Navigating the Ontario adoption system made easier

adoption guide for professionals

Individuals wishing to expand their families through adoption will be able to navigate the Ontario adoption system more smoothly thanks to new educational materials launched by the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies (OACAS). The materials have been endorsed by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Servicess, which oversees Ontario’s adoption system. Families can adopt through public, private, or international streams. The materials were developed because adoption professionals recognized that many families were experiencing confusion as they pursued adoption simultaneously through these different streams.

“There are a lot of frustrated families out there struggling with how to navigate the different adoption streams,” says Morag Demers, Senior Policy Analyst at OACAS. “These resources will make it easier to move from one stream of adoption to another.”

“Adoption In Ontario: Private, Public and Inter-Country” is a brochure for prospective adoptive parents that clarifies how the three adoption streams in Ontario work. The pamphlet describes the three different streams and the requirements families must complete to be approved as an adoptive applicant, including a SAFE home study and PRIDE pre-service training. The brochure clarifies for prospective adoptive families that these requirements are portable across systems.

“Best Practices of the Portability of PRIDE Pre-Service Training and a SAFE Home Study” is a guide intended for Ontario adoption professionals. The purpose of the guide is to provide clarity and transparency around the portability of the home evaluation and training requirements for adoptive parents across the different adoptions streams in Ontario.

“The government of Ontario chose SAFE and PRIDE as the only models to be used across all three streams to reduce hurdles for families who wish to explore adoption in more than one stream. There is still confusion among professionals and families about how portability works in practice, and this guide aims to provide clarity,” says Morag Demers.

Although SAFE and PRIDE are portable across systems, there are some situations where families may have to update their home study. These situations include:

  • a relationship status change (e.g., a couple separate and one of the partners continues to want to adopt)
  • family status change (e.g., a new child or adult in the home)
  • relocation (e.g., need to move house in a different part of the province)
  • new application to adopt again

The adoptive parent pamphlet and best practices guide were developed by the SAFE/PRIDE Portability Workgroup, which included public and private adoption professionals and staff from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Servicess, OACAS, Adoption Council of Ontario, and Adopt4Life.

To learn more please consult “Adoption in Ontario: Private, Public and Inter-Country” and “Best Practices of the Portability of Pride Pre-Service Training and a Safe Home Study”.