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Adoption of older children is in high demand in Canada. It’s an excellent method to start or expand your family. You’ll be working closely with private adoption practitioners or an agency if you consider a private adoption. 

Because every private adoption agency in Ontario is licensed to work throughout the province, making a decision might be difficult. Before committing to the adoption process, getting to know the practitioner or agency you work through is critical. Don’t be scared to phone several different organizations and have a list of adoption questions to ask them before you make a decision.

Adoption is a lengthy, complicated and emotional process with many more legal and financial stumbling blocks than people believe it has. It is, nevertheless, an enriching experience, as most adoptive parents will tell you.

We’ll talk about how to know if adoption is right for you and sample the kinds of questions to ask about adoption. 

Which Should I Choose When Considering Adoption: Public or Private Agency?

There are two main ways to go about adopting a child: through public child welfare agencies or private agencies. 

Public Child Welfare Agencies 

Public child welfare agencies are government-run organizations that provide a safety net for families when it comes to adoption. Children and teenagers in foster care are cared for by social services departments in each county and jurisdiction. Those who are unable to be reunited with their birth families are frequently offered up for adoption. 

Numerous states, counties, and local child welfare services acknowledge that many applicants are great candidates to parent children in the system. The bureaucracy involved with governmental agencies has drawbacks, as are the long times it might take to finish the procedure. Benefits include the low or free cost of adoption, as well as occasional, short-term cash stipends to assist you in supporting your new child.

Private Agencies 

These are frequently non-profits that are licensed and controlled by the state in which they operate. Many adults choose to adopt through private adoption agencies, despite the fact that they are more expensive because applicants are generally treated nicely and have some choice over the newborn or youngster they adopt.

Which Child Is Right for Us?

Consider the sort of child you’d be most suited to raising. Please keep in mind that adopting a child is mainly for the kid’s benefit, not your own. Will she eventually flourish with you as her parent if she has physical, emotional, or mental challenges? Are you willing to give him the spotlight if he has a strong desire for it? 

Would you consider adopting a child who has a sibling or multiple siblings? Do you insist on adopting a girl rather than a boy, or vice versa? Are you ready to raise a straight adolescent, or are you more accepting of the types of children that require a stable, caring home? The more adaptable you are, the better your prospects of both you and the child succeeding.

Will I Be Able To Provide All of the Kids’ Necessities?

Adoption is considerably more expensive than purchasing clothing, giving a weekly allowance, or saving for college, though these are essential as well. Is it possible to love a child unconditionally? Are you willing to become involved in activities in which your child excels? Can you act as an educational advocate for your child in the school system? 

Can you set and maintain appropriate boundaries with love? Are you ready to be vulnerable with your child fully? Will you and your partner share these responsibilities for your new child if you’re married? If you responded “yes” to these adoption questions, you’re undoubtedly ready to invest in your child. 

Even if you have the best intentions and genuinely want to care for a kid, you should examine if you’re in a secure enough position to do so. Parents are accountable for their children’s financial, emotional and physical well-being. Be truthful with yourself. Do you have the financial stability, time, and emotional resources to raise a kid for the rest of his or her life?

Do I Have the Patience To Wait for the Child to Love Me Back?

Some children, particularly those beyond the age of five, have difficulty relating to and trusting new people. Are you prepared for your older kid to have some reservations about you and your devotion to them? Are you willing to wait for them to reciprocate your feelings?

Will My Family and Community Accept the Child I Adopted?

Will your friends and relatives accept your new family unit if you’re a member of the LGBTQ community considering a same-sex adoption? Is there anything in your neighborhood (such as LGBTQ services, spiritual centers, or schools) that could be beneficial to you and your child? 

When embarking on new experiences, it’s beneficial to have a support system, as it is with most things. Consider whether your family and friends would be supportive of your adoption decision. Is your community going to be a source of comfort and support at this time? Will your family and community embrace the child once he or she arrives?

