Saturday, March 10, 2007

An ILL Wind Blowing...

Well, winter is not over yet in Canada, for sure. And we've just learned that there is an ill wind blowing from the West, threatening to create a major stormfront right across the country.

Enough with the lousy metaphors- here's what's just happened:

The ministry of the Province of Alberta responsible for adoption, Alberta Children's Services, has just announced that they are refusing to accept referrals for "medically fragile" children being adopted internationally. At least until they have "policies and procedures" in place. HUH?

They have included all children from China's Waiting Child Program in this category of "medically fragile" (HUH?HUH?- or maybe DUH!). Anyone familiar with the WCP knows that the last thing most of these kids are is "fragile". The vast majority of WCP referrals are for children who have minor, correctable medical needs that will not be of long-term consequence or affect their quality of life in any way. Conditions like cleft lip or cleft palate- which may or may not have already been surgically corrected, a minor heart defect- that likely only needs periodic monitoring by a specialist, orthopedic issues- like missing fingers or toes that may even require NO treatment! Hardly "medically fragile"!

As for "policies and procedures", Alberta and all other provinces in Canada already have these implemented for international adoption. Such "policies and procedures" should be the same for children being adopted internationally, whether they have a known medical need or not!!

This action by the Alberta government cannot be construed as anything other than discrimination against transnationally-adopted children who have a physical or medical need that has already been identified! Let's not forget for a moment that there are many children adopted each year, domestically and internationally, who have UNIDENTIFIED medical needs. Does the ACS need new "policies and procedures" for these children as well?

IT is clear that this move by Alberta is based on some xenophobic rationale that internationally-adopted children with medical needs are using provincial health care resources that they don't deserve access to. Hmmm... sounds like systemic discrimination to me. And the start of a slippery slope that we really don't want to go down.

Oh no, winter is not over, friends. And beware, this storm might start in Alberta, but we're all going to need to "batten down the hatches", right across the country.


secret agent said...

figured it was about healthcare.

redmaryjanes said...

I heard this on my friend Elizabeth's blog over at DragonflyandLadybug. She is also worried about that policy spreading and hindering her adoption. She lives in British Columbia I believe.
I am hoping that you get your baby soon and won't have to worry about this.

Elizabeth said...

Slippery slop is an excellent way to describe it. I worry.

randy & cara said...

SICK, that is unreal news, we weren't planning on a WC from China, but that the Alberta govt would be so daft to put the WC of China in this category is unreal....Between Chinas restrictions and now things at home, do they want these precious treasures to spent their lives in institutions????

Tracey & Mike said...

Great post Carolyn! I too am worried about the domino affect this could trigger if Alberta manages to set a precedent.