MEDIA

 

CBC NEWS: Hundreds of Ontario adoptions on hold amid Motherisk drug-test scandal

Discredited test used as evidence against mothers in thousands of cases

Read Article

 

 

SUPPORT4EVERYFAMILY: PRESS RELEASE

Adopt4Life to publish Parent2Parent Permanency Support Stories and Quotes in its 2nd annual #Support4EveryFamily social media outreach campaign 

Throughout February, Ontario’s Adoptive Parents Association will use Family Day’s month of February to provide insights from families that give evidence of the value of peer support for all families formed through adoption, kinship, or customary care.

Toronto, Ontario, February 1st, 2016 – Today Adopt4Life, Ontario’s non-profit Adoptive Parents Association, announced the start of its 2nd annual #Support4EveryFamily campaign; a family outreach campaign through social media channels.  Coinciding with Family Day’s month, the awareness campaign will highlight the continued urgent need for readily available, province-wide support for every adoptive child and family in Ontario, from the moment they are matched, through the transition period, and into adulthood.  

Every day in February 2016, Adopt4Life will post quotes from Ontario’s adoptive parents describing the benefits of having a Parent2Parent Support Network. As well, stories will be posted weekly sharing in greater detail the ways that peer support has normalized and strengthened their families. The quotes and stories will appear on Adopt4Life’s website www.adopt4life.com, and will be available through the association’s Facebook and Twitter channels using the hashtag #Support4EveryFamily. 

“Adopt4Life’s families are very pleased with the Ministry of Child and Youth Services’ recent commitments to post adoption family supports,” says Julie Despaties, Founder of Adopt4Life. “The stories and quotes shared by our adoptive parents speak to how important peer support has been for them in parenting their children who have come from hard places and the need for this support accessible province wide. As parents, we all know that raising children is difficult – in fact we say that we need a Village to raise a child, well, through adoption, we need more than a village, WE NEED A PROVINCE TO COME TOGETHER”.

Julie further explains that in early transition, many families struggle in isolation, quickly becoming defeated and ashamed, making it more difficult for them to seek help in parenting their children. However, by providing the right support as soon as a family is matched with their child(ren), starting with equipping parents with the needed tools and knowledge through post adoption training, along with engaging them in a Parent2Parent Peer Support Network with Buddy and Mentor matching, we help normalize their journey and show them that, there is hope and happiness not too far away.    

The Adoption Council of Ontario (ACO) says it best, “Adoptive families bring to their children and youth an open heart and a willingness to do a lot of hard work, but they cannot (nor should they) do it alone”.  

Adopt4Life believes Ontario can do better in ensuring successful outcomes for adoptive children and their family with qualified, accessible and timely #Support4EveryFamily.

The Adopt4Life website will feature the daily quotes and weekly stories. Note that all pseudonyms, when used, are a means to protect the requested privacy of individuals.

About Adopt4Life

Adopt4Life is Ontario’s Adoptive Parents Association, a non-profit organization. We advocate at the government level for an improved adoption process and for better services, and provide support and guidance to adoptive families from the moment they begin their adoption process throughout their parenting journey. Inclusive of ALL Ontario adoptive parents, including: public, private, international, kin care, customary care and moral adoption. Adopt4Life believes Ontario can do better when it comes to forming families through adoption and seeks #AHome4EveryKid with #Support4EveryFamily. Find out more at www.Adopt4Life.com.

 

 


The Honourable Tracy MacCharles: Minister of Children and Youth Services

Adoption Awareness Month

November is Adoption Awareness Month. This is an important month for my ministry and for many Ontarians.

Adoption Awareness Month gives us the opportunity to increase outreach and education efforts about adoption, the children and youth who need a permanent home, the benefits of adopting and the financial and other resources available to adoptive families. Children and youth in the care of our child welfare system come to us from a variety of circumstances. While they're in our care, dedicated staff and professionals nurture, guide and serve these vulnerable young people. Our goal is to increase the number of kids in care who are adopted – giving them the same loving families and opportunities as children in permanent families.

