After an internal review of the Aboriginal Adoption Online training, the Executive Director has decided to cancel the September 14, 2015 session, in order to update the curriculum to provide the most up to date and relevant training experience for participants. Once a new date has been determined for the training we will be in touch with you to inform you of the new date.
— excerpt from an email from the programs coordinator at Indigenous Perspectives Society.
I am bummed. Not heart-broken, because this is an optional course and we have a ton of other things going on in our lives right now, but I am certainly bummed. I haven’t contacted our social worker yet to find out what this means in terms of our wanting to be considered to adopt First Nations / Métis children, but from where I am sitting it seems as if we don’t have any options that would make us eligible. The course that was cancelled is the only way.
Hopefully they’ll come up with a replacement in the next few months?
In other news, the husband and I have decided to attend an information session called “LGBTQ: Your Path To Parenthood” which is being put on by Acubalance Wellness Centre and Olive Fertility Clinic. We’ve shut the door on surrogacy right now, but that doesn’t mean that we should stop learning about our options! It’s a free session, and it will also help us get to know other queer families. Which we need to do, because most of our friends with children have relatively traditional family compositions. 🙂
We had our intake appointment today, and I have a few thoughts that I want to get out before I forget them:
- Our intake social worker is awesome. We want to keep her! She says normally we’d get passed along to someone else after our AEP (Adoption Education Program), but that she is going to try to keep us. So, the feeling is mutual. She was friendly, obviously educated on queer families, and we spent nearly two hours with her, chatting and going through her checklists.
- We made a few missteps in our Adoption Questionnaire, but that’s to be expected — the terms aren’t explained very well, and we get to resubmit the form after our AEP anyhow. We learned a lot today about access orders and polysubstance addictions, let me tell you.
- She recommended us to the AEP, and we’re starting in October! From the AEP website:
The AEP-Online takes place over 13 weeks and covers the legal, social and emotional aspects of adoption. Because the program is online, lessons are taught through a variety of media and assignments can be completed at your convenience.
- Our AFABC support person forgot to send us one of the forms we had to fill out, so we did it on the spot. Oops, guess that criminal record check is pretty important! 🙂
- She explained that the fact that neither of us has lived out of province gives us an advantage — there’s extra paper for if you have, and apparently it’s a giant pain. Glad to have dodged that bullet.
- We’re almost a third of the way through the process! Eeee!
- I wasn’t surprised by any of her questions, even though she asked a lot. Research saves the day! She told us what the homestudy process was going to be like, and I didn’t learn anything new. She asked about our mental health, our employment, the number of bedrooms in our house, pets, other people living with us, and the big question: why adoption. I’m going to do a post later on about why we have chosen to adopt though this particular path, because it’s pretty important.
- I *was* surprised by my reaction to her question about concurrent planning — this is where you foster a child with the possibility that it will lead to adoption, with no guarantee. There are a few situations where this could happen, such as a mother leaving her newborn in the care of the ministry who has no living family, or if a child is being placed due to a disrupted adoption. Initially, I had a strong negative reaction to this idea, for the same reasons I don’t want to be a foster parent. How would I feel if I become attached to a child, only to have to give them to someone else? But as our social worker explained more about it to us, I realized that it could be a possibility. Husband was surprised that I was even considering it, but I really am. More research is required.
- She encouraged us to look at each of the “yes or no” options on a case by case basis, rather than ruling things out from the start. Some of our “no” answers turned into “maybe” answers before we even got out of her office, which feels right. If, for example, we said no on our form to a child with ADHD, we may be missing out on the right child for us, because they would never be matched with us, and there are a lot of conditions that present like ADHD but may be something else entirely, like abuse or trauma.
- I am so excited. 🙂
- Oops, one more thing: since we are open to adopting a Metis or First Nations child, we need to take another education program through Indigenous Perspectives Society, called the Adoption Online Course. It’s a hefty financial commitment, but we’re going to do it. We’re also going to take a number of other courses through AFABC in the fall.
I am sure more will come later — we don’t start our AEP until October, and I plan on doing a bunch of research in the meantime, especially about concurrent planning and the homestudy process.
So. Excited. 🙂