Parents wanting to adopt a child learned more about the process during an Adoption Fair held by Central Alberta Child and Family Services Authority in Red Deer on Sunday.
Sandy and Rick, who asked that their last name not be used, were one of three Central Albertan couples who have adopted a child and spoke during the event, letting people learn more about the process, the challenges of taking a young child into their homes and the rewards.
The couple attended an adoption fair in 2008 similar to the one held on Sunday and shortly thereafter put in an application. As part of the process there was a home visit by a social worker and they spoke about what kind of child they were hoping to bring into their home.
The screening process took around a year and close to a year ago they took their six-year-old adoptive son home. Sandy said they wouldn’t change a thing and taking home an older child means they know what is going on and can talk about how he is feeling.
“When we first met him he said he wanted a forever mom and dad,” Sandy said. Now their little boy has the “forever” parents he has always wanted.
When the official papers went through, the family celebrated by going on a special limousine ride around town. Sandy said the light just shone in her son’s eye when the paperwork was completed. She said talking to her little boy he says he loves having family and cousins to play with and he feels special because his mom and dad wanted him.
“(Child and Family Services Authority) really match the children well. They take a lot of time and effort and they need to be commended on that,” Sandy said.
The adoption fair has been happening in Red Deer for the past five years and offers information on children who can be adopted within Alberta, as well as information on international adoptions in Haiti, China or countries in Africa.
Red Deer couple Krista DeWit and Scott Wright dropped by to find out more information on adopting on Sunday.
DeWit said they aren’t able to have biological children, but they will be getting married next year and want to have children. They have done research over the Internet previously, but it was the first adoption fair they have attended. They don’t care if the child is from Alberta or from another country.
“It doesn’t matter to us. Every child needs love,” Wright said.
Approximately 50 prospective adoptive parents sat in on the panel discussion on Sunday, held at the Central Alberta Child and Family Services Authority office above Bishop’s Pharmacy in downtown Red Deer.
“The goal of (Sunday’s) event is to raise awareness about children awaiting adoption in Alberta, the types of children available and their special needs that they may have, and encourage people to adopt children from Alberta,” said Sandra Watson, business strategist with Central Alberta Child and Family Services.
Watson said they would like to let people know there are also a lot of older children available for adoption, including teenagers, who really do need a family. “It’s not just about adopting infants or toddlers. There is a wide range of ages of children who are up for adoption.”