Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Picton CAS Meeting

Yesterday we met with Marie the lady in charge of Adoption at the Picton CAS.  She was really nice and Nic and I liked her right from the start.  She had read our profile and homestudy and greeted Jessie and Emma by name.  She has dogs of her own so was really comfortable around them which was nice.

She was here for a little over an hour and talked to us allot about the adoption program and how CAS handles things.  As always it was a learning experience and I feel like we got allot out of it.  Some of the surprising things we learned were:

-Picton CAS has been doing mainly open adoptions (either with the birth parents or extended family members) when it is safe for the child, for the last 25 years.  This is a relatively new step for CAS so we were surprised to hear they had been doing it for so long.

-Marie has facilitated three newborn adoptions this year and is currently working on another one.  Newborns available through the CAS for immediate adoption are rare.  Often times the birth parents do not give immediate consent for the child to be adopted and the child is in foster care for at least a year.  It was great to hear that sometimes newborns are available.  She said to keep in mind that babies have challenges as well because if there are developmental issues they have not always presented yet.  Also if the mother does not give a complete history there may be some question marks.  If the child is a bit older at least there has been some time to see how they are growing and learning.

-Marie said that she would more than likely propose some children to us that were out of our acceptance zone.  She said we did not need to feel pressure to accept these children.  She said lots of people say no to 2, 3, 5, etc. children during the process of finding the right one.  She truly believes that finding a child is about a connection so if she thinks the child might be right for us she would talk to us about it.  Nice to know!

-She asked us for a smaller written profile with no pictures.  She said sometimes it is better for people to read about us first before seeing us.  More information is not always better. 

-She will present us, along with any other new couples she has available at her next meeting with the three neighbouring CAS organizations.  She wants me to send her our profile in PDF form so she can e-mail it ahead of time.

-The process for accepting a child has more steps than we anticipated.  She said if we accept a child on paper we can then talk with the child's worker (if one exists) as well as the current foster parent to find out more about the child.  From there we may have a meeting with any birth family and then if we still think it will be a good match we will see the child.  We both thought this was great.  It gives us lots of time to gather information before we make a decision.

After we talked she did take a quick look around the house and talked to us a bit about our business.  She seemed pleased with what we had to offer and thought the spare room would be perfect.  I was wondering if she would ask if all our safety measures were in place.  We did talk about it but she said not to worry too much about that now.  Depending on the age of the child what we need will be different.  She says if we are placed with a child she will do a full inspection before we bring the child home.

Marie also mentioned an event going on October 1st.  This is the third time someone has made us aware of it.  We were already planning on going which she thought was good.  At this event Hastings, Northumberland, Kawartha-Haliburton, and the County of Prince Edward will be presenting children who are currently available for adoption.  These children are available because the agencies do not have any families in the area that will accept them.  They will mostly be sibling groups and children over 6.  Although Nic and I know the children are out of our range we think it is important to go.  We are going to introduce our self to the person in each section and leave them with our profile and contact information.  Meeting people in person is important and because we are very close to each of the departments we are hoping they will hold on to our profile and keep us in mind.  Marie seemed to think they would and that this would be a good thing to do.  Connections never hurt.

Overall another great meeting that we felt really good about.  It is wonderful to be meeting so many nice people and learning so much.  Marie also said she thought the Toronto Adoption Resource Exchange was in mid October.  She did not know the exact date but was going to let me know.  So October will be a good month to see lots of kids and make lots of CAS connections.

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