Canadian Children's Rights Council
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Virtual Library of Newspaper Articles

Adoption Agencies Using Hard-Sell Tactics

Maclean's magazine, a magazine read across Canada,  July 26, 2004, by Sue Ferguson

ONE COLD, cloudy Monday morning last year, Esther and Tom Olfert woke up as usual to the 6:30 news. The voice on the radio was saying that in 2001, only 216 of 4,700 permanent wards in Alberta had been adopted. It also announced that Alberta Children's Services had launched a Web site featuring pictures, information and, in some cases, video clips of 90 kids waiting to be adopted. The Olferts went online that day. With the profiles just two clicks of the mouse away, they settled on an image of three siblings described as animal lovers who would do well on a farm. The couple, who run a mixed farm in the Lethbridge area and already had four older biological children and two adopted children, knew they'd found their match. This past February, those kids, 12- and 8-year-old girls and their brother, 10, joined the Olfert ranks.

"We felt a little cheap," Esther says about searching for a child online. "Like we were shopping," adds Tom. "But there are children getting their forever families," adds Esther. "Little girls who know that when they get married, they're going to have a daddy to walk them down the aisle. Those things are huge." Read More ..

Adoption in Canada is the jurisdiction of provincial / territorial governments

All provincial, territorial and federal laws and much case law and court judgements can be found on the national website of the Canadian Legal Information institute at:

A national policy on adoption remains elusive

Provinces keep track of adopted babies in their own ways

National Post. June 09, 2005.

No one knows exactly how many domestic adoptions occur each year in Canada.

The reason? Adoption is a provincial matter, and each one has a different way of keeping track. Infants and older children are grouped together in some provinces and separated in others; native children can be tracked provincially or by band councils only; and privately funded agencies -- licensed, charitable organizations that handle the bulk of infant adoptions -- are not tracked at all.

What is known is this: About 76,000 Canadian children are currently living in some form of public care other than their own homes, and about 22,000 are legally eligible for adoption. But only about 1,700 children are adopted each year, according to the  Adoption Council of Canada. The council has asked Ottawa to use the census to find out how many adopted children and adults are living in Canada, but no new questions have been added on the topic. Read More ..

Adoptees deserve access to family health histories

The BaltiRead More ..n Newspaper, By Adam Pertman, February 14, 2005

THE U.S. SURGEON General, Richard H. Carmona, has embarked on an admirable quest. Citing the obvious fact that many diseases are inherited, he has created a national campaign that encourages all American families to learn Read More ..out their health histories.

To make this important task easier to accomplish, Dr. Carmona's office has created software that all of us can download at no cost to help track medical information about our parents, grandparents and other relatives. And to underscore how serious the surgeon general is about getting us all to act, he designated an annual National Family Health History Day to coincide with Thanksgiving.

For tens of millions of people, though, this well-intentioned initiative is nothing more than a mirage, an enticing glimpse of water in the desert that they know they cannot reach. Because all of the Americans to whom Dr. Carmona refers do not include the vast majority of those who were adopted, rather than born, into their families.