As of April 4, 2022, the province, through the Adoption Council of Ontario (ACO) has launched a Centralized Adoption Intake Service, including a website, to help families navigate the public adoption system.
Centralized Adoption Intake is an adoption information service that now provides a single access point for prospective adoptive parents across the province (who are not currently involved with a society) who are interested in adopting through children’s aid societies.
The Service provides information about adoption to help prospective adoptive parents make an informed choice on whether public adoption is suitable for them. Adoption information will be provided through a website and Centralized Adoption Intake staff hired by ACO, to educate and prepare prospective adoptive parents at the start of their adoption learning journey prior to contacting a society to complete the adoption application process.
Visiting the Centralized Adoption Intake Service and connecting with Intake Staff at the Adoption Council of Ontario at www.adoption.on.ca/CI is Step #1.
Once someone has gone through the Centralized Adoption Intake Service, they may choose to apply to adopt at their local CAS. These processes and timelines may vary for a few reasons:
- CAS’s may not have many available children and youth
- CAS’s may have a high number of interested applicants and must prioritize families to homestudy
- CAS’s may prioritize foster families currently caring for children in their homes
- CAS’s may prioritize other permanency plans involving kin/kith, or legal custody
Steps to Adopt:
- ACO – Centralized Adoption Intake Service
- Inquiry to CAS
- Scheduled Home Visit
- Wait time may vary for the collection of required documentation
- Documentation – Medicals, police checks, child welfare checks, references, financial statements
- PRIDE – 9 weeks (27 hours) of education
- SAFE Homestudy
- Wait time, education and preparation — Pre-Adoption Learning Series (PALS education program, Adoptontario, Adopt4Life)
Becoming approved as an adoptive applicant takes time. Once someone begins the process, completing all the requirements for adoption may take up to 1 year. Different CAS’s may have a wait list for PRIDE training or the completion of a SAFE home study based on staffing, resources, and children available.
Matching and Placement:
In all three adoption systems (public, private, inter-country), children are placed based on their needs and a family’s ability to meet those needs. The time frame for a match, and subsequent placement of a child, depends on these factors.
Once a “Match” with a child has been made, the following steps and processes will play a role in how long an adoption may take:
- Pre-placement process, visits, transition time (age of the child/youth is a factor in this)
- Adjustment process and support of CAS – 6 month period of mandatory supervision will likely be considerably longer due to the following:
- The legal process of applying for an Adoption Openness Order
- Mediation processes regarding openness
- Additional supports may be required
- Ministry approval for the adoption and Court proceedings
The total adoption process from the time a match is made until it is finalized in Court can take up to 2 years or more.
We are here to support families in their adoption journey for as long as the adoption takes and to provide post-adoption supports, if needed, including Adoption Disclosure Services for adults.