Adoption in Canada in 2016

There's been notable changes over the past five years

By Focus on the Family Canada staff

Are you or someone you know considering adoption? At this time of year, Focus on the Family always airs a number of broadcasts on topics related to affirming the value of life. Often, adoption as an alternative to abortion is discussed, and we begin to get inquiries from people who have thought for years about adoption but have never taken the next step, which is getting information. Our website, Waitingtobelong.ca, was designed as a starting point for people to get the information they may need to consider taking the next step.

Even since we first developed this website, there has been a shift in our country in the landscape of adoption. International (or sometimes called “intercountry”) adoptions are decreasing in number. There are a number of reasons for this, ranging from affordability to regulations in countries making the process more challenging and less adoption-friendly. Some of this is for the protection of children and should be embraced. Other aspects of this reality are more regrettable. In either case, it is longer, harder and more expensive to adopt internationally than it was even five years ago.

Domestic private adoptions are also happening less frequently, as more unmarried parents choose to parent and teen pregnancy rates in general have decreased. Parents waiting on agency lists are often waiting in excess of two years for healthy infant placements, or are sometimes asked to reconsider their first choices and instead consider children who are older, or who may have special needs.

The need for families to foster and adopt within Canada remains high however, and more and more families are choosing this option, both as their first choice as well as for subsequent adoptions. Our goal at Waiting to Belong is to help support and resource families choosing this option. We know that the challenges of parenting children who have been in the care of their provincial authority are high. This, of course, is not the fault of the children, but the result of circumstances to which they have been exposed. We love that people are responding out of a heart of love for children, and a calling from God to care for the “least of these” – the vulnerable and beautiful children who need consistent, loving and stable families to offer them hope for a future.

With all this in mind, maybe you are considering this call this year, or have friends who are seriously praying about it. We want to remind you of an article we published a number of years ago that helps parents evaluate whether this call is for them at this time. It’s called Adoption Self-Assessment. Have a look. We hope you’ll find it helpful.