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> YOUR OPTIONS
It can be distressing when you are facing an unplanned pregnancy. You may feel like your head is spinning with thoughts and questions. There are a number of options to consider when making the best decision for you and your baby. Our qualified counsellor will provide you with counselling to help you to explore your options, at no cost to you and the process is completely confidential.
> OPEN ADOPTION
Most adoptions today are considered “open.” In an open adoption the adoptive parents and the birth mother have an opportunity to meet each other and exchange information. Open adoption means different things to different people. For some, it means receiving pictures and letters from the adoptive family, and for others, it will mean ongoing visits. Openness means that your child will know from a very early age that he or she was adopted. You will have the opportunity to explore and discuss what level of openness feels right for you and your baby.
> FIND A FAMILY
You will have the opportunity to select the family who will raise your child. You may feel drawn to a certain family and feel an instant connection or it may take time to develop, but you will be in control of the process. You will also have the chance to meet with the family before the birth of your baby.
We will help you to explore the possibility of building your family through adoption. We have more than 20 years of experience working in adoption that guides and informs our practice. We will support you through each stage of the process. We hope to help you realize your dream of becoming parents or expanding your family through adoption. As adoption is a life-long commitment that you make to your child, we commit to providing ongoing support to adoptive families and children both during and after the adoption process is complete.
> ADOPTION PROCESS
Our experienced staff will guide you throughout the adoption process. While each adoption journey is unique, one of the first steps is the homestudy process, to ensure the safety of each home for a child. You will complete the education program (outlined below), and begin the preparation process to become adoptive parents. The next steps in the process will depend on whether you wish to adopt locally or from another country.
> LEARN ABOUT ADOPTION
We have developed an on-line, interactive, and engaging adoption education program that can be completed by you in your home. You will learn about important adoption related parenting issues such as attachment, becoming a conspicuous family, open adoption, as well as issues specific to adopting a toddler or older child.
Sunrise is a government-licenced B.C. adoption agency. We have more than 20 years of experience working in adoption. We have offices in Vancouver and Victoria and are able to deliver services throughout British Columbia. Sunrise serves both women facing an unplanned pregnancy as well as families wishing to adopt a child.
We are passionate about finding homes for children who would otherwise not have a forever family. As well as helping families to realize their dream of becoming parents.
> ADOPTIONS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
Sunrise offers women facing an unplanned pregnancy, counselling to explore their options as well as assisting families through the adoption process. We offer ongoing support to birth families after they have placed a child for adoption and to adoptive families after they have adopted a child. Many birth and adoptive families from across the province attend our annual picnics and special events that we host each year.
> INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTIONS
Sunrise facilitates adoptions from a number of countries internationally. When you meet with our staff we can discuss with you which country or countries may be an option for you. Each country has specific rules regulating adoption, which can change and be complex. We help you to understand and navigate the process.
> PREGNANCY & ADOPTION COUSELLING
Sunrise offers pregnancy and adoption counselling to women across Canada who are dealing with an unplanned pregnancy.
The Children of Adoption
By Doug Chalke
December 1, 2019
The past month was Adoption Awareness Month. It is aptly named and provides a focus for everyone involved in adoption to reflect on how they are affected by it and the role they play. This includes the government, adopted children, families who have been created by adoption over the years, birth parents, licensed adoption agencies, prospective adopting parents, associations of adopting parents, and social workers.
When Light Magazine asked me if I would write about my reflections on Adoption Awareness Month, I decided to focus on the children being adopted. My thoughts have been impacted by my direct experience in this field of work and travelling to orphanages across the world. This is a very different article than one I would have written 20 years ago.
While most countries in the world have orphanages, most people in the West have never set foot in an orphanage. There are some common themes: poverty conditions and a lack of resources is at the top of the list; insufficient support from the government in developing countries (where difficult decisions are made to allocate scarce resources). Institutionalized children are simply not a high priority. One notable exception to this is in Thailand where there is widespread public support for orphanages. Another exception is when a specific group supports its own orphanage.
Life in an orphanage cannot be compared to life in a loving family. Children need the love of parents to attach, and thereby achieve their full potential in life. Children in most of the orphanages I visited are living in poverty with few resources available to provide them with care, education and safety. Most face an uncertain future when they age out of orphanages. One possibility for a few of these children has been adoption. Over the past decade however, intercountry adoption has fallen out of favour with western governments. There is a growing belief that institutionalized children should remain in their country of birth. This is based on a hope that developing countries can acquire the resources to provide these children with a real future in life. Sadly that is not realistic, it is merely a hope.
There are an estimated 8 million children living in orphanages around the world. Most of these children may not be adopted for various legal and cultural reasons. One percent of that number is 80,000 children. That is more than 5 times the annual number of intercountry adoptions worldwide! So we’re talking about less than 0.2% of children in orphanages who may be adopted each year.
Let’s think about that for a moment. Significant effort is being made across western nations to keep institutionalized children in their country of birth. I would support that if there were families in their birth countries for 8 million children who would adopt them. Unfortunately those families are a wish and not a reality. If every intercountry adoption in the world was prohibited tomorrow it would affect less than one fifth of one percent of children in orphanages each year. There is no one to speak for these children. There is no voice saying that it is in a child’s best interest to grow up in a loving family that they can attach to. Most of these children will face a bleak future. That is particularly true if a child has special needs or is HIV+. Europeans and North Americans will adopt children with special needs.
The main thing that is being missed is that it is the love of a family that leads to attachment.
And attachment allows us all to develop to our full potential as humans.
Adoption can be a truly remarkable experience for a child. Over the past 20
years I have seen so many wonderful outcomes in adoptions. Children from
many countries have grown up in British Columbia and Alberta to become
athletes, students, dancers, hockey players, musicians and grown to
whatever their potential can be. Adopted children frequently grow up as part of
a larger extended family with all the love and support which that brings with it.
My hope is that some of those children who become educated and
successful in Canada will be able to contribute back to their birth country.
Let’s make it our hope that at least the current level of adoptions will
continue in the future.
If you are wondering about the other 99.8% of children in orphanages who
will never be adopted, there are many registered Canadian charities which
help children around the world. I urge you to search them on-line and see
the great work they do. What better way to celebrate the joys of adoption
than by supporting institutionalized children who will never be adopted.