Mr. Speaker, November is National Adoption Awareness Month. Sadly, there are 30,000 Canadian children and youth in foster care awaiting adoption. Canada is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that all children have a right to a safe and permanent living situation. Despite the numbers and despite our international obligations, we have done little as a nation to raise that awareness. We need to do more.
Let us consider that over 60% of runaways in Canada come from the fostering system. Of those who age out, over half of the girls turn to prostitution and the boys to crime. Many of these vulnerable youth are taken or simply seduced by human traffickers or simply go missing. This is personal to me, because my son Ian is an adopted child. Recently he graduated from Cornell, and he is now doing post-doctoral work at the University of Pittsburgh.
This House needs to do everything it can to encourage adoption and to provide resources to ensure that Canada's children, like Ian, have a fair shot at life.