People from diverse cultural backgrounds, single people or same-sex couples are all encouraged to consider adoption. People who are open to parenting special needs children, sibling groups, or older children are especially encouraged to consider adoption.
Children range in age from very young to teens and come from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds. Some are siblings, waiting for a family who can keep them together. Others are special needs children who require parents willing to learn the skills to care for them. Although some children may have challenges, they all have one thing in common – a need for a safe and loving home for a lifetime.
In planning for the adoption of a child, the CAS selects adoptive parents that are capable of meeting the needs of the child. The agency is committed to the ongoing local, regional and provincial recruitment of prospective adoptive families who are able to meet the special needs of children available for adoption.
We may consider some of the following when choosing an adoptive home:
- Parent’s strengths and abilities
- Experience with children and dealing with difficult situations
- Extended family support
- Parent’s ability and willingness to cope with child’s needs now and in the future
- Experience with adoption
- Ability and willingness to accept biological family involvement if in best interest of child
- Culturally similar background as child
- Ability to work within agency structure
- Parental expectations for child are based upon child’s potential and abilities
The agency ensures that, where appropriate, the wishes and voice of the child is taken into consideration in the selection of an adoptive family in accordance with the best interests of the child.
Once a potential family has been identified the adoption worker meets with them to share non-identifying information about the child, their life experiences, health and family background to ensure that the adoptive family has sufficient information to make an informed decision and to determine their acceptance and understanding of the child’s background and needs.
Where it is determined that there are no prospective adoptive families within our agency,region, or the child’s home community who can meet the unique needs of a child, we broaden the search. An adoption worker compiles a non-identifying profile of the child that can be presented at the Adoption Resource Exchange meetings held in Ontario, where anyone in the province with an approved Adoption Home Study can view information about all children currently available for adoption. An additional search option is the use of the professional portion of the Adoptontario site, where a search tool allows province wide searches for adoptive families and children.
Placing a child for adoption
Following the selection of an adoptive family there is preparation of the child, and selected family, prior to the adoption placement. A visit plan is developed to allow the adoptive family to learn ways to support the child’s adjustment to their home, and allow the child and new adoptive family to become familiar and comfortable with each other. The pre-placement visitation period can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks depending on the age and needs of the child.
Once the child is placed in an adoptive home, a period of adoption probation begins which lasts minimally six months. This is a critical period of adjustment for both the child and adoptive family. This period provides time for the family and child to adjust to each other, and begin the process of integration and attachment.
During the adoption probation period, an adoption worker visits the child and parents to assess the child’s adjustment in the home as well as the family’s need for support. The adoption worker monitors the placement, offers support and guidance and will make referrals for appropriate services if necessary. Adoptive parents who make use of the knowledge and skills of the adoption worker to openly identify and address any areas of struggle, uncertainty or concerns are most likely to experience successful outcomes.
Finalizing the adoption
When the adoption placement has proceed smoothly and it is in the best interest of the child to remain with the adoptive family, then the adoption will be presented to the Family Court of Ontario for finalization. The Court will only finalize an adoption if it is satisfied that the adoption is in the child’s best interests. Once an adoption order is made it is final and irrevocable.