s some of you may know, November is Adoption Awareness Month here in British Columbia. This is a celebration of adoption, the families created when people welcome a vulnerable child or youth into their home and embrace them as one of their own.
Adoption makes a big difference in the life and development of a child. Children who are adopted, and benefit from the stability and support given by their new family, have much better outcomes than those who don’t have the solid foundation that a family provides. Having a family makes a difference at any age, which makes teenage adoption all the more important; unfortunately, while youth over 12 years of age make up almost a third of those waiting for adoption, they only make up about one-tenth of the annual adoptions in the province.
Our government, through the Ministry of Children and Family Development, works with organizations like the Adoptive Families Association of BC to support adoption.
Working in partnership, they give families who are considering adopting the support and preparation they need, so they are aware what they can expect during the process of adoption. This ensures that families are prepared not only for the joys, but also for the challenges, that welcoming a new family member entails. Adoption workers also make certain to match each child with the family that is the best fit for them in terms of personality and specific needs, and prepare each child for adoption as well.
Over the past five years, more than 1,400 children and youth in B.C. have been adopted, but there are over 1,000 more that are waiting for a loving family to take them in. There are few choices that a person can make that will impact the life of another human being as much as adoption. This month we celebrate those who have made that choice, and the loving families that their choice has created.
Donna Barnett is the Liberal MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin.