New Brunswick

Foundation pushing adoption of older children

The New Brunswick Adoption Foundation is trying to encourage more families to consider taking older children into their care on a permanent basis.

Roughly 500 children, older than 2, are legally available for adoption in New Brunswick

The New Brunswick Adoption Foundation is trying to encourage more families to consider taking older children into their care on a permanent basis.

The Department of Social Development says there are roughly 500 children over the age of two who are legally available for adoption in New Brunswick.

Suzanne Kingston, the executive director of the province’s adoption foundation, said many people have pre-conceived ideas about adopting older children and sibling groups.

And she admits, adopting older children can have its challenges. But she said it can be inspiring when people share their adoption stories.

“Even some of the most challenging stories, when you hear that from parents who love their children, there are people who are completely inspired by that. And they're also more prepared to maybe, consider [adopting] themselves,” she said.

“It takes away the stereotype in their head and puts a new picture in their head that maybe isn't always easy but is certainly loving and positive.”

I just feel like I finally have a home and I finally have a place where I belong.- Zoe Bourgeois

Every year, the provincial government receives approximately 100 applications from interested families looking to adopt infants.

The waiting time for adopting children, who are under the age of two, is approximately eight years.

The Department of Social Development has tried different strategies to encourage adoptions in the past. Last year, the department started advertising children who were available for adoption.

Zoe Bourgeois entered the foster-care system and had to wait until she was placed into a permanent home.

Bourgeois was adopted at age 15, long after she entered the foster-care system.

"I just feel like I finally have a home and I finally have a place where I belong,” Bourgeois said.

Bourgeois, who is now 22 years old, said she feels lucky to have a mother to lean on, while her foster friends, who were never placed, do not have that same comfort.

"Example, when they went to university they didn't have family to spend Christmas with. Every time March Break came around, they'd hang out with themselves,” she said.

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