Adoption is a compassionate gift of family to you and a child/youth in need of a permanent, loving relationship. Adoption is the legal process that gives children and youth a new family when their birth families or Kin are unable to care for them. It is intended to provide children with the stability and lifelong security that comes from a permanent home.
There are two ways in which a child can become legally free for adoption:
Many families who contact the Agency wanting to adopt a child discover that a relationship with a child may begin earlier through fostering. Some of these children become free for adoption and some do not. These foster families understand that in some cases the child may leave their care to be placed with birth family or community members. Recognizing this, they commit to caring for the child as long as needed and this may include adoption. This type of care allows children to be placed with a possible permanent family as soon as possible, which increases the child’s stability and well-being while minimizing the number of changes and transitions they have to face.
We’ve learned some hard lessons in the last 125 years about culture and community. In the past, we have failed to keep children connected to where they come from and who they and their family really are. Our new Vision and Strategic Plan commits us to preserve and protect the bonds of culture and community in adoption and foster care. That’s why we’ve started matching foster and adoption recruits to the culture and community needs of the children and youth in our care. If we have kids who are Indigenous we will try to find them an adoptive family who are also Indigenous or who can ensure their Indigenous heritage is supported. Likewise, for African-Canadians, 2SLGBTQ+ kids and so on. This is a new process that will take time to implement, and sometimes a culture or community match is not possible. Nevertheless, culture and community matching will be our priority in recruitment decisions. The best way to understand this process and where you fit is to contact us. Use the Contact Us form on this page to get in touch with us to find out more.
People wanting to adopt understand the importance of providing a child with a safe, loving and nurturing environment – a home where the child can reach his or her full potential. Adoptive parents can be individuals or couples, people unable to have children of their own, parents who already have children and want to add to their growing family, as well as adults whose first choice for building a family is through adoption. People from diverse cultural backgrounds, single people or same-sex couples or those who are open to parenting special needs children, sibling groups or older children are encouraged to consider adoption.
Here are some things to consider:
In general, adoptive applicants are expected to be able to financially meet the basic expenses of raising a child. In some adoption placements our Agency may approve a financial subsidy to help parents who wish to adopt a child with specific special needs or a group of siblings. This means the adoptive family can receive financial support from the agency, even after the adoption is finalized.
The length of an adoption process varies widely. That being said, there are some basic rules about adoption. Agencies must assess and prepare prospective families carefully as children and youth need stable placements with capable people who can meet their needs. For these reasons, the home study assessment, training and approval process usually takes about three to six months.
After being approved an adoptive family may wait from one month to several years for a placement. The length of time a family must wait depends on the age of the child they wish to adopt, the number of children they are prepared to welcome into their family, the special needs they feel they can cope with.
After a child has been placed with your family it will be at least six months and possibly longer until an adoption can be finalized. The length of this period depends on the individual child's circumstances and whether or not a Children in Extended Society Care order has been obtained. Once a Children in Extended Society Care order has been obtained, the child will be placed on "adoption probation". The period of adoption probation ranges from a few months to a year or more. This is determined by whether or not the child has already been living with the adoptive family and how family members are adjusting to each other.
Should children be told they are adopted? Yes. Children who have always known they were adopted are likely to have good feelings about it, especially if the word "adoption" has had happy associations for them from an early age.
You will need to complete a police check, medical evaluation and forward references for review. Your full participation in a training program, individual and family interviews are also required.
The kids we serve are all different. There is no one way to define who they are or what they’re like. It will depend in part on their interest, experience and skills. Obviously, our children have had to deal with issues of neglect and abuse. As well, the process of coming into care itself is often traumatic. No two children cope with this in exactly the same way. As well, some children will have medical or developmental conditions that need to be addressed.
We consider the needs of the child, their age and other factors and then match on the skill, experience, nature and availability of your family to find the best match possible. We will discuss the child with you and share what information we have available so that together we can make the right decision about whether the match would be a good fit.