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If you are interested in adopting a child

Children come into our care for various reasons, but all of them are need someone to care for them, and provide a stable and nurturing home. Our focus is always on the ensuring the best placement for the child.

Are you eligible to adopt?

The following are the minimum requirements to begin the application process:

  • Residency in Durham Region
  • Minimum 21 years of age
  • Good general health
  • Financially self-sufficient
  • Stable relationship for two years (including same-sex couples, common-law and single applicants)
  • Consent of all immediate family members
  • Demonstrated healthy individual and family histories
  • Sound mental health
  • No substance abuse; no condoning of illegal substances
  • No criminal charges pending or significant criminal background
  • No verified or suspected incidents of child abuse
  • Adequate living and sleeping premises for a child
  • Demonstrated ability to carry out essential duties of parenting
  • Ability to ensure a child will have appropriate developmental environment
  • Adequate language and communication skills
  • Willingness to learn new skills
  • Willingness to work with the agency and other professionals
  • Adequate understanding of adoptive care
  • Adequate understanding of circumstances around which children come into the care of CAS
  • Sensitivity to cultural differences and backgrounds of children

Any previous CAS service involvement will be evaluated on an individual basis.

There are many steps in the adoption process. Some move quickly, while other steps require more time and careful consideration.

You will first speak with an adoption worker to review the process and criteria. If you are interested in continuing, we will provide a package of information including the application.

Once we receive a completed application, you will be placed on a wait list for PRIDE (Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education) training. PRIDE is the standardized education program provided across Ontario to prepare applicants to foster or adopt children.

Finding a family

In planning for the adoption of a child, we select adoptive parents that are capable of meeting the needs of the child.

The agency is committed to the ongoing local and provincial recruitment of prospective adoptive families who are able to meet the special needs of children available for adoption.

We may consider some of the following when choosing an adoptive home:

  • Parent’s strengths and abilities
  • Experience with children and dealing with difficult situations
  • Extended family support
  • Parent’s ability and willingness to cope with child’s needs now and in the future
  • Experience with adoption
  • Ability and willingness to accept natural family involvement if in best interest of child
  • Culturally similar background as child
  • Ability to work within agency structure

The agency ensures that, where appropriate, the wishes of the child are taken into consideration in the selection of an adoptive family in accordance with the best interests of the child.

Once a family has been chosen the adoption worker meets with them to share non-identifying information about the child, his or her life experiences, health and family background to ensure that the adoptive family is accepting of the child’s background and needs.

Once a match has been made, the transition process begins. The length of the is process varies based on the age and needs of the child.

Where it is determined that there are no prospective adoptive families within our jurisdiction who can meet the special needs of a child, we broaden the search. An adoption worker compiles a non-identifying profile of the child that is sent to the other CASs within Ontario.

When there is no identified permanency plan for a child, we will profile the child on the AdoptOntario databank. Centralized Adoption Intake provides information to people who are interested in public adoption.

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How to Adopt

Durham Children’s Aid Society is committed to anti-oppressive practice and providing services to children, youth, families, and resource communities in an inclusive and equitable manner. We encourage and welcome individuals who identify as part of an equity-seeking group, such as individuals from 2SLGBTQIA+ communities or individuals who identify as persons of colour to apply.

If you are interested in learning more about adoption and the process, please visit the Adoption Council of Ontario’s website. On this site, information is available including answers to frequently asked questions and a “How to Adopt” webinar.

Please fill out the form below for more information.

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