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
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