Adoptive Parents > FAQs

Is a homestudy prepared by a private practitioner valid for the public system? 

Yes it is. The S.A.F.E. homestudy assessment tool is used both by the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) and private practitioners.  Therefore, if you are interested in adopting a child through a CAS, but you don’t want to wait as long as it often takes to begin your homestudy through the CAS, you are able to expedite this process by having your homestudy completed by a private practitioner.

Can we start our homestudy while undergoing fertility treatment?

Since fertility treatment can be highly stressful and the homestudy process can also be fairly intensive, it is best to finish with your fertility treatment before starting your homestudy.  Also, when making the decision to adopt a child, it is essential that you are able to accept your adopted child for who he/she is rather than as a replacement for the biological child that you did not have.  For most people, it is through your acceptance of your loss of producing a biological child that you are able to do that.  If you are still seeking fertility treatment, you are most probably not at the stage where you have accepted this loss.  For these reasons, we strongly recommend that you start your homestudy once you have completed your fertility treatments.   (If you wish to read further on this, please click here to download a reading called "The Psychological Pregnancy" as you may find this helpful.)

However, educating yourself about adoption can definitely be started during fertility treatments.  Furthermore, if you wish to move forward with the adoption process, then we recommend that you take your PRIDE training during this time in order to engage in the learning process and then begin the homestudy once you finished treatment.

Do we have to have a definite adoption plan prior to beginning the home study? 

No.  By engaging in the home study experience, you will gather information on various options and clarify your priorities, which will allow you to make decisions that are best for you and your future child. 

Can we work with more than one licensee? 

Yes.  This creates the potential for reaching out to more birth parents but you will incur more costs this way, as each licensee will require a retainer when you submit your profiles. 

Can we pursue public and private adoption at the same time? 

Yes.  You can submit your profile to a licensee or licensed agency and be registered with the CAS at the same time but you can only adopt one child at a time from any source. Furthermore, the Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) will only allow you to adopt one child within an 18 month period.  This rule does not apply to sibling groups.

Can we pursue local and international adoption at the same time? 

Yes. You can submit your profile to a domestic licensee and be registered with an international adoption agency at the same time, but you can only adopt one child within an 18 month period, except for sibling groups.

How long is a home study valid for? 

Once a home study for international adoption has been approved by MCYS, it is valid for 18 months from the date of approval. A home study that has been completed for domestic adoption is not reviewed by MCYS until a match has been made. If the match occurs more than two years after completion of the original homestudy report, the references, medical, and police documentation have to be updated. In addition, an updated homestudy report has to be submitted, reflecting any changes in the applicants’ situation and the details of the match. 


Is there a waiting time between each adoption? 

Yes.  MCYS stipulates that placement of children in their adoptive homes should be at least 18 months apart. For the subsequent adoption(s), the update to the original home study can be started after nine months from the previous placement date. 

Are there age limits for adoptive applicants? 

For domestic adoption, there are not any age limits imposed by legislation, although birth parents may place their own limitations in this decision. For international adoption, every country has its own regulations for foreign adoptive applicants including age of applicants.  It is essential that you learn the requirements for adoptive applicants of each prospective country you are considering adopting from before you commit to an adoption agency.

What is open adoption? 

Open adoption is when birth parents and adoptive parents share contact information with each other and pursue an ongoing relationship throughout the adopted child's life.  Typically, when possible, adoptions today are "open", however the degree of openness varies from situation.  The parameters around the ongoing relationship a birth parent(s) has with their child is discussed and agreed upon with the adoptive parents at the time of the adoption.  There is increasing evidence that openness is in the best interest of the long term development of adopted children.

Can we work with a licensee or licensed agency in another province? 

Yes although it adds complexity and expense to the process.  The legislation governing adoption in that province will apply to you. As well, you will have to also have to arrange for an adoption licensee or agency in Ontario to assist you in the process.

How long does it take to adopt a child domestically? 

In private adoption, there is not a time frame that can be given as a match occurs when birth parents choose you.  In public adoption the time frame is dependent on when the CAS determines that you are a good match for a particular child. In this sense both public and private domestic adoptions can be a more frustrating process than an international adoption where a general time line for adopting a child is known.


Can a single person adopt?

Yes.  For international adoption, you will have to check which countries are open to single adoptive applicants. For domestic private adoption, it is up to the discretion of the birth parents. For public adoption, you can apply to any CAS in Ontario and single individuals are welcomed.

Can a homosexual couple or single adopt?

Yes.  Homosexual couples or singles can adopt and we will help you with your adoption plan.   However, the best options are through the public system via Children's Aid Society (CAS) as well as private domestic adoption.  While there are currently no international adoption opportunities for homosexuals, we try to regularly review this and will update our website should this change.

Can we adopt from other provinces?

Yes.  An Ontario resident can adopt from all other provinces in Canada except Quebec.  However there are special procedures, additional costs and some limitations that can be involved in adopting from another province.  We are happy to help you with this process. 

Can our child access identifying information about his/her birth parents in the future? 

Yes.  As of May 2008, adoption records in Ontario became open. This means that adopted adults and birth parents can apply for information from birth and adoption records if the adoption was registered in Ontario.  For more information, click here.  In addition, adopted adults and birth parents can apply to the Adoption Disclosure Register if they want to exchange contact information with each other.   For access to necessary forms click here

Can adoptive parents obtain identifying information about their child's birth family?

Yes.  Adoptive parents are also entitled to apply for specific information about their child’s adoption and birth history.  For access to necessary forms click here. 

What are the roles of the Adoption Practitioner?

The Adoption Practitioner is responsible for assessing and recommending adoptive applicants to the Ontario Ministry of Youth Services (MYCS) for adoption. 

What is the role of the Adoption Agency / Domestic Licensee?

The Adoption Agency / Domestic Licensee has the role of managing and facilitating the adoption from the beginning to the end.  They manage the legal and administrative components of the adoption.

What is the role of the Ontario Ministry of Youth Services?

The Ontario Ministry of Youth Services (MYCS) has the following roles:

  • Issuing Letters of Approval for adoption.
  • Issuing approval of proposed adoption placements.
  • Licensing adoption agencies and adoption licensees.

Are adoption fees tax deductible?

Yes.  You can review the details for this claim by clicking here.  

Are there government subsidies available to assist families with supporting their adopted child?

Yes, in June, 2012 the Ontario government introduced a new subsidy that is provided to eligible parents who adopt Crown wards 10 years of age and older.  For more information click here.

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