That's why, in September, I announced a number of improvements to our provincial adoption system. We're expanding the age eligibility for adoptive parents to receive targeted subsidies. We're also investing in a province-wide, post-adoption family support program to help new families settle in with each other. And we're partnering with Wendy's Wonderful Kids to find adoptive families for historically harder to place children. These initiatives will help us find permanent homes with loving families for these young people.

We know that growing up in a stable family significantly improves outcomes for children – it supports their health, their education, and their participation in the workforce long-term. We've made a great deal of progress in supporting adoptive families already. We provide financial subsidies for eligible parents who adopt or take legal custody of Crown wards who are eight years or older, or sibling groups. These subsidies make a real difference in supporting families to meet the child's needs without undue financial hardship. We also removed legal barriers so that more children in care can be adopted through the Building Families and Supporting Youth to be Successful Act. We fund the Adoption Council of Ontario to manage the Adopt Ontario program - a website to help children's aid societies match children with families in Ontario who are prepared to adopt. And with partners in the child welfare sector, we expanded the Adoption Resource Exchange events from twice each year at least six times every year across the province. These events help match prospective parents with children in need of a forever home.

In Ontario, approximately 1,000 adoptions are completed each year through children's aid societies. I'm very pleased to say that, with the improvements I announced in September, we expect that number to grow. As I mentioned, to help more children and youth find a permanent, nurturing family, we are funding 15 adoption recruiters in partnership with Wendy's Wonderful Kids. The Wendy's Wonderful Kids program focuses on finding homes for historically harder to place children – primarily those who are older or have special needs. And it works. With our addition of 15 adoption recruiters, and Wendy's Wonderful Kids' commitment to hire four more recruiters in Ontario, we will increase the capacity to match families with children more than five-fold in the next year.

There's more. We are requiring children's aid societies to profile children in their care who are available for adoption on the AdoptOntario website. We're also developing service standards to improve the adoption experience for prospective families and children and youth. And we are working with the Adoption Council of Ontario and Adopt4Life to establish a post adoption support program to support families long after the adoption has been finalized. We're also further helping adoptive families to care for their children by extending the age range for eligibility for targeted subsidies to ages 8 to 21 and increasing the income threshold and monthly subsidy amount.

Finally, we will be requiring greater use of culturally-appropriate placement options for First Nations children and youth. Mr. Speaker, each year we're doing more for children and youth in care, and we will continue to achieve more for these children. We all share the same goal – to help these children and youth reach their full potential in a safe, loving family.

Thank you.

 

 
 
 
 

Adopt4Life will once again highlight adoption stories throughout the month with their social media outreach campaign #AHome4EveryKid

Throughout November, Ontario’s Adoptive Parent Association will support Adoption Awareness Month with stories from families that speak to how Ontario’s adoption system is working and how it can be improved.

Toronto, Ontario, November 1st, 2015 – Adopt4Life, Ontario’s non-profit Adoptive Parents Association, announced their 2nd annual #AHome4EveryKid outreach campaign through social media channels.  Coinciding with National Adoption Month, the awareness campaign will highlight adoptive parents’ endorsement and recommendations for improvements to the adoption process for families in Ontario, whether seeking adoption privately, internationally or publicly. 

We, much like how the Adoption Council of Canada is highlighting through their upcoming Urgency Around Permanency Summit, believe it is urgent that we come together as a country and as a province to ensure #AHome4EveryKid

In November 2015, Adopt4Life will share personal stories of families in Ontario who have been waiting to be matched and/or bring their child(ren) home. The stories will be posted on Adopt4Life’s websiteFacebook and Twitterchannels using the hashtag #AHome4EveryKid.

“The provincial government has made recent commitments that will result in meaningful post adoption supports and training for Ontario’s families formed by adoption, particularly for children in or from care” says Julie Despaties, Founder of Adopt4Life. “While we celebrate and commend the impending implementation of these important and urgent programs and initiatives, our members want to ensure all families formed by adoption, including those through international and private adoption, have the supports they need to complete their families, bring home their children, and thrive once they are together.”

The first story to be posted on the Adopt4Life website under the campaign #AHome4EveryKid will be on November 2nd, 2015. It tells of a family that has adopted their sons internationally from Ethiopia and are in the process of trying to bring their 2nd son home. The frustration and concern is felt for this family whose youngest son’s adoption has been finalized but yet he has remained in an orphanage for months because of processing delays with Canadian immigration. Sadly their story is not unique. Adopt4Life believes Ontario can do better.

