Hurray! Chris and I just finished our home study through the public system. You’re probably thinking ‘didn’t you guys finish your home study a year ago now’? That would be a yes – for the private system. Adoption in Canada is a bit funny. You can do a private home study, which covers you for private and international adoption, but for a public adoption, through a Canadian government agency – CAS, you need an update to your private home study completed by a CAS worker. At first we were not impressed we had to go through answering lots of personal questions all over again (well I’m ok with it but Chris is pretty private :-)). At the end of the day, our worker, who is awesome, explained the update like this – she is our advocate when they have ‘conferences’ to discuss waiting children and who the best match is. If she doesn’t get to know us and find out some of those interesting details that may differentiate us from other couples, she can’t sell us! Makes sense to me and it was pretty painless. Making an appointment with her is the hardest part given how understaffed the agencies are.
Looking back, we’re not sure why we waited almost a year to start this process. I guess we assumed international or private adoption would happen a lot quicker (I know we were told 2 years for international adoption but I blame ‘What to Expect When You’re Expecting’ and how J-Lo’s baby came way before the expected wait time haha) and really at the end of the day, we just want to welcome a child into our lives to love unconditionally. It doesn’t matter if the child comes from Bulgaria, is a newborn baby or comes through CAS.
We had heard some horror stories about adopting through CAS which is another reason why we delayed the decision – ‘the child will have tons of issues’, ‘unless you’re willing to accept all conditions (i.e., fetal alcohol syndrome, parents with schizophrenia), you won’t be considered for their adoption registry,’ ‘the process takes forever to complete as the agencies are understaffed’ (well the understaffed piece is definitely true!), etc. The reality is whether it’s your biological child or not you’ll never know what hand you’re going to being dealt.
Here are some pros with public adoption:
- You’ll get a full social history of the child and family (unless the birth father is unknown)
- Full medical records of the child to date (this is very unlikely in international adoptions)
- The #1 focus of the CAS agency is the welfare of the child(ren)
- Openness is now becoming more popular so the children can stay connected to their birth family (unless they’re at risk having access)
- The process doesn’t usually have costs – a big plus for adoptive parents compared to private and international
- The agency is a great resource in case you need help finding a pediatrician, school, etc.
- Sibling groups are quite often available (well for us, that’s a plus!)
And the cons:
- Same as all adoption types, the adoption happens due to loss – the children aren’t able to remain with their birth family for numerous reasons (unfortunately some of these reasons are devastating such as abuse and neglect which can cause serious long-term effects)
- The process can take a while as the agency focuses on the welfare of the child(ren) being placed so the prospective adoptive parents aren’t the clients nor the priority (although a con from the timing standpoint I don’t disagree with this one bit)
- Depending on your level of acceptance, you may say no to a child which is heartbreaking
So now the wait begins and we’ll see which deck we are dealt!
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/hippie/2563573847/”>incurable_hippie</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>cc</a>