Overview

When birth families are unable to care for their children, adoption is a legal process that gives these children another chance to experience the stability and lifelong security of a family.

In Ontario, there are several ways in which you can adopt, and people often explore options in all three systems:

  • The public child welfare system (i.e. a Children’s Aid Society)
  • A private adoption agency
  • An inter-country adoption agency

The brochure Adoption in Ontario: Private, Public and Inter-Country outlines the three adoption streams in Ontario and how to navigate successfully between them.  Click here to read the brochure.

Adoption placements are based on a child or youth's needs, so the waiting time depends on the best possible match for the child or youth and the adoptive family.  If the match is right, the process can happen very quickly.  Once a match is determined, there will be home visits to allow the child or youth to get to know the adoptive family before they move into the home permanently.

Typically, adoptions are legally finalized usually six months or more after the child or youth moves into his or her new home.  The length of time depends on how the child or youth and the family adjust to each other.  When everyone is ready to complete the adoption, the Society applies to the court for an adoption order.  After the court order is made, adoptive parents are the legal parents and the child or youth is a legal member of the family.