The Adopt4Life website will feature awaiting adoptive families’ stories throughout the month. Note that all pseudonyms when used are identified to protect the requested privacy of individuals.

Adopt4Life is Ontario’s voice for adoptive families. We believe that all adoptive families have a right to advocacy, support, and guidance throughout their lifelong journey. Inclusive of ALL Ontario adoptive parents, including: public, private, international, kin care, customary care and moral adoption. Adopt4Life is an active partner in Ontario when it comes to forming families through adoption: Every Child deserves a 4ever home. Find out more at www.Adopt4Life.com.

 

 

Adopt4Life: Julie Despaties’ Speech for MCYS Press Conference  

 

September 29th, 2015

As an adoptive parent, on behalf of Adopt4Life and our community, today’s announcement is a huge celebration. Thank you Honourable Tracy McCharles and MCYS for the putting together initiatives that supports Children and Parents. 

Adopt 4 Life: is Ontario’s voice for ALL adoptive families: including families formed through public, private, international adoption, kin & Customary Care and Moral Adoption. We believe that all adoptive families have a right to advocacy, support and guidance throughout their lifelong journey.

A year a go, MCYS invited Adopt4Life to come and talk about core issues with adoption in Ontario. The Honourable Minister MacCharles’s announcement today is a proof that the ministry truly listened to our concerns and as worked hard, so very hard to provide solutions 

 

Parents need support for children to thrive and heal

 

The promise of a Post Adoption Family Support in today’s announcement is a key stepping stone in empowering parents to thrive in the adoption journey. 

As parents, we all know that raising children is difficult – in fact we say that we need a Village to raise a child, well, through adoption, we need more then a village, WE NEED A PROVINCE TO COME TOGETHER  

In early transition, many families experience the struggle of isolation, of doubt, quickly families feel defeated and ashamed, and often are at lost. By providing the right support from the get go, starting with equipping parents with needed tools and knowledge through post placement-­‐adoption training, along with engaging them in a Parent2Parent Peer Support, Buddy and Mentor matching, we help normalize their journey and show them that, there is hope and happiness not to far away.     

The Adoption Council of Ontario says it best, “Adoptive families bring to their children and youth an open heart and a willingness to do a lot of hard work, but they cannot (nor should they) do it alone”. We are very excited for the upcoming initiatives to enhance the experience of families who want to grow through adoption. We are confident that Ontario can be a leader in forming Families through Adoption 

 

Adopt4Life‐ Julie Despaties’ Speech for MCYS Press Conference – September 29th, 2015

Adopt4Life‐ Julie Despaties’ Speech for MCYS Press Conference – September 29th, 2015

Watch Julie Despaties’ Speech: Part 1 & Part 2

Watch Julie Despaties’ Speech: Part 1 & Part 2

One of the statements that resonant with us the most comes from the Dave Thomas Foundation – “Unadoptable is Unacceptable”.

Insuring that every effort is put together to provide a 4ever home to every kid is so crucial, we are extremely please to know, that thanks to the Wendy’s Wonderful Kid Recruiter’s work, more and more children, especially older youth will find permanency.

Three years ago, my husband and I’s life changed over night, after falling in love with an adorable sibling group of three older children who were 8,11 and 13th. After they moved in, I quickly realized that love wasn’t sufficient. Despite all the reading, all the experience I had, I struggled and needed to normalized my experience. After reaching out to our wonderful Adoption Practitioner, Lisa, in search of connecting with other adoptive parents she suggested I contact the Adoption Council of Ontario, a wonderful organization that provided support for Adoptive Families. Luckily for me, their new Post Adoption worker, Elaine provided me with much support and resources, and above it all, she connected me to another adoptive mom, Sylvia. Sylvia is a seasoned mom, who could relate to my challenges and provided me with understanding and hope. Each time I needed moral support, I would call her.

A few months later, I took part of ACO’S pilot Group Support for Adoptive Parent. After gaining knowledge and confidence in my parenting abilities, thanks to all the support and advocacy I was able to access, I realized that many adoptive parents don’t have the same chance as I did. That is when I realized that Our Adoptive Community needed to come together so that we could unify our voices and help bring the changes needed so that children and parents could thrive.

Almost a year after becoming a mom, I decided to dedicate my voice to our Ontario’s Adoptive Community and was lucky enough to engage dedicated key players, like my friend Sylvia who is working with me to make a difference! Together with the Adoption Council of Ontario, we are dedicated to work hard and make sure children and parents are well supported so that A Home 4 Every Kids and Support 4 Every Family is a reality for ALL Ontario’s children. When I asked my eldest daughter Layla what message would she like me to give to Adoptive Parent she said: On their dying bed, they will know it was all worth it.

The journey may not always be easy, but together, we can make it.

Many thanks.

 

 

News Release: Ontario Helping More Children in Care Connect with Waiting Families

 

Province Provides Greater Support to Adoptive Parents

Ministry of Children and Youth Services

 September 29, 2015 

Ontario is making it easier for children and youth in the care of children's aid societies to find forever families, while providing more support to adoptive parents.

To help more young people in the care of children's aid societies find a permanent nurturing home, Ontario is funding up to 15 targeted adoption recruiters in partnership with Wendy's Wonderful Kids, a successful adoption program run through the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. In addition, Wendy's Wonderful Kids is also funding four additional Ontario adoption recruiters.

The province is also making the adoption experience more effective and efficient by requiring children's aid societies to expand their use of the AdoptOntario website so more children and youth can be matched with waiting families.

To help waiting parents and respond to the needs of adopted children and youth, Ontario is:

  • Expanding the targeted subsidies program by extending the age of eligibility to, eight to 21 years (from 10 to 18 years), and updating the income threshold and subsidy amount to reflect current Statistics Canada data
  • Investing in a provincewide post-adoption family support program
  • Encouraging greater use of culturally appropriate placement options for First Nations children and youth.

For those youth who are still in care, Ontario is extending funding to their caregivers to provide a stable home if they require additional time to complete high school, from ages 18 to 21.

Matching more children with adoptive families and increasing supports for children in care is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up so that all children and youth be given the opportunity to reach their full potential.
 

Quick Facts

  • Approximately 6,400 Crown wards in Ontario are eligible for adoption.
  • On average, children become Crown wards at eight years of age.
  • There is no cost to adoptive parents to go through the public adoption process with a children’s aid society.
  • On September 1, 2011, the Building Families and Supporting Youth to be Successful Act, 2011 came into force, removing legislative barriers to Crown wards being placed for adoption.


Background Information


Additional Resources

 

Quotes

“Our government is committed to supporting stronger families by helping parents provide stable homes to adopted children. We want children in care to benefit from a forever family, with all the opportunities young people need and deserve to achieve success. With these new updates to Ontario’s adoption system, we are giving a foundation for adoptive families to provide secure and loving homes to their child.”

Tracy MacCharles
Minister of Children and Youth Service

 

 

“We are very pleased to partner with the Ontario government in finding more families for children – especially children who because of age or disability have a more difficult time finding permanent homes.”

Rita Soronen
President and CEO, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption

 

“The initiatives announced today are a great step forward to increase the number of children and youth who will leave care with a family through adoption. It is very encouraging that our government is making this commitment to walk alongside adoptive and kinship families with the ongoing support they need to ensure that lasting permanency is achieved for our children and youth.”

Pat Convery
Adoption Council of Ontario
 

Learn More

 

 

Adopt4Life to publish stores by Children and Youth in and from care throughout May 2015 for Children and Youth in Care Day’s month. The Children and Youth in Care month stories will be the 3rd social media outreach campaign. #CYICMonth

Throughout May, Ontario’s Association for Adoptive Families will use Children and Youth in Care Day’s month of May to provide narratives from children and youth in and from care that give insight into their lives and experiences regarding various topics, such as, education, permanency, and education.

Toronto, Ontario, May 1, 2015 – Today Adopt4Life, Ontario’s non-profit Association for Adoptive Families, announced the start of Voices From Care; an outreach campaign through social media channels.  Coinciding with Children and Youth in Care Day’s month, the awareness campaign will highlight the experiences of young people in and from care.  

This campaign is to celebrate the lives of young people who have grown up in and around care, whether they were adopted, in the foster or group care system, or are a part of ‘heart families’.

The first story that will be posted on May 4, 2015 on Adopt4Life’s website www.Adopt4Life.com is by a young person from care who identifies with the LGBTQ community, specifically the Trans community. He speaks about his experiences growing up in care, and shares his conceptualization of what Permanency means. The Adopt4Life website will feature 3+ stories per week in the month of May and will also be shared through its twitter handle, @adopt4lifeON, and Facebook page. Note that all stories will only publish the first names, and in some cases pseudonyms, of young people in order to protect the requested privacy of individuals.

Adopt4Life believes Ontario can do better in ensuring successful outcomes for children and youth in and from care, and believes every young person has the right to permanency and lives without discrimination for being from the care system.

 

About Adopt4Life

Adopt4life is Ontario’s voice for adoptive families. We advocate at the government level for an improved adoption process and for better services, and provide support and guidance to adoptive families from the moment they are “Adopt Paper Ready” throughout their parenting journey. Inclusive of ALL Ontario adoptive parents, including: public, private, international, kin care, customary care and moral adoption.

 

 

February 1, 2015

Adopt4Life to publish 28 Permanency Support Stories in 28 Days with its 2nd social media outreach campaign #Support4EveryFamily

Throughout February, Ontario’s Adoptive Parent Association will use Family Day’s month of February to provide narratives from families that give evidence to the need for permanency support for all families formed through adoption, kinship, or customary care.

Toronto, Ontario, February 1st, 2015 – Today Adopt4Life, Ontario’s non-profit Adoptive Parent Association, announced the start of #Support4EveryFamily; a family outreach campaign through social media channels.  Coinciding with Family Day’s month, the awareness campaign will highlight the urgent need for readily available, province-wide support for every adoptive child and family in Ontario, from time of placement, through the transition period and into adulthood.  

Every day in February 2015, Adopt4Life will feature a personal story of one family in Ontario describing how they have overcome or continue to struggle due to having or lacking government support. The story will appear on Adopt4Life’s website, and will be available through the association’s Facebook and Twitter channels using the hashtag #Support4EveryFamily.

“Ontario has nearly 7,000 children awaiting forever families and we must ensure that when they are placed with their forever families all resources and supports are accessible to them right away and are ongoing to reduce the risk of disruption and create opportunities for all of Ontario’s children to meet their full potential,” says Julie Despaties, Founder of Adopt4Life. “Too many adoptive children and families are struggling in isolation without the same supports that were available to their children while they were in care.”

According to the 2009 Province of Ontario’s Expert Panel on Infertility and Adoption report, Raising Expectations: Recommendations of the Expert Panel on Infertility and Adoption,

“’Each year of the past five years, approximately 1,600 children were adopted into families in Ontario: more than 900 through public adoption, 650 through intercountry adoption and about 150 through private domestic adoption’. These families and the many others before and after them need ‘the best start and ongoing support as they move through life”. In the Urgency around Permanency: A Stakeholder’s Summit, the Governor General of Canada, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, acknowledged the reality that permenancy does not exist for many children; he stated, “the sad fact that every year, thousands of children go without a permanent home, and every year their risk factors multiply”. It is a known fact that children do better when they are a part of permanent families. We at Adopt4Life know that many people or individuals would like to build their families through adoption but barriers due to cost or lack of permanency support keep them from following through or contribute to the disruption of children placed with them.

Ontario’s adoptive families need post placement training in attachment and trauma and the means to better understand the behaviors of their adopted children. They also need mentors and advocates to guide and normalize their journey so they do not feel alone or isolated. They need support to alleviate the financial burden of therapy, medical, dental and educational needs as they arise - costs related to their trauma but often incurred long after placement. Studies have identified that permanency support empowers parents in helping their children reach their full potential which is good for both the government and taxpayers of Ontario. Supporting children in permanent families is far less costly than foster care, and with the right supports, permanency increases with successful outcomes of children and, therefore, society. 

The first story posted today on the Adopt4Life website Support4EveryFamily tells of a family that adopted a large sibling group and how support provided for counsellors, respite care, and tutors helped make theirs a successful adoption. Their children once troubled by past traumas are now thriving and healing. The Adopt4Life website will feature a new story every day by 9AM EST. Note that all pseudonyms, when used, are a means to protect the requested privacy of individuals.

