Theo is five-and-a-half months old, and while he is fully a part of our family, we still have no birth certificate,* no baby bonus, no social insurance number, and no passport. We cannot apply for a tax credit or contribute to his RESP. Nor can we have him christened or leave the country.
You see, although we’ve been Theo’s parents for over 5 months now, his adoption is not legally complete.
An Adoption Order may be submitted to the BC Supreme Court after our baby has been in our home for six months. When the adoption order is made, we will “take on all the rights, duties, obligations and liabilities of a parent of the child.” Something, I’m pretty sure we’ve been doing although I have a feeling that the agency director has been his “legal parent” for the last 5 months. The entire process will take 8 months to a year to actual wind its way through the courts.
If the first 30 days were nerve-wracking, the ensuing 5 months have been a quiet, under the radar limbo.
Part of this final process involves a 90-minute visit by a social worker (tomorrow) who will interview us, meet the baby, and submit a “post-placement” report. Naturally, she wants us all to be awake, and Theo’s nap times have become suddenly erratic. I told the social worker that he was almost always awake around noon. Well guess what? For the past two days, he’s konked at noon in a semi-hysterical state of exhaustion!
I understand that this is the final hurdle, and that no one can dictate a baby’s sleep schedule or behaviour but it’s hard not to feel a little under the microscope, a little, well “judged.” So once again, we vacuum the carpets, scrub the floors, hide the junk under our bed, spruce up the baby’s room, and prepare to look like the competent, loving parents that we know we are.
* Theo was registered at birth with Vital Statistics, and he did receive a Care Card number at birth.