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PROCESS

Finding a family for our children
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 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 of the child are 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 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.

Adoption probation
Once the child is placed in an adoptive home, a period of adoption probation begins which typically lasts up to twelve 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 probation has been successful 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

Post Adoption Support
From time to time, families may require the support of the agency well after the adoption has been finalized. Those families may call us for assistance.
For some families who experience financial hardship in providing fully for an adopted child, due to the special needs of their adopted child, a subsidy may be requested in order to secure stability for the child. Approval is based upon the needs of the child, and the family's ability to provide for the child financially. This subsidy is reviewed with the family on an annual basis.
Changes to adoption subsidy practice may occur following the adoption and adoptive families can enquire as to whether any changes apply to their eligibility.
For families where the support issues are not financial but knowing which services may be helpful, we may be able to provide information of community services appropriate to support the child and family's needs.

Adoption Disclosure:
Adoption Disclosure is a service that responds to the requests of information about finalized adoptions. The motivation in seeking adoption disclosure varies by the individual but often involves an adoptive adult being curious about their biological family back ground or a birth family member who may receive some comfort in knowing the child was placed on adoption, and initial information about the child's adjustment to their adoptive home. As the Society does not maintain ongoing contact, following finalization, most adoption records end on the date the adoption was finalized.

Persons eligible to apply for adoption disclosure information include adopted adults age 18 or older or a minor adopted person with written consent of an adoptive parent, the adoptive parent, adult descendents of deceased adopted parents, birth parents, adult birth siblings, adult siblings of birth parents, or former adoptive parents or their adult children, parents, and/or adult siblings where a person was adopted more than once. The Society is legally prohibited from providing identifying information, but identifying information can be pursued through the adoption disclosure portion of the ServiceOntario web site.