So, there is an old saying that it takes a village to raise a child. I tend to think this is true – certainly from the observations I have had in places like the Solomon Islands, Philippines and Thai Burma Border where the ‘nuclear family’ set up is not as common.

I also know that this is something a lot of adoptive families think of in terms of diversity. Many adoptive parents examine where they live and what school their child is going to from the lens of diversity to see if their children will be exposed to positive local role models that can assist their self-esteem.

Husbot and I have certainly taken this into account. The area we live has a reasonable amount of diversity and we are friends with different community groups. We also have a diverse group of friends and colleagues. One thing I feel great about is the school we have earmarked for their school – it has a fantastic reputation for diversity, one which even makes the news! http://manly-daily.whereilive.com.au/sport/story/mick-s-world-vision/ (there was also a news clip of this story but since it is from 2009 it was not ‘live’ anymore) I first saw this story on TV when I was in the Solomon Islands on a work trip if you can believe it!

Some people might not understand but it is important for children to see role models from all areas of the world in their local community; school teachers; dentists; doctors; bus drivers; shop keepers; people on TV –  if there are not Asian (or diverse) faces in that mix then how can they instinctively know that these are all options for them, you know ‘when I grow up’.

There are other ways that the village can support children and families too.

In Australia there has for many years been the ‘baby bonus’ which is a government funded scheme where new parents recieve a one off payment for each child. This payment is not stipulated to be for any purpose but is given with the intent to assist families with the cost of having a new baby. Some may have put the funds towards baby ‘stuff’ like cots, prams, nappies etc. Some might have put it towards the family costs so that Mum or Dad can take longer parental leave away from work…. Some might have bought a new TV! It was up to the family how they used the funds.

Now the fund has changed to be a part of the Government’s paid parental leave. So now the government will fund the primary carer of the child at minimum wage for 18 weeks so that they can stay at home with bubs. This program does not relieve employers of their responsibilities, which were usually around 12 weeks of full pay.

Both of these programs ARE inclusive of adoptive families. If your child is 2 years old (I believe). And that warms my heart. The way it turns out with my workplace I will be able to access 26 weeks of full pay (which I can take as 52 weeks 1/2 pay) plus another 6 week at minimum wage. So at a minimum I will be able to take a full year off with our Bubs.

I feel that parental leave programs are necessary for people to feel supported to have children. To allow time for parents to make proper bonds with their bubs before having to stress about work and financial pressures. And of course, as is the case in Australia, Adoptive parents should enjoy the same parental rights.

Husbot is also a Finish citizen – because his mothers family migrated from Finland in the 1950’s. And they have great parental leave allowances too. I also saw this! The maternity package which is a box of baby goodies that every new parent recieves for their bubs! Here you can see inside the maternity package how cool! Apparently all babies in Finland get the same thing each year (and it changes each year) so when they grow up they know their ‘year peers’ by the clothes they were wearing as babies in photos etc – cute! Also the box it comes in is a little sleeping bassinet and many Finnish babies spend their first year sleeping in that little box – awww.

I think it is a sweet gesture, a nice way to welcome a new little citizen into the world, and a way of giving that ‘it takes a village’ feel.

Anyway, our bubs will be Finish too. By that I mean they will be entitled to Finish citizenship (we have checked). I think it is a great idea as it will mean they are EU and will open up possibilities for them to work and live abroad if they want too. I HOPE that means we get a baby box!! But I don’t think they send them to Australia 😦 and really…. what would we do with a snow suit? LOL

So our baby will come from Thailand – be raised in Australia (mostly) by Australian parents who have diverse friends and collegues, go to a diverse school, have  Australian, Finish citizenship and Thai citizenship and live wherever they want when they grow up…. Man! This kid will almost be a village in itself. LOL. hopefully….

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