Dos and Don’ts When Adopting a Child

Dos Don’ts
Make it as simple as possible for a future birth mother to get in touch with you. It’s handy to invite her to call collect, but she still needs to go through an operator. Instead, use a toll-free number, which is more direct. Unless it links directly to you and you’re able to speak honestly, don’t provide a company number on your letter.
Consider acquiring a cell phone number that you may call at any time of day. The majority of pregnant women who call you will only give you one chance to answer the phone. If you don’t answer the phone, they’re unlikely to contact you again. Don’t include your adoption agency’s phone number in your letter. You can do so if you wish, but it won’t help you much because most women who call you want to speak to you directly, not to a third party or an answering machine.
If you’re a couple, make it a point for the female spouse to do all the phone chatting. A possible birth mother will be able to relate to her better, especially if she has had previous issues with males. Don’t make the mistake of forgetting to take notes. This will help sort out what was stated at a later time, as well as alert you to any potential gaps or discrepancies.
Do remember that, while raising an adopted kid necessitates different abilities, the essential components—love, understanding, empathy, and support—remain the same. Don’t forget to notify your adoption practitioner and licensee as soon as possible if you have the beginnings of an adoption scenario. They can point out certain warning signs, provide ideas and generally assist you in determining whether the individual who phoned you is indeed pregnant and contemplating adoption.


Pro Tip

“Answering all these questions before proceeding with the adoption to ensure that you’re really ready.”


Will I Be Able To Complete the Adoption Placement Counselling Successfully?

Before and after you adopt, all adoption agencies, both private and public, will need you to undergo some therapy. Do you appreciate the help, or do you find it intrusive?

Am I Ready for This Journey?

While adoption can be quick and painless, no two situations are alike. It can be impossible to foresee how yours will play out. Families might wait anywhere from a few weeks to several years for the right match. Even if you’re matched, you may have emotional ups and downs. 

If you aren’t totally dedicated, it might be discouraging and costly to continue the process, so be sure it’s something you feel is worthwhile. Adoption isn’t limited to children. Because there’s no analogous provision in the act for potential adoptees over the age of 18, young people in the child welfare system confront enormous problems when they age out of foster care.

What’s Restricting Me From Adopting?

There are restrictions on who can join some organizations. Adoptive parents must be in excellent health and pass background checks. Some agencies demand that the family and the adoptee be of a substantial age gap. Certain agencies may have more strict criteria than others, so get in touch with a few before making a final selection.

What Age Do I Want the Child To be?

Some adoptive parents have always imagined themselves with a baby, while others prefer an older kid, yet others have no choice. Is it vital to you to raise a kid from the moment he or she is born? Have you considered adopting a kid who is a toddler, teenager, or older?

Will I Be Comfortable Communicating With the Child’s Birth Parents?

This shows whether you want an open adoption, closed adoption, or semi-open adoption. Would you like to learn more about the birth parents’ background and medical history? Do you want to talk to them during your pregnancy or meet them at the hospital when your baby is born? 

Would you be interested in maintaining communication or developing a connection after the placement? This may also be dependent on who the birth parents are and what they want. It’s essential to consider how this relationship may impact your child.

FAQs When Considering Child Adoption

FAQ: Questions to Ask Yourself if You’re Considering Adoption

Home study can be walked through by a provincially approved adoption practitioner. In certain jurisdictions, like Ontario, you can locate one through an adoption agency or on your own. You’ll need an adoption licensee or agency to help you with the legal procedures, depending on which path you select. 

You can seek help from a variety of people, organizations, and individuals. An excellent place to start is the Adoption Council of Canada. Also, inquire about what governmental and private adoption agencies, adoption licenses, and adoption practitioners have to offer.

Adoption in Canada is divided into five categories: public (welfare), private (agency), international (adoption from another country), stepchild adoption, adoption of birth relatives (kinship adoption), and international adoption (from another country).

The procedure of domestic adoption is similar throughout Canada, although it varies based on the agency or province with which you’re working. Applicants who use public adoption agencies have to attend initial intake meetings when the agency will explain the adoption process and give them an estimate of how long they’ll have to wait. 

Applicants must next fill out the formal agency application. Adoptive parents in Ontario must complete a 27-hour educational course known as Parent Resources for Information, Development, and Education (PRIDE). Other provinces’ agencies also need a comparable training program. 

A home visit by an adoption professional or a social worker is the next stage, which is frequently done in conjunction with PRIDE training. Applicants must give autobiographical statements, a physical test, a police clearance check, a minimum of five letters of reference, and approval from the Children’s Aid Society during the home visit. 

Applicants must meet an adoption licensee after the home visit is completed. For international adoptions, adoptees should get hold of the international agency before the home visit is conducted to verify that the country’s eligibility criteria are satisfied during the home visit. 

Depending on what kind of adoption and which province you live in, the procedure might take anywhere from nine months to nine years. A report gets produced and given to the adoption practitioner or agency to be approved once the casework is done. It’s not up to one person to decide whether or not to accept a family.

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