The Adoption Process has many parts to it. Hopefully, this overview of the private adoption process will answer some of your questions, provide you with a road map through this kind of adoption, and bring you some comfort. It is the role of your licensee and adoption counselor to guide and take you through these steps. This is not a journey you have to take alone.
For 35 years, I was a private adoption licensee, specializing in open adoptions, and helped expectant mothers plan adoptions for their children. Unlike Children's Aid Societies, a public child protection agency, I only facilitated adoptions that were voluntary. I worked independently from CAS.
In 2021, the covid epidemic gave me time to review my life and work. One aspect of private adoption that has continually bothered me has been the imbalance in services provided to expectant parents versus the services provided to adoptive parents.
The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, a ministry that oversees private adoption licensees, adoption practitioners, and private adoption practices
Requires adoptive parents to have the following:
1. a 27 hour adoption education course called P.R.I.D.E.
2. a homestudy conducted by a social worker with a MSW (degree in social work) and several years of clinical practice. The homestudy is an
assessment of the applicants readiness to parent an adopted child.This homestudy usually involves 5 or 6 sessions with a social worker specializing in adoption.
The Ministry requires the following for expectant parents:
1. review an information booklet on the adoption process
2. suggests that birth parents be provided counseling. But does not outline the number of sessions or outline what should be covered in these sessions. There is no educational requirement for the person providing the counseling.
3. have a session with a family lawyer to review and sign an adoption consent, a legal document placing the child for adoption.
My focus now is to help equalize the information and educational services provided to birth parents/expectant parents considering adoption for their child versus the information and adoption education provided to adoptive parents, those hoping to adopt/parent an adopted child.
To do this, I have created an opportunity for expectant parents/birthparents to talk with me about various aspects of adoption.
The list of topics include the following:
Steps in planning an adoption
Choosing parents for my child?
The Hospital and Placement plans
Deciding to parent or place a child for adoption
Understanding Open Adoption.
Telling others- I am pregnant.-
All About Me-completing a booklet of info about me for my child
Secrets in Adoption ( their effect on me and others)
Forgiving Myself-Moving Forward
Rebuilding your life
Visiting -Preparing for the first visit (child and adoptive parents)
How to disagree without damaging the open adoption relationship
Birth grandparents-understanding their role in the child's life
And more- you can suggest a topic to discuss
Sessions are 45 minutes
Jennie's contact info