If you’re reading this it’s because I finally had time to sit down and blog about Monday’s adoption consultation (thanks to 5 hours on a plane last night uninterrupted). It’s been a crazy week to say the least but by the time this post is published I will have landed in Bogota, Colombia. I will spend one day at our head office and then I have 3 days to roam the city and relax. A much welcomed break.
Monday evening we met with our adoption practitioner in our home. I was so nervous leading up to it although I’m not sure why. Shawn spent all day cleaning the house so that everything was perfect and I puttered around making final touches when I got home from work. I should note that we decided to meet with a private practitioner for our consult because I wanted 100% of the attention to be on us and our questions and in the end, we were very satisfied with that decision. I had my list of questions ready for her and we talked in great detail about each adoption avenue. I figured I’d summarize our consult by each avenue.
First, we spoke about private Ontario adoption. I’m talking adopting a newborn baby from a couple that is placing that newborn baby up for adoption. This avenue is not common and in fact, only 22 private Ontario adoptions took place in 2017 and of those 22 a majority of the adoptive parents were somehow associated with the parents who were placing their child for adoption. We can move forward with private Ontario if we choose but the timeline is not guaranteed of when a newborn would be placed with you. There is also a cost associated with private Ontario adoption in the range of $15,000-$20,000.
Secondly, we spoke about public CAS adoption. For those of you don’t know, CAS stands for Children’s Aid Society. The children in CAS’s care range in age from newborn to 18. Timing is not guaranteed on this route either but the more open you are to children outside of the newborn to 3 years of age range, the shorter the wait period may be. If you are willing to take siblings, your chances also increase. Some of the children is CAS’s care come from a wide variety of backgrounds and may have medical, physical and/or mental health issues. From what we have been told so far, this is discussed and disclosed throughout the adoption process. There are no adoption fees associated with CAS adoptions unless you opt to do your home study and PRIDE training privately (which I will discuss later in this post).
Lastly, we discussed international adoption. While the wait times are much more predictable, the costs are a lot higher. Once we broke down some of those costs though, it started to make sense. I often wondered why international adoption was so expensive but just like anything else every time a document has to go to the prospective country or be registered overseas, there are fees associated. Along with that, there are also fees included for visiting the country which, depending on the country, may be once or twice before you even bring your child home. The fees for the home study and PRIDE training are also included in the international fee amount. We still have more research to do on the international adoption route and what countries we may or may not be interested in but in any case the fees are around $30,000+
I have mentioned the home study and PRIDE training more than once now. Basically it is mandatory to complete 27 hours of PRIDE training (which stands for Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education) before you are adopt ready. You must also complete a home study which covers a whole bunch of things like background checks, criminal checks, finances, 5 references, employment letters, etc. This can be completed through the CAS if you are going the public route free of charge but you can also have your home study done by a private practitioner which we have decided we will do instead. So far we love our practitioner and felt a really great connection with her. This is someone who could be working with us for a few years and who has also been doing this for over 20 years. The thing is if you do your home study privately you must also complete your PRIDE training privately too. We are also fine with this as if we do opt to go the international route, it will already all be done.
It was a lot to take in (and I probably missed a lot in this post) plus we still have a lot more research to do but we will likely start PRIDE training in the spring. We will need to wait to do our home study until our home in Aurora is done and we have moved next summer as the home study is linked to an address and we won’t be in our current home by the time we have a child.
We are still proceeding with our final IVF cycle (and any subsequent transfers) in late January but figured we would get the ball rolling on this sooner than later because if our final IVF is not successful, we would like to be adopt ready by the end of next year. Even if our IVF is successful it is very likely we will still adopt one day down the road.
I’ll keep everyone posted on the process as we move through it and as always, we appreciate all of your love and support.