For many kids, foster care is more than a temporary solution — it’s a way of life. For those in the permanent care of Children’s Aid Societies, life is in limbo without a permanent home, family, or sense of real stability.
November is Adoption Awareness Month in Ontario, bringing attention to as many as 8,000 children currently living in foster care until a long-term solution can be found for each of them.
A lot of these kids are older, have special needs, or are grouped with siblings. Teenagers in particular have a hard time being placed. Last year, 61% of kids who were available for adoption in Ontario were between 13 and 18 years old; less than 4% were adopted.
Why consider adoption?
For some people, the shorter-term foster care commitment matches what they have to give. For example, some foster parents who work with Quinte Children’s Homes — what we call Parent Therapists — have adult kids and want to continue to have an active role in the lives of kids who need help.
Others, however, are ready for a lifelong commitment; adoption is a way to build their family and to make a bond themselves with someone who needs their love and support.
For a child who’s ready to be adopted, there is no going back; he or she has no legal connection to their natural family. Either their birth parents have agreed to let someone else adopt their children, or the Ontario Court has decided the parents can’t take care of them.
How to get started
As outlined by the provincial government, there is a process for adoptive parents that includes a home evaluation — a process called a Structured Assessment Family Evaluation (SAFE) — as well as a training program.
This training program, called PRIDE (Parent Resource for Information Development and Education), is necessary whether you’re adopting within Ontario or internationally.
For more information about adoption, adoption awareness month and recent changes to Ontario’s adoption program, visit: