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GETTING STARTED

Private Home Studies
York CAS will accept adoption home studies completed by any licensed adoption worker in Ontario, subject to the service needs of the agency.

The Application and Home Study Process
The process may seem intense but reflects the sensitive and delicate nature of adopting a child with special needs. It involves an initial home visit, where your questions are answered and documents are provided for you to complete i.e. personal questionnaires, criminal reference checks, medicals and personal references. Once you return all of these documents, you are scheduled into the next available training session (note it's critical that all documents are returned as until then you will not proceed to training) The training consist of several sessions in which critical information is shared, and discussed to educate you on adoption issues, and to assist you in making an informed decision on which children to apply for, and how best to support their adjustment and growth within your family.

Upon completion of the training a social worker completes the home study, which usually takes three to four months to complete. The home study process includes a number of interviews including a home visit and safety inspection. The interviews will focus on such areas as family backgrounds, motivation for adopting, couple relationship, finances, and experience with children. Once a home study is completed and approved, applicants can complete a family profile to be used when presenting your family to other Children's Aid Societies or at the Provincial Adoption Resource Exchange conference. The Adoption Resource Exchange ( ARE) meetings occur throughout the year and profiles children available for adoption through the CAS's throughout Ontario. This adoptive family profile is a summary of their home study and is provided to any CAS, at the request of the family, when they wish to be considered for one of the child(ren) presented from that agency. Families with completed home studies may also request to have thier information added to the professional site of the web site AdoptOntario, which has a province wide search tool to identify potential matches between approved adoptive homes and available children.

NOTE: Applicants may be turned down during the Intake/Homestudy process if it becomes apparent that we will not be able to use your home for the children we are currently seeking homes for.

Each child waiting for adoption is unique
Children of all ages and stages of development can be adopted, with the majority being age three and older. These children come from a variety of cultural, racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds. Some are siblings, needing a family who can adopt them together. Most of the older children waiting to be adopted have had painful experiences and need time to adjust to a new home. Others may have developmental or physical challenges. Each child is different, but all can benefit from becoming part of a warm and loving family.

Adoption must be in the child's best interests
There has been a lot of confusion in the media as to how many children are available for adoption through Ontario's Children's Aid Societies. Not all children in CAS care are available for adoption. The vast majority of children who enter care are returned to the care of their parents, or are placed with relatives or others to whom the child has an existing beneficial relationship. Recent changes in legislation have removed legal impediments to adoption, making more children legally free to be adopted. Now when a court removes a parent's legal custody rights to their child, under a Crown Ward Order, the child is legally free to be adopted, and the CAS is required to consider whether adoption would be in the child's best interest. However being legally free to be adopted does not mean every child who is made a Crown Ward will benefit from an adoption placement. Alternatives to adoption include placement in a kinship care home, long term foster or group home or supported independent living, depending upon the capacity, needs and age of the youth. Many children enter care in their teen years when typically alternatives to adoption may better meet their needs. Currently in Ontario approximately 5% of children entering care are placed in adoptive homes.

CAS workers learn the needs of children in their care, which helps determine when adoption or other permanency options are in a child's best interests. Adoptability assessments are often used to determine if a child's needs would be best served by adoption, and what characteristics should be sought within an adoptive home to meet those needs. If a child is old enough, he or she also takes part in this decision and must consent to their adoption.

Adoption is the legal process that gives a new family to a child whose birth family is unable to care for him or her. It's intended to provide the child with permanence and security.

Adoption benefits children and families
To experience healthy development, and create a sense of their own self-worth, children need to have roots and feel they belong to a family that cares for them.

Unfortunately, some parents can't provide their children with adequate care for a variety of reasons. Other parents may recognize they can't provide the kind of upbringing they want for their children and may decide to place their children for adoption.

Individuals and couples who can't have children of their own often want to adopt children. Parents who already have children may want to adopt to enlarge their families.

Likelihood of Placement
There is no guarantee of when or if a child will be placed with a family approved to adopt. Adoption selections are based upon finding the adoptive home best able to meet a child's immediate and long term needs. Adoptive applicants interested and capable of meeting the long term needs of children with more complex challenges are typically more likely to be selected for an adoption placement.