Over the years, I have had the privilege of meeting many adoptive parents and the young people to whom they have given second chances and new lives.
Through the advocacy work of my office, we are honored to see the enormous emotional investment of those people who begin down the path of adoption, and those that eventually get through the process. We see the complexity of adoption – both the process and the relationships -- and we see the overwhelming love and sensitivity of adoptive parents towards their child or children. We see in them the desire to improve the lives of the many children who have such troubled starts in life.
Many children's life chances have been shattered by the actions of adults who should have been protecting and supporting them. Fortunately and humbling for us all, many of those children have been rescued by caring, skilled adoptive parents.
They give them the gifts of love and of stability, the joy of a family that cares for and about them, that helps them heal and be happy, and puts them on a path to success. Adoptive parents transform lives.
I am so pleased that Adoption Awareness month gives everyone the opportunity to thank the many families in our province who have opened their hearts and adopted a child into their homes.
Not only do adoptive parents change individual lives, but they also strengthen the fabric of our society and our communities. There are currently far too many vulnerable B.C. children - about 1,300 - awaiting adoption. Adoption Awareness month helps to remind us of this.
One of my roles as Representative is to help ensure the voices of vulnerable children are listened to, and that they receive the support and services they need to thrive. It is through our advocacy role that we help many prospective and current adoptive parents and the children they want to bring into their lives. Helping to raise a child is one of the most challenging and important things we can do, and adoptive parents must be properly supported.
Thank you all, for making a profound difference in the lives of B.C.’s children and youth.
Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond
B.C.’s Representative for Children and Youth