In November, Mother’s Choice celebrated Adoption Awareness Month because we believe that every child deserves a family, and that love, not just blood, defines family.
One of our Adoption Awareness activities this year included a pitched media feature story about the importance of adoption friendly work places, and we are thrilled that the South China Morning Post published an article on 27th November 2019 entitled: “Why adoption leave is vital for an adopted child’s development, and why Hong Kong parental laws need serious overhaul”
Everyone interviewed in the article from adoptive parents to employers, clinical psychologist Dr Erica Liu Wollin, and our Mother’s Choice CEO Alia Eyres all recognised the trauma and loss faced by adopted children, and emphasised the importance of parents taking intentional time in the early days of their adoption to allow their child to learn to love, trust, and understand that they belong in their new family.
At Mother’s Choice, we believe that families are built by love and commitment in many diverse ways. Building a family through adoption is a wonderful way to build your family, and adoptive families need support in every step of this lifelong journey. Workplace policies including Adoption Leave allow time for new Mums and Dads to meet, welcome home, and begin the journey of bonding with their child. Our social workers see a different in those parents who feel supported by their company, as they are able to focus well on this important time for their family, which in turn helps them to be ready to return to work.
Many companies have Corporate Social Responsibility programs, but might not realise that introducing adoption friendly policies is an invaluable way to have an enduring impact on children and families! For those companies who are interested, we’ve put together some ideas to care for your employees who are preparing to adopt:
- Support colleagues through the ups and downs of each stage of adoption, such as providing leave for preparation paperwork, interviews and training (much like pre-natal medical appointments),
- Help employees practically prepare for the child joining the family by giving time for the new parent to meet and visit their child during the child’s transition into their home (families may only have a few weeks’ notice!),
- Celebrate with parents in the same way that you would celebrate another parent-to-be, throw them a “baby/toddler/child” shower, give age-appropriate gifts, offer to bring them meals,
- Develop policies on adoption leave so that employees fully understand their benefits and are reassured that they can do everything they need to do to support their child and do not need to worry about decisions being made on a case-by-case basis,
- Include both Mums and Dads as part of the policy, as well as every child who is adopted, no matter how old they are when they join their adoptive family.
Adoption is a lifelong journey, and at Mother’s Choice, we believe everyone in the community has a role to play in supporting children, youth, and families. If you are interested in learning more about how you can support adoptive families in your company, please reach out to our Adoption Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.