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ADOPTION FAQ

1. How do I get started?
2. How long do I have to wait to adopt a child?
3. Can I adopt as a single applicant?
4. Why would I not be able to proceed to the Home Study phase of the process?
5. Do we have to be wealthy to adopt a child?
6. Will adopting through York Region CAS cost anything?
7. How long will I have to wait to be placed with a child?
8. Can I specify what type of child I am looking to adopt?
9. Can I adopt more than one child at a time?
10. What role does a birth parent(s) have?
11. What am I entitled to know about the adoptive family?
12. Can I see the baby before the adoption?
13. Can I receive payment or a reward from a family I place my baby with?
14. Am I entitled to know when the adoption is completed?
15. What if the birth father does not wish to be involved?

1. How do I get started?
After reviewing the material on this webpage, please complete the application form. If you prefer to speak to someone directly, please call the York Region Children's Aid Society Adoption Department at 905-895-2318. Provided you meet the eligibility criteria, an adoption intake worker will visit you at your home. After this intake visit, if there is a mutual decision to proceed to adopt, the CAS will conduct a home study that involves you completing a number of forms, attending all training, and having several visits to your home. During the home study you'll be encouraged to assess your own attitudes and abilities. You'll also be asked to provide four character references, as well as undergo current medical and police checks. By working together through this process, a decision can be made about whether adoption is right for you, and what kind of child or children you could parent.
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2. How long do I have to wait to adopt a child?
There are no standard waiting periods. Everything depends on the right match. Adoption placements are based on the child's need, so the waiting time depends on an appropriate match being made between a child needing adoption, and a family approved for adoption. Therefore, there's no set waiting time or waiting list.

Once the match is made, there may be several visits to allow the child to get to know the new family and surroundings before moving into the home. By law, there's a minimum six-month adjustment period from the time a child moves into the new home until the adoption is completed. A longer adjustment period may be necessary depending on the needs of the child and the adoptive family. This is the time when any problems that might arise in the developing relationship can be worked out.

When everybody's ready to complete the adoption, the CAS applies to the court for an adoption order. This makes the adopting parents the child's legal parents, and the child a legal member of their family.
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3. Can I adopt as a single applicant?
Yes, we accept single applicants as long as you have some form of a support system around you.
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4. Why would I not be able to proceed to the Home Study phase of the process?
There could be several reasons why an applicant would not proceed to the Home Study phase. We expect that our applicants not have a criminal record of a serious, recent and relevant nature. Also, we are looking for applicants who are healthy, emotionally and financially stable and are able to provide a good loving home. Additionally as we have so few infants we only will do home studies for those interested in special needs children, over 2 years old.
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5. Do we have to be wealthy to adopt a child?
No. We are only looking for financially stable applicants who are comfortably able to provide for a child.
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6. Will adopting through York Region CAS cost anything?
No. There are no fees involved in adopting a child through a CAS.
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7. How long will I have to wait to be placed with a child?
The timing of a placement is highly dependent upon the children being referred to adoption and your own family's strengths and experiences. There is no standard timeframe.
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8. Can I specify what type of child I am looking to adopt?
Yes. Through your Home Study process, you will explore what type of child you and your family would feel most comfortable with and as such, what type of child would be the "best match" for your family.
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9. Can I adopt more than one child at a time?
You can only adopt more than one child at a time if the children are siblings. In all other cases, if you would like to adopt more than one child, you must wait until your first adoption has been completed before initiating the adoption process for the second time. If you pursue adoption for a second time, you will need to have an update of your Home Study, medical reports, reference letters and police checks.
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10. What role does a birth parent(s) have?
Prior to the adoption, the birth parent(s) may provide input about the kind of family they would like for their child. The values, lifestyle, education, cultural heritage and other characteristics that are important to the birth parents are considered carefully when choosing the child's adoptive parents.

Recently there has been a move to create more openness between adopting families and birth families. The degree of openness a child needs, a birth parent wants, or an adopting family can accept, is carefully examined early in the adoption process. It could range from a photo and/or a letter to go with the child upon adoption, to visits between birth parents and children.

The York Region Children's Aid Society encourages birth parent(s), who are relinquishing a child for adoption, to be involved in the planning process to the extent that they wish. Practices in adoption tend towards openness to the extent that information exchange is non-identifying and protects the identities of both the birth and adoptive parents. Birth parents relinquishing a child for adoption may participate in any of the following ways in the selection of an adoptive family:

  • Through the expression of hopes and preferences for their child or particular qualities they would seek in an adoptive family.
  • Through attending the adoption placement conference and participating in the selection discussions.
  • By meeting the prospective adoptive parents to exchange wishes for and feelings about the child.
  • With the agreement of the birth parents and adoptive family, the Society may act as an intermediary for the annual exchange of non-identifying information such as letters.
  • Through the provision of gifts, letters or mementoes for the child at the time of adoption placement.

When parents decide to relinquish their child for adoption, a consent for adoption must be signed. This consent cannot be given until the child is eight days old. If only one parent is available, to sign a consent for adoption, it is the practice of this agency to pursue a voluntary Crown Wardship order, to ensure a child is legally able to be placed for adoption. There is a 30day appeal period, after a Crown Wardship order is made. Provided there is no appeal launched within 30days the child is then free to be placed in an adoptive home. Birth parents can reduce unnecessary delays in adoption finalizations by providing a copy of the child’s birth certificate or birth registration. If the birth was never registered the agency will assist the birth parent in getting the birth registered.

A child being placed for adoption who is seven years of age or older must also give written consent. Consent given by either the parent or child (if the child is seven years or older) may be withdrawn within 21 days after the consent is given.

When a child has been made a crown ward under the Child and Family Services Act, then a children's aid society is required by law to make all reasonable efforts to secure an adoption placement, if adoption planning is in the child's best interests.

A Crown Wardship order is made by the courts on determination that in the child's best interests he/she can no longer live with his/her birth parents, and that a better and less restrictive option (such as placing the child with relatives) is not available. Under Crown Wardship, the province accepts all rights and responsibilities for the child.

A Crown ward cannot be placed in an adoptive home until any outstanding access order made under child protection proceedings has been terminated by court order, the time permitted for appeal of the Crown Wardship order has fully expired and any appeal of that order has concluded with a decision that has left the order intact.

In cases of Crown ward adoptions, written consent to the adoption is necessary from the children's aid society and the child to be adopted, if that child is seven years of age or older.
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11. What am I entitled to know about the adoptive family?
Birth parents are entitled to non-identifying information about the adoptive family. Sometimes adoptions are much more "open" and an agreement may be made that pictures and letters would be exchanged over the years. And some families may agree to ongoing visits. But no names or addresses are exchanged without everyone's permission.
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12. Can I see the baby before the adoption?
You can meet with the child’s foster parents, social worker(s), and see the child before the child is placed with you for adoption. A visit with the child can only occur after you have been selected as the best match for the child.
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13. Can I receive payment or a reward from a family I place my baby with?
No. It is a criminal offence to accept payment or a reward for an adoption placement.
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14. Am I entitled to know when the adoption is completed?
Yes, this is your right. Tell your adoption worker that you would like to be informed when the adoption has been completed.
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15. What if the birth father does not wish to be involved?
We cannot force the involvement of the birth father. We do make all efforts, however to involve both birth parents in planning for their child and in signing consent to the child's adoption. It is important to remember that both birth parents can provide vital information about the child that no one else would know. They are the key to providing accurate health and social history information for the child and it is in the child's best interest to have this information from both parents.
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