Pathways to permanency

Learn about the meaning of permanency, and different ways of creating it for children and youth. The term “permanency” means different things to different people.  Within the context of child welfare, permanency includes a concept called the Four Dimensions of Permanence, which are relational, cultural, physical and legal permanency. This video reviews each dimension of […]

Meet the McKinney family

The McKinney family of three and their dog.

Four years ago, Erin McKinney shared her story with the Belonging Network about her experience of adopting N, her second cousin. Their story continues as Erin shares updates about their lives as N transitions into adulthood. Erin’s unwavering support and commitment have nurtured N’s accomplishments, from graduating high school to landing his first job and […]

Meet Jan Radford

A person holds a piece of white paper with two rainbow handprints and a red heart painted on it. A rainbow pride flag and a trans pride flag are in the background.

Adopting from Romania in the 1990s After four years of attempting to get pregnant through artificial means, Jan and her partner at the time, Lindsey, decided to give up on starting a family. “[We decided] we’ll just spend the college fund and have fun,” Jan says of their decision, laughing. But soon after, they learned […]

My life with FASD

A little blonde girl covering half of her face with a maple leaf.

People with FASD struggle with lifelong behaviour and learning problems. In this article, one young adoptee shares her story of life with FASD. All names have been changed. What assumptions do you make when you see someone in a wheelchair? Or with a hearing aid or really thick glasses? What if they have a red […]

FASD: It’s not just the brain

A hand grasping a miniature plastic brain model.

Research reveals that prenatal alcohol exposure impacts the entire body, not just the brain. A whole-body disorder For the past several decades, the widely held assumption in the field of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) research has been that a fetus’s brain is by far more vulnerable to the damaging effects of alcohol exposure than […]

Caring for Indigenous families

Totem poles.

The Indigenous Perspectives Society (IPS), formerly Caring for First Nations Children Society, is a registered charitable non-profit founded in 1994. IPS has played a significant role in the delivery of training and policy development in the Indigenous child welfare field. We interviewed IPS staff about their recent move into providing support and training to caregivers […]

Meet the Imrie family

Woman with two children.

Meet the Imrie family: Jody is a special education teacher and foster-turned-adoptive mom who lives in Vancouver with her daughter (6) and son (7). How did you get started as a foster parent? From the time I was a teenager, I always knew I wanted to adopt children. I just always felt that there were […]

Trauma matters

A girl of African descent is seated on a windowsill. She's holding her legs.

Advice from a counsellor on how to recognize and help wounded children and youth. Trauma: adoption’s shadow Many children and youth who are adopted have been exposed to highly stressful situations and traumatic events; however, the resulting special needs these children can experience aren’t always recognized or supported. It’s vital for caregivers and professionals to […]

Adopted Voice: It’s not about gratitude

Image with the following text: "#FlipTheScript A full understanding of adoption cannot be had without listening to adoptees' first-hand perspectives."

My adoption story Prior to my adoption, I lived in Tennessee with my birth mother (in utero) and then spent one year in foster care. Doctors’ assessments of my potential medical issues deterred black families from adopting me, so a white couple with experience parenting children with special needs was selected. I moved across the […]

Love me, feed me: part two

Various fruits and vegetables surrounding a child's hands forming a heart shape.

Most folks who work with kids and food begin with a question: “What to feed?” There are countless articles and books about how to disguise veggies or sneak in more protein. But without steps one and two in place (the “how” of feeding, or the “feeding relationship”–see “Love Me, Feed Me” part one), step three is […]

Are you up to parenting a child with FASD?

Three people with light skin are shown from the calf down. They are all wearing shoes, socks, and rolled-up jeans. The person in the middle is a teen wearing red shoes that are high-top sneakers. They also wear mismatched colourful socks. The adults on either side wear hiking shoes and their socks are also mismatched. Red shoes are a symbol of FASD with the slogan "Red shoes rock."

When I met Susan Bell* in her large, Surrey home, I was immediately struck by how ordered and tidy it seemed, especially considering it’s home to several teens. I had pictured a far more hectic, cluttered place. Susan ushered me into her equally immaculate office, and we spoke for two hours about parenting kids with […]

Help your child: Focus on strengths

A blond kid, wearing a yellow T-shirt and jeans, is playing on the sand with a yellow and red truck.

Tara Webber, Registered Clinical Counsellor and adoptive mom, provides her tips on building a struggling child’s self-esteem. If you ask children what they do well, there is usually a long pause as they search for an answer. Ask them what they don’t do well, and they have an instant list. When I was working as […]

The language of hurt kids

A little girl looking out the window with a sad expression

Psychologists have given us a concept of non-verbal communication that makes an incredible amount of sense in the context of adoption — it is called inducement. Those of us who live or work with adopted children need to understand that inducement is the language of the abandoned. Inducement is the most important conceptual tool we […]

Adopting a child with a risk of schizophrenia

Photo of child walking in a brown field, seen from behind, wearing a red and white sweater.

Of the 650 children available for adoption through the Ministry, roughly 15 to 20 percent have a genetic psychiatric risk of mental illness such as a mental disability, schizophrenia, manic depression, or a personality disorder. In December, 2001, 77 children (or 16.5 %) carried this risk. Few applicants are interested in adopting children with a […]