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ADOPTION NEWS CENTRAL
NACAC award winners for 2005
BY ROBIN HILBORN, Family Helper editor
(Aug. 3, 2005) Canadians will get adoption awards at the conference of the North American Council on Adoptable Children, Aug. 3-6, 2005 in Pittsburgh:
* Leceta Guibault (Adoption Activist Award)
Leceta Guibault will receive an "Adoption Activist" award for her many and wide-ranging contributions to adoption. Leceta and her husband Jean live in Joliette, Quebec and are the proud parents of two children -- a 14-year-old daughter, Kahleah, adopted from Guatemala and an 11-year-old son, Tristan, from Colombia.
In the mid-1990s, Leceta helped found the support group International Adoptive Families of New Brunswick -- a group that is still going strong. She is also a valued board member of Fédération des parents adoptants du Québec (since 1996) and the Adoption Council of Canada (since 1999). She helped with the National Adoption Conference held in October 2004 in Saint John, N.B., and presented a workshop there with Kahleah.
She is a strong promoter of open adoption and maintaining cultural connections for adoptees, as well as support for birth and adoptive parents. Her many articles on intercountry adoption and visiting the birth family abroad are collected at Family Helper's "Heart of Adoption". Leceta is also a moderator of the Canadians-Adopting email list
TORONTO STAR / MINISTRY / HELEN ALLEN / VICTORIA LEACH
The Toronto Star and the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services will receive the Corporate Award for Special Achievement in Adoption.
The Toronto Star is Canada's largest daily newspaper. Since 1971 it has been running the "Today's Child" column, featuring a waiting child's picture and profile, and for the past few years has run the column without charge.
"Today's Child" started in June 1964 when Helen Allen -- a veteran reporter for the Toronto Telegram -- boldly launched the premier column. Questioned at the time by skeptical Children's Aid Societies, but supported by Ontario's provincial government, the pioneering column was an instant success. During its first few years, about 80% of the children featured in the column were adopted.
When the Telegram folded in 1971, the Ministry of Community and Social Services hired Helen as an information officer and assumed full funding for the "Today's Child" column. While at the Ministry, Helen worked closely with Victoria Leach, an adoptive mother and Ontario's adoption coordinator. The two were a formidable team when it came to promoting adoption for waiting children.
Both Helen Allen and Victoria Leach will receive Special Achievement Awards.
Appearing in the paper monthly, "Today's Child" is estimated to have helped thousands of children find adoptive families. The Ministry also hosts "Today's Child" online, at www.children.gov.on.ca/CS/en/programs/Adoption.
NACAC started in Montreal 31 years ago and meets in Canada every five to six years. Its conference was held in Ottawa in 1992, in Toronto in 1997 and in Vancouver in 2003.
The next NACAC conference will take place in Pittsburgh PA, Aug. 3-6, 2005, and then in Long Beach CA, July 26-29, 2006, and in Tampa FL, July 25-28, 2007. NACAC returns to Canada, July 24-27, 2008, for a conference in Ottawa.
For more, see the article at the Adoption Council of Canada web site, www.adoption.ca/news/050728nacac.htm.