It has been quite a while since we completed the mandatory adoption training but I thought that I would write up a blog post about our experience since a lot of people don't know what is involved in becoming "adopt ready". The short version of it is, you need to complete the training and pass a home study. The long version of it is, well, a lot longer.
Dan and I made the decision to start the adoption process in March of this year. We had been discussing it for quite a few months and one day just made the decision. It kind of happened fast, one day we were still weighing pros and cons and researching and thinking and the next we had decided we would just dive in. That is one thing that I find hard about adoption, you have so much to think about and so many decisions to make that it can be overwhelming and you tend to overthink everything. It's not a quick easy decision, it needs to be considered and discussed, but on the other hand, will we ever feel completely 100% ready? Either way, we made the decision on March 10th and immediately started moving forward. We scheduled our training for April, which was the first step we needed to complete.
The mandatory adoption training has an acronym, which is PRIDE. It stands for Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education. Phew, that's a long title and a lot of words to remember. Which could be why I rarely remember it when someone asks.
Like I've said, this training is mandatory no matter what kind of adoption you are pursuing. The only difference is how it is taught. If you are adopting through Children's Aid, this course is usually spread out over several weeks and is offered for free once you sign up with them. We are doing a private adoption which means we had to pay for this training and find a date and location that worked best for us. It was a 27 hour course that was taught over four days, which took up two full weekends and cost $1,400. I liked having it all done at once so that it wasn't drawn out and you could ask any questions you had immediately, but on the flip side, it was a lot of information for such a short period of time.
There were 30 people in the class and our teacher was really good. He has been a social worker and counselor for many years and has been teaching this PRIDE Training for quite a while as well. He had lots of experience and was able to answer all of our questions. It was taught to us in a classroom style format, with the biggest text book I've had in a while.
Fortunately, we didn't have to read the whole thing, it was used more
as a reference. We occasionally broke into smaller groups to discuss
case studies and work through different scenarios, which was nice
because it gave us a chance to discuss things with others in the same
shoes as us. There were also three families who came in to share their
adoption story with us and it was so educational and eye opening to hear
people's first hand experiences. We heard stories of people adopting
through CAS (Children's Aid), privately (infant adoption) and
internationally. This was definitely one of our favourite parts and I
took tons of notes on everything I heard.
course was very educational and we left feeling like we were better
equipped to move forward with adoption. It was also exciting to be able
to check one thing off of our mile long to do list!
Once we had successfully passed our training course and received our certificates, we were ready to move on to our home study.