There are four main types of adoption where we live, in Ontario, Canada:
- Public Adoption – Children in the foster care system are connected with adoptive families through the Children’s Aid Society.
- Private Adoption – birth/expectant parents are connected with adoptive families through adoption professionals.
- International Adoption – a child from one country is adopted by a family from another country.
- Relative Adoption – a child is adopted by a stepparent or a close relative (which is also known as kinship adoption).
(taken from Adoption Council of Ontario)
We have applied for public adoption.
The majority of the process is publicly funded and is facilitated by our regional Children’s Aid Society. As one might suspect, turnaround in public adoptions tends to be much longer than international and private adoptions, but also requires much less financial expense of the adoptive family. According to the Adoption Council of Canada, costs range from $0 to $3000 for public adoptions, $10000 to $20000 for licensed private agencies, and up to $30000 for international adoptions. (numbers from Adoption Council of Canada)
In all cases, a social worker conducts a homestudy. Potential adoptive parents are interviewed and undergo various checks (police background, references, medical, financial) and home visits. Each province defines their own homestudy requirements.
The children for whom we are potential adoptive parents of are crown wards who have been in the foster care system. Their birth parent(s) can no longer care for them for various reasons and so they become the legal responsibility of the government. There are currently over 78000 children in Canada’s child welfare system, 30000 of whom are eligible for adoption, and 7500 of those are in Ontario. (stats from Children's Aid Foundation)
It has been just under three years since our initial inquiry and we are about two months away from becoming AdoptReady, as we are in the final stages of our homestudy and completed our PRIDE (Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education) training last fall. The process so far has been trying in some aspects, and rewarding in others, both of which I will elaborate on in the coming posts. For now, I wanted to share some general information before I start taking you deep into the nitty gritty.
(Shout-out to Google - I didn't know anything about the adoption world before we first inquired. I simply started a search for "adoption" - if you're from a different province or country, I suggest you begin there.)