Kiran Slider Test

Seven ways in which “Openness” puts the child at the centre in Children’s Aid Society adoptions

  1. The mandate of Children’s Aid Societies is to support children and youth to live safely with their families. In the rare cases where this is not possible CASs start looking for other permanency options, including adoption. Thanks to Openness provisions in provincial legislation, children and youth who are placed for adoption can retain important, positive, and supportive connections with people who are significant to them. And yes, this includes biological parents.
  2. In 2011, Openness provisions expanded to allow children whose families have access orders (ie. scheduled visits) to be eligible for adoption. This expansion of Openness recognizes that children and youth with ongoing family relationships should not be excluded from the benefits and stability that adoption offers.
  3. “Significant” and “meaningful” are the key words used to determine what relationships qualify for Openness, and they mean significant and meaningful for the children and youth in question, not biological or adoptive parents. The legislation defines “meaningful” as significant to the child or youth. The legislation defines “beneficial” as advantageous to the child or youth.
  4. Openness recognizes that children and youth have a whole range of significant and meaningful relationships in their lives. For example, Openness provisions have made a huge difference in keeping siblings in touch with each other. Grandparents, mothers and fathers, and foster parents are also frequently identified in Openness arrangements.
  5. Openness recognizes that relationships can be fostered in a whole range of ways and are not limited to face to face meetings. Written correspondence and phone calls are also viable components of Openness. The decision of how Openness will happen is based on the unique circumstances and best interests of each child.
  6. The Child and Family Services Act makes it mandatory for Children’s Aid Societies to consider “Openness” for all children and youth for whom adoption is an option, even those whose Crown Ward status did not include “access” with families. This ensures that CASs are diligent in making sure they foster meaningful connections for children and youth at every opportunity.
  7. In 2016-17, 767 children and youth were adopted through Children’s Aid Societies, and over one third of these adoptions included Openness provisions.