Adopt4Life believes Ontario can do better in ensuring successful outcomes for adoptive children with qualified, accessible and timely #Support4EveryFamily.

 

About Adopt4Life

Adopt4life is Ontario’s Adoptive Parent Association, a non-profit organization. We advocate at the government level for an improved adoption process and for better services, and provide support and guidance to adoptive families from the moment they are “Adopt Paper Ready” throughout their parenting journey. Inclusive of ALL Ontario adoptive parents, including: public, private, international, kin care, customary care and moral adoption. Adopt4Life believes Ontario can do better when it comes to forming families through adoption and seeks #AHome4EveryKid with #Support4EveryFamily. Find out more at www.Adopt4Life.com.

 

Click2Read   CTV Coverage on Adopt4Life Nov 2014

 

 
 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Silent Auction and fundraiser for Adopt4life

Saturday Nov. 22, 2014
7:00-­‐11:00 pm
Goodwill Career Centre, 255 Horton Street East, London, ON

 

 

 

NOVEMBER IS ADOPTION AWARENESS MONTH

 

This November Adopt4Life is raising awareness for their goal of #AHome4EveryKid in Ontario. To fulfill its mission, Adopt4Life is organizing a silent & live auction fundraiser to raise awareness of this urgent matter.

“Ontario has nearly 7,000 children awaiting forever homes, yet ready families still wait years for matches by their local Children’s Aid Societies,” says Julie Despaties, Founder of Adopt4Life. “Too many waiting children are languishing in foster care for years without permanency.” Adopt4life is advocating on a governmental level to push for a better process.

Adopt4Life also aims to empower families who have embarked on their adoptive journey. Raising children who have experienced loss and trauma is extremely challenging, and post adoption support is essential to help prevent children from being sent back into care from adoptive homes. Currently, there is little in the way of help for new adoptive parents who are struggling.

As keynote speakers and experts in field, Christen Shepherd and Lisa Highfield, authors of The Promise: Truth from the Trenches of Adoption will shed some light on the challenges parent experience after adopting, revealing the unspoken crisis of adoption breakdowns, where children are returned to foster care after being in “forever homes.” With support, parents can overcome challenges and children will remain in loving, stable families. Ultimately children deserve parents and families are worth fighting for.

All proceeds of the evening will support Adopt4Life in their advocacy work on behalf of all children and families impacted by adoption.

About Adopt4Life

Adopt4Life is Ontario’s Adoptive Parent Association, a grass roots, non-­‐profit organization. They advocate at the governmental level for an improved adoption process and for better services. They also provide support and guidance to adoptive families from the moment they are “Adopt Ready” throughout their parenting journey. Adopt4Life is inclusive of ALL types of adoptive parents in Ontario, including: public, private, international, kin care, customary care and moral adoption. Adopt4Life believes Ontario can do better when it comes to forming families through adoption: Every child deserves a 4ever home. Find out more at www.Adopt4Life.com.

Contact:

Julie Despaties                                                                                                              Lisa Highfield
julie@adopt4life.com                                                                                                    lisa@healing-­‐hearts.ca
1-­‐888-­‐274-­‐6222X101


PRESS RELEASE

Adopt4Life to highlight 30 Adoption Stories in 30 Days with social media outreach campaign #AHome4EveryKid

Throughout November, Ontario’s Adoptive Parent Association will support Adoption Awareness Month with family stories that show why Ontario’s adoption system is in crisis

Toronto, Ontario, November 1st, 2014 – Adopt4Life, Ontario’s non-profit Adoptive Parent Association, today announced the start of #AHome4EveryKid, a family outreach campaign through social media channels. Coinciding with National Adoption Month, the awareness campaign will highlight the fallout from the system’s long delays on matching waiting adoptive children with families in Ontario.


Every day in November 2014, Adopt4Life will feature a personal story of one family in Ontario who has been waiting for years to be matched either by their;; local Children’s Aid Society, international agency, or private adoption agencies and licensees. The story will appear on Adopt4Life’s website, Facebook and Twitter channels using the hashtag #AHome4EveryKid.

