Coronavirus: Saskatchewan sees increased interest in domestic adoption, fostering

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WATCH: Fostering and adoption look slightly different during a pandemic. – Apr 27, 2020

Spending more time together at home has some parents thinking about expanding their families.

International adoption placements have been suspended as a result of travel restrictions, but supports are still available for domestic adoption and fostering.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan to stop transitioning kids out of care during coronavirus pandemic

Fostering is considered an essential service. The Saskatchewan Foster Families Association was the first jurisdiction in Canada to provide online training for families fostering during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s also taking precautionary measures to prevent an outbreak within a household, including following guidelines from the Ministry of Social Services.

“The ministry is working very close with Saskatchewan Health to ensure that when a child does need to come into foster care, what that looks like and making sure that they’re properly screened,” Saskatchewan Foster Families Association executive director Deb Davies said.

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READ MORE: Coronavirus: Saskatchewan investing in mental health services

Similar procedures are happening with domestic adoptions.

“In our domestic adoption program, the health and safety of all parties continue to be a paramount consideration, and placement of children can only occur when necessary and safe to do so,” the Ministry of Social Services said in a statement.

The adoption process is lengthy. An orientation is required before continuing the process with the ministry of social services. The Adoption Support Centre of Saskatchewan is providing the orientation remotely and has noticed more families have completed it over the past month.

“We’re seeing a little bit more activity with our program, our domestic adoption orientation because people have the time to commit to it right now,” Adoption Support Centre of Saskatchewan resource director Leah Deans said.

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“People have a little bit more time right now and this is a big process, it’s not something that’s done quickly or with ease or without a lot of thought and preparation.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Saskatchewan social services ministry encourages low-contact ways of paying rent

Davies has also noticed an increased interest in fostering.

“There’s some opportunities for folks now that they’ve been thinking about becoming a foster parent. Now might be the time to engage in that information,” Davies said.

“Sometimes it takes situations like this for us to slow down and just have some better insight of where we see our life going.”

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

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Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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