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  Program Manager: Karyn Bakelaar
Tel: 613-226-2112 Ext. 231,
Email Karyn

The Children’s Bridge HIV+ Kids adoption program supports Canadian families who are considering, in the process of, or who have already adopted children living with HIV.

General Information:
  • The HIV+ Kids Adoption Program is run in conjunction with many of the adoption programs The Children’s Bridge facilitates adoptions from. Some of these programs include (but are not limited to): Thailand, USA, Ethiopia (must already be in process in the Ethiopian Adoption program), India, Zambia and Kenya (license pending).
  • Families in process to adopt an HIV+ child from other Canadian adoption agencies can also access the supports and resources the HIV+ Kids Program offers for a small one-time fee.

Considerations:

  • Some countries have less stringent requirements if the adoptive families is open to special needs – check with the Adoption Program Manager of the country you hope to adopt from to see if this applies to your situation.
  • Families must live within driving distance, or be willing to make frequent trips to, of a major centre that offers specialized pediatric HIV/AIDS care and support.
  • Many private drug benefit companies cover the cost of ARV’s and other necessary care. Other resources on provincial and federal drug benefit programs can be found at: http://www.catie.ca/en/treatment/canadian-drug-programs

Supports:

  • Lending Library - Members have access to resources stocked in The Children’s Bridge Lending Library such as books and articles on issues such as: Pediatric HIV treatment and care, Disclosure and Confidentiality, Childcare and HIV, etc. For a complete list of resources on HIV please email Karyn.bakelaar@childrensbridge.com
  • Mentoring Program – This mentoring program is currently under development but aims to link families who are already parenting children living with HIV with those who are in the process.
  • Access to educational courses and online support forums.

Process:

  • Attend a Children’s Bridge Information Session (http://www.childrensbridge.com/pages/infoseminars.html)
  • Become a Member of The Children’s Bridge:
  • Request a copy of the HIV+ Kids Adoption program Booklet.
  • Choose a country program that you would like to adopt from and that you meet all of the requirements for.
  • Read, research and make connections! If you would like more information or additional resources regarding adopting a child who is living with HIV, please contact the HIV Program Manager, Karyn Bakelaar, at
    Karyn.bakelaar@childrensbridge.com

  • Set up a time for your screening phone-call. All families considering adopting a child with special needs must first set-up a screening appointment with the HIV Adoption Program Manager, Karyn Bakelaar, at Karyn.bakelaar@childrensbridge.com, as well as the Program Manager from the country from which they wish to adopt. The purpose of this phone call is to:

    - To discuss the implications of adopting a child with special needs;

    - To ensure adoption, and more specifically special needs adoption, will be a good fit for your family;

    - To provide you with additional resources and information you may require before choosing to proceed.

    - To begin the screening process you must hold a current Children’s Bridge membership;

    - To Ensure you meet the requirements for the country from which you hope to adopt, Canadian Citizenship and Immigration, as well as requirements your province of residence has for prospective adoptive parents;

    - To Receive and read the required reading and make an appointment for your screening appointment/conference call;

    - If you are adopting as a couple, BOTH members of the couple must take part in the entire screening process. The phone call will take approximately 20-30 minutes. If you are in the Ottawa area, and in person appointment is highly recommended.

    Please note: This appointment is for a screening appointment only. We will not be able to provide retainers, nor guarantee you a spot in the adoption program of your choice at the time of your call or visit.

    The purpose of a screening phone call is to screen families in,
    not to screen them out!


Additional Information and Resources: