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Mona-Clare Orphaned, Gays Adopt
June 24, 2005 permalink
Carline VandenElsen and Larry Finck, convicted of crimes in the standoff with police apprehending their baby Mona-Clare, have lost legal rights to the baby. Defending their baby was the source of serious mental health concerns to the court. From the story:
Last summer, in Mr. Finck's criminal case, a psychiatrist at the East Coast Forensic Hospital in Dartmouth found that he suffers from chronic delusions of persecution and has serious psychotic illness along with a personality disorder.
A dictionary defines delusion as: A false belief held in spite of invalidating evidence. Mr Finck has lost two children by force of arms, without ever causing harm to either of them. He has validating evidence.
The next story from the Dundas Star News may give a clue to Mona-Clare's future. It is about a normal couple with no mental health problems.
First gay couple adopt son through CAS
By Peggy Chapman, News Staff, (Jun 24, 2005)
As Hamilton recognizes Gay Pride throughout the city this week, a local couple want to tell their story of adoption in hopes of letting other alternative families know that it's not as difficult as it's perceived to be.
Marcus and Wayne have been together for five years and married for the past two. The two men moved here from Toronto hoping to start a family. As gay men, they assumed their options were limited.
"Once we seriously started talking about adoption, we went to a private adoption agency where we received a great deal of education and support," said Marcus. "The problem is, private adoptions can be very complicated. The birth parents get most of the say in what happens, and can change their minds."
The couple went through the painful experience of losing a baby they expected to adopt.
"The mother was fine with the situation, and even let us in the hospital for the birth," said Wayne. "We had everything set up and bought the baby gear."
But the baby did not go home with the couple. For privacy reasons, they prefer not to discuss what happened.
"It was hard. We were really discouraged," said Marcus.
Just like many families who want to adopt, this couple had an ideal dream of bringing a newborn home, but what about the older children? Recent provincial figures show 9,000 Crown wards in Ontario (children without permanent families since their parents' rights have been removed).
Yet, Hamilton Mountain MPP and Minister of Children and Youth Services Marie Bountrogianni said that only 900, or 10 per cent, are placed for adoption in a given year.
The minister's recent initiative announced on June 6 is an effort to increase the opportunities for these 9,000 children and make it easier for them to move to a permanent family. Many of these children are currently in the system because of access orders - giving their parents the right to visit - precluding them from moving to adoption.
After years of heartache and private paths in search of adoption, Marcus and Wayne decided to call the Hamilton's Children's Aid Society, which eventually found them their son - something they just assumed would be very complicated.
"The perception out there is if you're gay it will be difficult to adopt, if not impossible," said Wayne. "We've proven that wrong. The process is intrusive, but not discriminatory. Our being gay wasn't an issue really. The CAS just wanted to know if we could support a child responsibly."
The couple see many alternative families adopting under just one name and keeping the homosexuality a secret, but they both wanted to be the legal parents to their child.
When asked if they had any advice to people wanting to adopt, Marcus said simply, "Take parental leave."
After years of trying to adopt, this couple feel the process they went through was "meant to be" and have only good things to say about the local CAS. Meeting at the family home, their son happily played in the backyard with the dog, as the dads were interviewed on the deck. Every so often the five-year-old boy would come up and ask either Papa (Wayne) a question, or he'd climb on Dad's (Marcus') lap to join in the conversation.
"We had and have, so much support. Unlike birth parents, adoptive parents and foster parents get added education and skills before the child ever gets home. That is a benefit."
Rachel Threlkeld, co-ordinator of Homes for Kids urges families of all backgrounds and makeups to consider fostering or adoption.
"The CAS is in desperate need of homes for children. We encourage single people, gays, lesbians and new Canadians from other culturally diverse backgrounds to contact us."
For information on adoption or foster parenting call 905-546-KIDS, or online at www.hamiltoncas.com.
Source: Dundas Star News