TYPES OF ADOPTION
In Ontario, there are multiple paths to growing your family through adoption or guardianship. The Ministry of Child Community and Social Services (MCCSS) explains these in detail here. And this overview will help you better understand the options:
Children's Aid Society (CAS) branches across the province handle public adoptions. In Ontario, each local CAS has its own intake and matching process: Contact the CAS in your local community for further information.
You will become AdoptReady after successfully completing application forms, reference checks, a homestudy and PRIDE training with your local CAS.
As an AdoptReady parent, you may be matched with a child or children through your adoption worker. You can also register to see profiles of children and youth awaiting adoption on the Adopt Ontario website. And you can attend Adoption Resource Exchange (ARE) conferences to meet with adoption workers from all over Ontario presenting the profiles of children awaiting adoption.
The Catholic Children’s Aid Society (CCAS) serves adult married couples and single adults who plan to raise a child in the Roman Catholic faith. At least one applicant must be catholic, and if applicants are married, their marriage has to be recognized by the Catholic Church. Find out more on the Toronto or Hamilton CCAS websites.
Native Child and Family Services places First Nations Métis and Indigenous (FNMI) children, who are eligible for adoption and other permanency arrangements. Their mandate is to ensure FNMI children are raised with access to heritage, community, ceremony and teachings. Learn more at Native Child.
If you wish to pursue private adoption, you may:
Locate a Ministry-approved adoption practitioner in your area to complete your homestudy.
Register with a licensed private adoption agency as a prospective adoptive parent.
If you wish to pursue international adoption, you may:
Locate a Ministry-approved adoption practitioner in your area to complete your homestudy
Register with an international adoption agency
Customary care is an option for First Nations Métis and Indigenous (FNMI) children who are not able to remain with their immediate family. The Child and Family Services Act defines customary care as: “the care and supervision of an Indian or Native child by a person who is not the child’s parent, according to the custom of the child’s Band or Native community.” It is typically family-based, and founded in the culture, values and traditions of the child’s first family and community. Find out more on the Native Child and Family Services website.
When children in the care of a child welfare agency are placed permanently with a member of their extended family or community, this is called kinship care. The standard for assessing and preparing prospective kinship care families is the same as for all foster or adoptive caregiver applicants. Families are thoroughly assessed using a process called Structured Analysis Family Evaluation (SAFE), which helps determine their capacity to meet a child’s unique needs for safety, well-being and permanence. Contact the CAS in your local community for further information.
For more in-depth information and resources about the adoption process and options, visit the Adoption Council of Ontario (ACO) How to Adopt page.