Who is eligible to apply to the Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto?
- Adult married couples and single adults who live in Toronto and plan to raise a child in the Roman Catholic faith; at least one applicant must be Catholic
- If married, the marriage must be recognized by the Catholic Church
- A priest's reference is required
- Canadian citizens, landed immigrants and permanent residents of Canada
- Other applications may be considered if it is considered in a child’s best interest.
What does it cost?
- There is no charge for a public adoption.
What are the benefits of adopting through CCAS?
- Adoptive parents are provided with as much information about the child’s history as we have. Since we have usually known the child’s birth parents and /or relatives for many months or even years, our records provide family history and may include risk factors. Adoptive parents are provided with this information before they make a final decision to adopt a specific child. This gives prospective adoptive parents a chance to consult with the family doctor or any other professionals.
- We provide educational opportunities for prospective adoptive parents to learn more about children’s needs before, during and after placement. We provide post-adoption support and adoption subsidies.
- Most children placed for adoption have been living with a foster family. If they have formed a positive attachment to the foster parents, they are in a better position to transfer their attachment to adoptive parents.
- While in the care of CCAS, children benefit from regular medical care, on-going assessments as well as professional programs/intervention.
- Adoptive parents are introduced to the child in a gradual and planned way. This allows adoptive parents an opportunity to get to know the child and his or her routine before the child is placed in the adoptive home. Adoptive parents work closely with the foster parents and adoption worker to ensure that the transition is a positive experience.
What kind of adoptive parents is CCAS looking for?
- Most prospective adoptive parents express an interest in adopting young, healthy babies but our greatest need is for adoptive parents who welcome children with risk factors and older children. School-aged children and adolescents need adoptive homes, too.
- We need a greater number of adoptive parents of African or West Indian heritage, and mixed racial heritage (e.g. Black/Caucasian or Black/Asian) for children of the same heritage. This includes adoptive parents for children with risk factors and older children.
- Children of all ages need adoptive families. Most children placed for adoption are under six years of age. If more people were willing to consider adopting an older child, more children could enjoy a brighter future. The rewards of parenting are numerous, regardless of the child’s age.
How do I find out more about adoption?
- If you are interested in learning more about adoption, please call 416-395-1520 to begin the process. You will be invited to an information night with other prospective adoptive applicants.
What happens at the Information Session?
- These sessions are held approximately four times a year at our Birchmount Branch. During this two-hour information meeting, CCAS Adoption Staff explain the adoption process and talk about the children in our care who require permanent families. You will have the chance to ask questions.
What does the application process involve?
- All adoptive applicants in Ontario (public, private, international) are required to follow the same application process. This includes completing an application form, providing references, medical reports, financial information and consents for police and child-welfare record searches.
- It includes attending a 27-hour Parent Resource for Information, Development, Education (PRIDE) training, which provides an opportunity to discuss and review many aspects of caring for children.
- Applicants also participate in a homestudy, which involves personal interviews and at least one home visit with an adoption worker. Together, you will discuss your capacity, willingness and readiness to assume the role of an adoptive parent.
When does my application get approved?
- After you have successfully completed all the above requirements, your application will be reviewed. Once your application is approved, you will be eligible to have a child placed with your family.
What if I attended PRIDE training and have a homestudy completed by a private practitioner?
- If you meet the eligibility requirements listed above, you can call 416-395-1520 to discuss the next steps. You will be asked to forward your completed homestudy, PRIDE training certificate and the supporting documents (references, medical report, etc.) to us.
- If accepted, an adoption worker will be assigned to meet with you to discuss our requirements and explain the adoption process.
- The worker’s recommendation and your application will be reviewed. Once your application is approved, you will be considered for children as they become available for adoption, provided the children are within your "range of acceptance."
- After applicants are approved, how long does it take for a child to be placed in the home?
- Adoptive parents are required to indicate their “range of acceptance” when the homestudy is being completed. This refers to the age, type and number of children they can accept for placement. The broader the range of acceptance, the less time it is likely to take for an adoption placement.
