Adoption Council of Canada

November 15, 2010 18:05 ET

Ontario Must Act Now to Find Homes for Waiting Children and Youth

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 15, 2010) - The Adoption Council of Canada would like to congratulate the Province of Ontario for its commitment, reiterated this month, to finding permanent and adoptive homes for the more than 8,000 children in its care. We hope the province will soon make the additional financial resources available and change the policies required to meet that commitment.

Raising Expectations, the report of the expert panel the province convened to find ways to help Ontarians build families, delivered a set of recommendations in 2009. Those recommendations provide the Minister of Children and Youth Services with the guidance she needs to act now. We applaud Ontario's Children's Aid Societies for doing critical work to find safe and loving homes for all our children – but they need more resources and additional legislative and regulatory support to focus more on adoption. 

We urge Premier Dalton McGuinty and Minister Laurel Broten to adopt the recommendations of the expert panel, particularly those that will result in increased numbers of Ontario children leaving foster care and finding permanent adoptive families.

We particularly ask the province to:

  • Remove the legal obstacles to finding adoptive homes for children and youth whose birth relatives still have access to them;
  • Centralize adoption services, so that more qualified families who want to adopt are more easily matched with waiting children in care of all agencies across Ontario;
  • Mandate guaranteed subsidies that follow children from foster care into permanent homes, to provide families with the supports they need to help children and youth succeed (counselling, respite, drug coverage, educational assistance);
  • Focus particularly on permanency for older children and youth. No child is unadoptable – no one should age out of the foster care system without a family. Fund training for CAS workers in partnership with AdoptOntario and the Adoption Council of Canada on recruitment techniques that work to find families for these children and youth.
  • Financially support evidence-based practices that work, such as Canada's Waiting Children, the ACC's national photolisting service that complements AdoptOntario's provincial listing, and the Heart Gallery of Canada, a touring photographic gallery of waiting children.

Finding permanent and adoptive homes for Ontario children in care is a complex task that requires a partnership approach. The Adoption Council of Canada would be pleased to work with Ontario, as it does with the Adoption Council of Ontario, to champion innovative approaches and evidence-based practices that we know result in more adoptive and permanent homes for our kids.

The Adoption Council of Canada is the only national non-profit organization dedicated to serving the needs of adoptive families, adoptees, birth families and waiting children. Unfortunately, we receive support from only one province – Alberta – to continue our work in linking potential adoptive families to waiting children, through Canada's Waiting Children. Canada's Waiting Children has a success rate of 85 percent in placing children that we list.

In 2009, 11 Ontario children referred to Canada's Waiting Children were placed in adoptive homes, saving taxpayers – and the province – an estimated $4.9 million(1). Currently, Ontario does not provide Canada's Waiting Children, the service that helps find adoptive families for those children, with any financial support.

Can the province really afford not to support this vital service?

(1) That figure is based on the average cost of $44,830 per year to keep a child in foster care, multiplied by the number of years each child would have stayed in care until aging out of the system at age 18.

Contact Information

  • Adoption Council of Canada
    Sarah Pedersen
    Acting Executive Director
    1-888-542-3678
    info@adoption.ca
    or
    Adoption Council of Canada
    Laura Eggertson
    Director
    613-523-9336
    eggerts@trytel.com