Globe and Mail: Here's an update from Sylvia and Mike Braithwaite on their continuing efforts to build a family:
Our experience has been a good one although the wait is a long one, we can appreciate how hard working everyone at Children's Aid Society has been. We started the process on Sept 11, 2008 by attending an orientation where they gave us details on the process and a package to fill out and return if we wanted to continue. The package contained information on health, financial and personal details on what we were looking for in terms of a child (age, gender, race, background). One of the toughest parts is outlining what you can and cannot commit to. Once the package was in, November 2008, we waited to hear back and did in Feb 2009. Early March 2009 a CAS Worker visited our home and met with my husband and I to go over the information we handed in, we then were put into a 9-week adoption course in April 2009. The course was excellent in opening our eyes on how best help and understand children who would be adopted.
Now since the course ended in late May 2009, we have been waiting for what we understand is a home study where they will visit our home twice and get to know us as people and parents. Once that takes place, they start a matching process in which they try to match the needs of the child and the adoptive parents.
Globe and Mail: Mike and Sylvia, do you have any advice for other couples that might be considering adoption?
Question yourselves as adoptive parents/parent as to what type of child you are looking for and what you can and cannot commit to.
Although adopting a baby through CAS is not impossible, babies come up for adoption infrequently. Adoptive parents need to be patient with the process and understand that Children's Aid Society workers are looking out for the children first and foremost as it should be. We have nothing but positive things to say about the staff at CAS.
Couples need to realize that here in Canada we have a lot of children who need homes and you don't have to pay as you would with adopting children internationally.
Globe and Mail: We'll be ending our liveblog discussion soon, but we've had a huge response and a lot of great questions. Unfortunately we won't be able to answer all of them today - apologies to those we didn't get to.
Comment From snorman: Without using IVF our family would never have experienced the joys we have
Comment From Tess B.: Just out of curiosity, is there any other country/countries that cover the cost of IVF?
Globe and Mail: From Jennifer MacMillan: Hi Tess, thanks for your question. Many other countries, including several Scandinavian and Western European countries, publicly fund IVF to a certain degree. Israel and Australia do too, but each country has their own take. For instance, in Australia, the government funds only half the cost but imposes no age limit or restriction on how many cycles of IVF a person can try. Australia has been funding IVF since 1990.
Comment From Guest: I am happy to have a health 2 month old daughter, thanks to IVF!
Comment From snorman: unfortunately, this joy cost a lot financially. Though I understand public funding restrictions, when you think of the benefits to society (economy) of having children in solid and loving homes, isn't it all ultimately worth it?
Comment From Joan: Do you think there's any future for anonymous egg donation in Canada? At present it is not allowed under the Reproductive Technologies legislation, but donor eggs through a clinic in the US worked for us. We are very grateful to be expecting twins in January.
Globe and Mail: Answer from Dr. Marjorie Dixon:
Congratulations! I am hopeful that Quebec's Supreme Court challenge will bring these issues to the forefront and help to educate the public on the restrictive nature of the prohibited actions.
In the report, we made a clear statement explaining the definitive deficiences of the act, and that this restrictive legislation will only serve to further push Ontarians to the brink in their efforts to start a family (both emotionally and financially).
Only time will tell what the outcome will be---but I'm an eternal optimist! In the meantime, we will manage the best that we can with altruistic known donors ...
Globe and Mail: From Jennifer MacMillan: Unfortunately we've run out of time for today. Apologies again we weren't able to get to all of the questions. The interest has been overwhelming. Thanks very much to everyone who participated today and shared their stories.