“Ontario has nearly 7,000 children awaiting forever homes, yet ready families still wait years for matches by their local Children’s Aid Societies,” says Julie Despaties, Founder of Adopt4Life. “Too many waiting children are living in foster care for years without permanency. We encourage everyone in Ontario to read and share the stories, so that Ontario’s politicians and Children’s Aid Societies start to listen and act on behalf of these
kids.”


The numbers show how badly the adoption system in Ontario is breaking down. Every year 1,000 children age out of the system at 18 years of age without ever being placed in a permanent home. Yet approximately 1,000 parents become AdoptReady in Ontario every year and everyday 418 people visit the AdoptOntario website to review profiles of children.

Ontario’s Children’s Aid Societies struggle to create matches. They simply do not have the capacity to handle the demand, which is rising. Previously, any child with an openness agreement (mandated access to kin) was not eligible for adoption. This changed in 2012, resulting in an influx of children, particularly older children, seeking permanent families. Yet funding and resources have not increased to match this need, leaving CASs with a bottlenecked system.


Adopt4Life believes Ontario can do better.


The first story is posted today on the Adopt4Life website #AHome4EveryKid. It tells of a 9 year ongoing wait to be matched, which could have been significantly shortened without ongoing confusion and inconsistent policies.

The Adopt4Life website will feature a new story every day by 9AM EST. Note that all pseudonyms when used are identified to protect the requested privacy of individuals.
 

About Adopt4Life

Adopt4life is Ontario’s Adoptive Parent Association, a non-profit organization. We advocate at the government level for an improved adoption process and for better services, and provide support and guidance to adoptive families from the moment they are “Adopt Paper Ready” throughout their parenting journey. Inclusive of ALL Ontario adoptive parents, including: public, private, international, kin care, customary
care and moral adoption. Adopt4Life believes Ontario can do better when it comes to forming families through adoption: Every Child deserves a 4ever home. Find out more at www.Adopt4Life.com.

 

 
This is Adopt4Life's response to MCYS's Mandate

"Dear Minister MacCharles:

 Adopt4Life would like to thank you for sharing your mandate letter outlining the key priorities the Premier has charged you with.  We respect and appreciate the transparency your government has provided".

 At Adopt4Life we believe that every child deserves a family and that no child is unadoptable. The ultimate goal of permanency for all children in care, be it returning to family of origin, kinship adoption, or adoption outside their biological family, helps ensure these children have the best possible outcome in life for their circumstances. Access to the right supports and opportunities to make positive choices, reach their full potential and seamlessly transition to adulthood is best achieved when these children have permanent families and those families have timely and adequate support.

We are pleased to see many areas of priority set out by the Premiere that will mean positive changes for children needing permanent families and for supporting children already in their forever families. Our awaiting families are eager to see a transformation to the Child Welfare System, ensuring permanency for all children in care which has proven to make a difference in their reaching their full potential and transitioning into adulthood successfully and confidently. Many children in the system or that have been adopted are at-risk youth, have mental health issues, and/or complex and special needs due to their histories of trauma. With support more readily available for at-risk youth, mental health services and complex and special needs, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), adoptive families will be better able to help their children. We anticipate this will result in more Ontarians considering adoption as a way to create their families, increasing the number of children and youth that find their forever family. 

As adoptive parents we look forward to building a strong partnership with your ministry in advancing the interests of kids across Ontario by helping you to deliver on the priorities identified, specifically for those children in care or adopted into permanent families.

 Respectfully yours",

---Adopt4Life 

 

"Thanks to The Star and Martin Regg Cohn  - Adopt4Life (Ontario’s Adoptive Parent’s Association) is excited to see that much light has been shed on such a challenging topic for our Adopt Ready parents and ultimately for our awaiting children stuck into a system that is overwhelmed and in so many ways broken.

Ontarian's are sharing with us, on a daily basis, their distress about the months and even years that pass by without progress after starting their adoption journey and being Adopt Ready.

Changes are needed to fix a system that is struggling to quickly match children with their 4ever families.

At Adopt4Life, we believe that there needs to be a collaborative effort with all the adoption key stakeholders in order to drive a solution that works at all levels of the adoptive process."

----Adopt4Life