Family and Children's Services
Services à la famille et à l'enfance



Making a Forever Family

Adoption is a compassionate gift of family to you and a child in need of a permanent, loving relationship. Adoption is the legal process that gives children a new family when their birth families are unable to care for them. It is intended to provide children with the stability and lifelong security that comes from a permanent home. 

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How adoption works

There are two ways in which a child can become legally free for adoption:
  1. The birth parents consent to the adoption of their child by signing an Adoption Consent any time after seven days following the child's birth. The parents may withdraw their consent within 21 days of the date they gave consent.
  2. Parental rights are terminated through the Court and an order of Crown Wardship is obtained. A Crown Wardship order is made by the Courts on determination that in the child's best interests he or she can no longer live with his or her parents. If such an order is obtained, our agency is required by law to make all reasonable efforts to secure an adoption placement, if adoption planning is in the child's best interests.

Many families who contact the Agency wanting to adopt a child discover that a relationship with a child may begin earlier through fostering. Some of these children become free for adoption and some do not. These foster families understand that in some cases the child may leave their care to be placed with birth family or community members. Recognizing this, they commit to caring for the child as long as needed and this may include adoption. This type of care allows children to be placed with a possible permanent family as soon as possible, which increases the child’s stability and well-being while minimizing the number of changes and transitions they have to face. 

Who can adopt

People wanting to adopt understand the importance of providing a child with a safe, loving and nurturing environment – a home where the child can reach his or her full potential. Adoptive parents can be individuals or couples, people unable to have children of their own, parents who already have children and want to add to their growing family, as well as adults whose first choice for building a family is through adoption. People from diverse cultural backgrounds, single people or same-sex couples or those who are open to parenting special needs children, sibling groups or older children are encouraged to consider adoption.  

Here are some things to consider:

  • It’s all about the right match. The needs of the child come first. Parents looking for a child of a specific age, gender or background may have to wait longer than those who are more flexible in their expectations.
  • You don’t have to be rich to adopt. You just need to be sure that you can meet the needs of the child(ren). Adopting through our agency is a free service.
  • It takes time. The time it takes to go through the adoption system varies widely depending on the needs of the child in care.

Frequently Asked Question

Do I have to live in Frontenac, Lennox and Addington to adopt with you?
Mostly, yes. There are some exceptions, but by and large we want to talk about adoption to local families first. Contact us to discuss. Or, if you're outside of our area but still in Ontario, consider visiting Adopt Ontario to get more information. If you're outside of Ontario, please contact your local adoption agency.

Are there many children available for adoption?
It depends on the child. Typically, the more selective you are about the kind of child you want, the fewer choices there are. There are many children of all ages needing a "forever family".  

How do we become an adoptive family?
You will need to complete a police check, medical evaluation and forward references for review. Your full participation in a training program, individual and family interviews are also required.  

How long does it take to adopt a child?
The length of an adoption process varies widely. That being said, there are some basic rules about adoption. Agencies must assess and prepare prospective families carefully as children and youth need stable placements with capable people who can meet their needs. For these reasons, the home study assessment, training and approval process usually takes about three to six months.

After being approved an adoptive family may wait from one month to several years for a placement. The length of time a family must wait depends on the age of the child they wish to adopt, the number of children they are prepared to welcome into their family, the special needs they feel they can cope with.

After a child has been placed with your family it will be at least six months and possibly longer until an adoption can be finalized. The length of this period depends on the individual child's circumstances and whether or not a Crown Wardship order has been obtained. Once a Crown Wardship order has been obtained, the child will be placed on "adoption probation". The period of adoption probation ranges from a few months to a year or more. This is determined by whether or not the child has already been living with the adoptive family and how family members are adjusting to each other.

Should children be told they are adopted? Yes. Children who have always known they were adopted are likely to have good feelings about it, especially if the word "adoption" has had happy associations for them from an early age.  

Can adoptive families receive any financial help?
In general, adoptive applicants are expected to be able to financially meet the basic expenses of raising a child. In some adoption placements our Agency may approve a financial subsidy to help parents who wish to adopt a child with specific special needs or a group of siblings. This means the adoptive family can receive financial support from the agency, even after the adoption is finalized.

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