- If they are open to adopting a child or children with risk factors, such as prenatal exposure to drug or alcohol, or older children, they will have more opportunities to adopt and will not wait as long. The child’s needs, cultural and racial heritage will also be considered
How will the placement occur?
- When a child is identified for a possible placement, the prospective adoptive parents receive information about the child. Once the decision is made to proceed with an adoption placement, adoptive parents visit the child and foster parents frequently to ease the child’s transition from one home to another.
How will CCAS help me after a child is placed with my family?
- The Adoption Worker continues to visit and provide support to the child and adoptive family until the adoption is finalized by the granting of an adoption order.
- If a child has been receiving specialized services, such as physiotherapy or speech therapy, while in foster care and continues to benefit from these services, CCAS may continue to fund these services if they not funded by health plans, community or government agencies.
- After the adoption is finalized, the adoption worker is available for consultation, referral and support.
- Adoption subsidies are available for adoptive parents who adopt children who require specialized services that are not funded by health plans, community or government agencies.
What is “adoption openness”?
- Adoption openness is defined as written, verbal or face-to-face contact or communication between a child and any person. Communication may be direct or indirect and may include either identifying or non-identifying information. The frequency of contact may be episodic or ongoing and must be consistent with the adoptive parents wishes.
- Openness may begin when an adoption worker introduces adoptive parents to the birth parents, using only first names, and encourages them to exchange non-identifying letters or photos through CCAS on an annual basis. Sometimes this evolves into more direct communication. When placing school-aged children and adolescents for adoption, it is standard practice to consider the child’s important relationships. The child may have a sibling, a grandmother or an aunt who had a positive influence on the child. In this circumstance, it would make sense for the child to maintain this relationship after the adoption. The adoptive parents would be part of determining the extent and duration of the contact.
- Sometimes the term “open adoption” is used to describe situations in which the birth parents continue to have regular visits with the child after the adoption. This is a less frequent occurrence.
I would like some general information about the children waiting for adoption
- The majority of children available for adoption are crown wards whose parents have lost custody of their children because they were unable to provide a safe and nurturing home environment. Substance use, mental illness, domestic violence, lack of family support and/or poverty may have been contributing factors.
- At times, parents voluntarily place their child for adoption with CCAS because they do not feel equipped to parent at that time in their life. They want their child to have opportunities that they cannot provide. In these cases, we provide parents with the option of selecting an adoptive family from non-identifying profiles of our approved adoptive families. These profiles are created by the adoptive parents.
- Most children available for adoption are under six years of age, but school-aged children and adolescents need adoptive homes, too.
- While most prospective adoptive parents express an interest in young babies, we have a greater need for parents who want to adopt an older child or a child with risk factors or special needs. The rewards of parenting are numerous, regardless of the child’s age.
What are the children’s needs?
- Our children need loving permanent families of their own. Some children are healthy, young and developing well. They will continue to thrive in your home.
- All children, whether they are adopted or not, have a genetic heritage. For example, the family background may include heart disease or depression. This genetic heritage places the child at increased risk of having these illnesses in the future. The child may or may not develop the illness. We know that pre-natal exposure to alcohol or drugs places a child at risk of future learning difficulties. However, the medical profession cannot determine how such exposure will affect individual children.
- Some children with risk factors develop well and show no evidence of being affected. Others may require special school programs or tutorial assistance to help them achieve academic success. Other children have medical and/or psychological needs that require a broad range of professional services, such as physiotherapy, occupational and/or speech therapy.
- Some children have been in foster care for a long time. They may be nervous about the future. They require mature, patient and compassionate adoptive parents who can stay the course when faced with emotional challenges.
What does the future hold?
- Many variables determine how well children will do in their adoptive families. Parental understanding and acceptance of their needs is a significant factor. This is why we would like adoptive parents to know as much as possible about children’s histories and needs, and to have insight into their own strengths and limitations. We want them to be prepared for possible outcomes so they can be the best parents possible.
AdoptOntario: Connecting familes and children through adoption.
Ministry of Community and Social Services: Searching for Adoption Records in Ontario
Adoption Council of Ontario
Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services - Adoption