The following information and story comes to us from the AFABC (Adoptive Families Association of BC)
When children are matched with families for adoption, there are a series of steps taken to gradually help the children get acquainted and comfortable with their new families. The first step is to introduce the parents to the child in the child’s environment (usually the foster home), which is less threatening for the child. It also allows the prospective parents an opportunity to see the child in his or her environment, to meet the foster parents and to spend some time getting to know the child’s routines. This step may be done over a period of a couple of weeks, several weekends or a few days, depending on the age and stage of the child or children to be adopted and the distance required for the prospective parents to travel. Over this first stage, the adopting parents will take the child into the community and, if they live locally, may take the child to their neighbourhood or for short visits to their home.
The next step is for the child to go to the adopting family’s home, first for day visits, then an overnight and then several nights – again depending on many factors, this process will vary from case to case. After a level of comfort is attained the child will go for a trial period and then will be formally moved to the adopting family’s home.
This process is absolutely critical to developing a healthy attachment between parent and child and of course, to ease the high level of anxiety the child is going to experience during this transition.
When the adopting family lives in a different part of the province the pre-placement process can be challenging and tends to involve quite a lot of travelling: in the first stage, for the adopting family and in the next stage for the child and either the foster parent or the guardianship social worker. And of course, that can be quite costly. Depending on the age and the needs of the child or children, the family may need to make three or more trips to the child’s home region. Some families are able to absorb these costs but if it would cause undue hardship for the adopting family, the guardianship office will contribute. Most offices don’t have a budget for this expense and must juggle funds to assist with the cost of flights, car rentals, hotels and food.
Over this past Christmas a couple came down from northern BC to visit with a young boy living in a foster home in Burnaby. He is seven years old, the size of an average five year old, but with personality much bigger than his years. The 2 day visit was part of the process of adopting this little boy.
Thanks to Accent Inns the family had a place to stay while visiting with the foster family and their soon-to-be son. In fact, he stayed overnight with them, very excited about his first hotel experience and to watch the hockey game with his new mom and dad!
Next Saturday the couple will journey down again to stay one more night in Burnaby and then take their son home to meet the rest of his forever family!
As a family business Accent Inns is proud to support the work of The Adoptive Families Association of BC.
AFABC helps to bring families together and then offers them support and strength for the entire journey of a family. For more info about adoption in BC visit www.bcadopt.com
Yvonne Devitt for the AFABC
Note- photo’s are of John and his daughter not of the family in the story to preserve their privacy.