“I think it is important – when you are going to adopt or foster – to know the background of the child. I think it will put you in a better position to help the children, whether health-wise, emotionally or psychologically.” (Adoptive mother of one)
“One thing I have discovered is that when you are an adoptive parent, you look at that child and tell yourself that that child is here to stay because you have adopted that child.” (Adoptive mother of two)
“You can really love a child. You don’t have to give birth to them, but you can still love them. When you have a lot of love and you give kids love, they feel your love.” (Prospective adoptive mother)
These are the testimonials of 3 adoptive parents who were specially invited to share their experience at a Child Protection Authority (CPA) workshop on 22 July.
Facilitated by Attorney-at-Law Jasmine Redhead, the workshop which focused on Courtroom Etiquette and Adoption Procedure brought together 51 Child Protection Authority staff, Residential Caregivers and Stakeholder representatives.
The testimonial segment provided an opportunity for participants to learn of the triumphs and challenges of adoptive parenting and offered useful recommendations to the Child Protection Authority – the agency with sole responsibility for adoption in Grenada.
The various testimonies helped participants understand that while providing a new, permanent family for children is a wonderful thing, it is not without its challenges. Parents who have decided to adopt must be committed.
“We try to make sure that they have a good childhood. We try to create memories for them, because they are children. They need so much love, it’s amazing. Every child craves love,” one parent said.
“I don’t look at my two boys as outsiders. I look at them as my own, who belong here with me and nobody else,” the parent added.
The parents said they are ‘getting the hang of’ parenting but are calling on the CPA to put better structures in place, to provide more support to future adoptive parents. “CPA needs to revisit giving constant help to parents who adopt,” one said.
As for the future, the parents were quick to share their hopes.
“My story began with ‘once upon a time’ and I’m hoping and I’m praying that it will end ‘and they lived happily ever after’.” (Adoptive mother of two)
“This is a worthy cause and I would do it again. It was not exactly how I wanted it to turn out but if I had to, I would do it all over again.” (Adoptive mother of one)
To learn more about the adoption procedure in Grenada, feel free to contact the Alternative Care Unit at Child Protection Authority on 435-0293.