adoptive parents for a child who may have experienced early trauma. Ariel had worked with children with special needs and her husband is a teacher. As we reviewed a variety of scenarios, both Patrick and Ariel shared information with us about their own experiences and understanding of children with special challenges. In our view, they demonstrated a realistic understanding of many of the dimensions of parenting an older child. They had a good network of support and were ready to work with professionals, as appropriate, to meet their child’s needs. Although wary at first, once they fully understood the benefits of maintaining connections for children, they were ready to embrace the idea of some contact with supportive birth family members as appropriate. With their homestudy completed, they attended the Adoption Resource Exchange (ARE) to learn about children in the care of children’s aid societies around the province who were awaiting adoptive families. Although overwhelmed at first by the information shared by videos about the children’s circumstances, they found themselves especially drawn to a six year old boy, Daniel, who had come into foster care at age 3. His birth grandmother has maintained contact with him while in foster care and the agency feels it would be important to Daniel to have her continue to be a part of his life. They indicated their interest in him and the child’s agency staff have reviewed their homestudy. They are interested in Ariel and Patrick as a possible match for the 6 year old. At this point they are in the process of setting up a meeting with us and the couple to share further details about the child with a view to determining whether this is the family for Daniel.