Subsidy for Sibling Group/Older Child Adoption

Great news in the adoption community in Ontario!  Hopefully this will get children into adoptive homes sooner!  This really would have been handy in 2010.

Targeted Adoption Subsidy

Financial Assistance for Adoption and Legal Custody

Children’s aid societies (CASs) provide supports to families who give children in their care a home through adoption, legal custody, kinship and customary care. As of June 15, 2012, CASs will provide additional financial help to families who are adopting or taking legal custody of Crown wards who are siblings or 10 years and older. The Siblings and age 10 + subsidy is tax free.

Who is eligible for a sibling and 10+ subsidy? 
You are eligible if:
1. You have taken legal custody of a child or children on or after June 15, 2012, OR have a child or children who are Crown wards placed in your home for adoption on or after June 15, 2012.
2. You are eligible if the child you adopt is 10 years of age or older. You are also eligible if you adopt a sibling group of 2 or more children.
3. Your family has a combined annual net family income of $85,000 or less.

How much is the sibling and 10+ subsidy?
Eligible families will receive $950 per month (or $11,400 annually) for each eligible child.

How do I apply? 
You may apply for this or any other subsidy available through your CAS as part of your adoption or legal custody application. To be eligible for the sibling and 10+ subsidy, you will be asked for proof of your combined annual net family income, as shown on line 236 of your most recent Canada Revenue Agency personal income tax return.

If I am eligible, when will I start receiving the sibling and 10+ subsidy?
You will begin to receive the subsidy when the child or children are placed in your home for adoption, or on the date of the legal custody order. The subsidy will continue until the child or children turn 18, as long as you continue to meet the eligibility criteria. Your CAS will review the eligibility criteria every year.

But I am a Natural Parent

Using inclusive and positive adoptive language has been something has become really important to me, and has been an area that I have chosen to be more outspoken about.  I give people the opportunity to learn when they have said something I find offensive or hurtful.  I let people know when they say something that may be hurtful or offensive to someone else.  Well, hey, I’m writing this post because I needed people to read it!

I have way more opinions that I express through writing this blog than I generally ever speak out loud, because I am way more gutsy in type than I am in word.  But positive adoption language is one of those areas I don’t keep quiet about.  This is an area where things aren’t really an opinion more than right and wrong.

The first three are the big dos and donts when it comes to positive adoption language….  And some of the other ones are big ones that are obviously important that people need to change in vocabulary.

Positive Adoption Language

Biological vs Natural

  • This is something that has bothered me even when referring to parenthood without talking about adoption.  You never know what kind of interventions people had to use to have biological children.  So many families are created through medical or “unnatural” procedures but still create a biological child.  It’s unfair to all of those who didn’t (for whatever reason) create a family in the Mom+Dad=Child “Natural” formula. This not only affects so many families created through adoption, but the many who are created assisted through different kinds of fertility treatments, surrogacy, insemination, etc.  If you are talking about a biological genetic connection between humans.  Name it so.  The word natural doesn’t just have to do with genetics.
  • Birthing a child does not give you the right to be titled as a natural parent. Natural has multiple definitions folks. Once again, if you are referring to genetics, referring to the biological connection is much more clear.
  • Being an adoptive parent, I am did not physically give birth to my children, but I’m a very natural mother.  My skill as a parent came naturally to me.  I had children in a very natural way to me… What was my first choice in having children… No one can tell me that my choice isn’t my natural just because it’s not biological. *My children are my natural children, but no, they are not my biological children.

“Own”

  • First of all, my children are my own.  Doesn’t matter if I birthed them or adopted them they are still equally (and legally) my own.
  • Drives me crazy when people have biological children and adopted children and refer to their children seperately:  “nice to meet you, these are kids of my own, and this is my adopted one”.  It makes my blood boil.  Some adoptive families do not use positive adoption language.  Not everyone is as forward thinking as Ontario and not all have to take as much training and go through such a lengthy process as we do to be able to adopt.  Not anyone cause just get a kid here folks.  Just saying.  Do you ever hear people saying “nice to meet you, this is my daughter who we conceived with donor sperm cause my husband is shooting blanks”  or “you have a lovely home, I was on clomid for 17 months before I got pregnant with my twins.”
  • Don’t ask me if I didn’t want/try to have my own.  This is how I tried to have my own.  It was a hard wait for these kids.  My labour pains were different, my delivery was different, my post partum has been different… But these are my own.  If you want to know if I tried to have biological children, ask that question.  That’s a different question.  Adoption is how I wanted my “own.”

Was adopted vs. Is adopted

  • I’m pretty sure their adoption happened in the past…. It’s a verb that should be used in the past tense… It’s not still happening right now, is it?  Are they still being adopted right now?  Cause I think they are just your kid now… Just your OWN kid that WAS adopted.

Anyways.  Just thought I’d share some of those thoughts I had on being a natural parent, having my own children and adopting them… in the past… 3 years ago. 😀

~Andrea

Mother’s Day Plea

My Plea for the Celebration of Mother’s Day… Especially in the Church.

Mother’s Day is always hard for me as I grieve the loss of my children’s biological family while celebrating my own motherhood.  It’s twisted as I feel torn and guilt.  I think of Amaris and Makaio’s birthmother and how she is not with her children on this day.  I wait alongside my many friends who are trying to start a family whether in the adoption process or biologically, and it is a difficult day with so many emotions.  When Mother’s Day is celebrated in the church, traditional mothers are often singled out and asked to stand in church and praised or thanked for all they do… But what about the rest… What about all the other women.

There is so much to consider in how Mother’s Day is celebrated within the church and it can be a very “loaded” day for so many… Not only those women that wouldn’t be described in a Mother’s Day greeting card but all of those who have a mother.  And that’s all of us.

I hope that churches are very prayerfully considering how Mother’s Day is being discussed on Sunday.  I always have concerns going into the day worrying about how it will be celebrated and I’m speaking out.  No matter how it’s happening in your church on Sunday, here’s a blog post that will hopefully meet you where you are at when approaching this challenging day.

Churches & Pastors:  Thanks for considering all women on Sunday, and not just the women who are traditionally mothers.  Celebrate that everyone has a mother and concentrate on that instead of singling out those who are currently a traditional mother.

Thanks again to Amy for your post:

To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you.

To those who lost a child this yearwe mourn with you.

To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stainswe appreciate you.

To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you.

To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointmentwe walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.

To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual momswe need you.

To those who have warm and close relationships with your childrenwe celebrate with you.

To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your childrenwe sit with you.

To those who lost their mothers this yearwe grieve with you.

To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own motherwe acknowledge your experience.

To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhoodwe are better for having you in our midst.

To those who have aborted childrenwe remember them and you on this day.

To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own childrenwe mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be.

To those who step-parentwe walk with you on these complex paths.

To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren, yet that dream is not to bewe grieve with you.

To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year we grieve and rejoice with you.

To those who placed children up for adoptionwe commend you for your selflessness and remember how you hold that child in your heart.

And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprisingwe anticipate with you.

This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.