Same Culture Local Adoption
(Names have been changed for the protection of privacy)
“I just wanted to adopt a child who looked like me and I could not afford the cost of international adoption,” said Jackie, an Afro-Canadian adoptive parent of five year old Annabel.
Not long ago, Jackie decided to open her arms and heart to a child in need to a forever family. Jackie, a first generation Canadian, is the product of parents who immigrated to Canada from the Caribbean. “Family, to us, means everyone from our parents to our many times removed cousins. We like to meet, eat, and have fun together, and everything revolves around our children.” For many years, Jackie tried unsuccessfully to have a child and suffered through the good natured ribbing and well-meaning advice from family members about what she needed to do to “get the job done”. “I arrived at the decision to adopt after seeing a Consider Adoption bulletin; however, for me, it was important that my chosen child be from my cultural community.” Jackie is like many persons who choose to adopt. In fact, in the matter of adoption, same culture adoption seems to be the first choice within many ethno-cultural communities, including the Afro community.
“I called the 1-877-ADOPT-07 number and the world of possibilities just opened up to me. I attended an information session and learned about the different types of adoption.” Adoption can be done through a lawyer, a licensed agency (there are six in BC) or through the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD). For Jackie, the best option was the MCFD. “It all boiled down to three things: cost, convenience and support. I did not have the time nor the money to travel and stay in another country for months. Adopting through a lawyer or agency can be very expensive and can cost up to $30,000. The cost of adopting through the MCFD was very minimal, about $160. In addition, the MCFD provided personnel support throughout and after the process.”
Jackie now looks forward to family gatherings. She got her wish for a child who looked like her. Best of all she did not have to wait long because there were children of Afro heritage in the care of the MCFD waiting for a chance to belong to a forever family, just like hers.
My place within
In the castle of my skin why am I not confident of my place within
By Sophia Barton-Bucknor