Canada is Free and Freedom is Its Nationality

Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Thursday, May 5, 2011

IMFC Research by Peter Jon Mitchell

Please Note: This is a summary of the events and speeches in my own words for educational, information, and entertainment purposes only. It is not the speakers' exact words and should not be taken as such. It also may contain errors due to the nature of the medium. I am not responsible for any of them, use at your own risk.

Peter Jon Mitchell took the floor next to present a research report on adoption and foster care in Canada.

It is estimated that 30,000 children in Canada are awaiting adoption, however only 8% will be adopted this year. Canada can do better than this.

There are many roadblocks to adoption in Canada, Indeed the adoption system is much like a tangle of extension cords in your garage, messy and difficult to figure out. Part of what IMFC does is to try to untangle this mess.

He looked at the outcomes for kids in foster care and adoption. Do adopted children have better outcomes? Largely, yes. However there are difficulties in researching the issue as there are many variable and the systems are quite different.

There are few studies on long term foster care, however a few considerations may be put forward.

In terms of a child’s sense of belonging and attachment to caregivers, children who are adopted early, children who are adopted by their foster parents, and children who have contact with their biological parents have more healthy relationships. In contrast, those who do not have contact with their biological parents, and who were raised in institutions have worse outcomes. Foster children have an increased probability of poor results, for example poor educational outcomes, more homelessness, etc.

What are the predictors of adoption?
Age - The older the child, the harder it is to find adoptive parents.
Disabilities - this likely plays a role, but may be overstated as many adoptive parents are willing to adopt children with disabilities.
A Child’s Personal and Family History - the more troubled the child’s past and family the more difficult it may be to find adoptive parents.

He attended a Parliamentary Committee which was looking at adoption. One of the witnesses before the committee was a Mother who adopted her son. The adoption process was very arduous, and very invasive. Even after it was complete, it was a very long journey, as they struggled to love a very difficult boy who was causing many problems in the family. By the time she was done speaking, there was not a dry eye in the room. The experts in adoption are the families which are living through it, as researchers, we need to tap into that expertise.

No comments:

Post a Comment