Adoptive Parents > Preparation

Anyone who wishes to adopt in the province of Ontario must become "adopt ready".  This is required regardless of whether your adoption plan is to adopt through the public system or the private system.  To become adopt ready you must complete an adoption education training program called PRIDE and you must also have a homestudy completed by a licensed adoption practitioner.  PRIDE and the homestudy may be done at the same time, however the homestudy can only be finalized once you have completed your PRIDE training.

It is important to understand that individuals who complete their PRIDE training and their homestudy in the private system can use this certification in the public system.  Given the backlog of adoption applicants in the public system and the limited resources available to the government of Ontario for adoption purposes, the wait time to have your PRIDE training and homestudy completed can sometimes be significant.  Therefore, many of our clients choose to have their PRIDE training and homestudy done in the private system so they can become adopt ready sooner.   Another advantage of having your PRIDE training and homestudy done in the private system is that once completed and you are "adopt ready" you may adopt from any of the nearly 50 child welfare agencies (CAS branches) in the province, allowing you access to the profiles of many more children waiting to be adopted!

Finally, it may be possible for a homestudy completed in the public system to be used in a private adoption.  However, the child welfare agencies typically do not provide the homestudy they completed on your behalf to you.  They will typically release it to a requesting private adoption practitioner on your behalf.  However, if your intent includes the possibly to adopt in the private system, more than likely, the public system will not prioritize you as there is a significant queue of adoptive applicants waiting to adopt solely in the public system.


P.R.I.D.E. (Parenting Resources for Information, Development & education) is a 27 hour group training program that is designed to share knowledge and teach skills to prospective adoptive parents in these five essential categories of competence:

  • Protecting and nurturing children
  • Meeting children’s developmental needs and addressing developmental delays
  • Supporting relationships between children and their birth families
  • Connecting children to safe, nurturing relationships intended to last a lifetime
  • Working as a member of a professional team

Ideally, adoptive applicants engage in PRIDE training simultaneously with the homestudy.  However, you may start and even complete PRIDE training prior to starting the homestudy.  PRIDE training is offered by a number of adoption practitioners in Ontario.  At this time, our adoption practitioner Helen Dawkes-Brown is not offering PRIDE training.  Adoptive applicants may choose to do PRIDE  training offered anywhere in the province of Ontario allowing you to choose a session that meets your time frame needs the best.  Given that PRIDE is infrequently offered in Ottawa, many of our clients do choose to attend a session in the Toronto area where they are offered more frequently. To learn about dates, locations, & fees, please click here.  

The Homestudy

All adoptive applicants must participate in a homestudy which is conducted by a licensed adoption practitioner using a format called S.A.F.E. (Structured Analysis Family Evaluation).  The homestudy report forms the basis upon which the Director of the Ontario Ministry of Child and Youth Services approves the applicant(s)’ eligibility and suitability to adopt a child.  The homestudy serves the purposes of providing adoptive applicants: 

  1. with adoption/parenting education,
  2. an opportunity for self assessment regarding their values/philosophies about child rearing,
  3. an opportunity for the adoption practitioner to assess the adoptive applicants’ readiness for adoption. 

The home study typically involves four (but sometimes 5 or more) 2 to 3 hour sessions, of which the final session is held at your home. During these sessions, in depth discussions take place between the adoption practitioner and the applicants regarding the applicants’ motivation for adoption, personal histories, spousal relationship (if applicable), finances, home environment, ideas on child rearing and relevant adoption related issues. Upon completion of the sessions, the adoption practitioner presents an assessment of the applicants’ plan and makes a recommendation to the applicants. The adoption practitioner then prepares a home study report, which the adoptive applicants review and consent to before it is forwarded (along with specific documentation such as medical and police reports, child welfare record checks and reference letters) to the applicants’ agency of choice. 

When a family wants to adopt a second time, a home study update is necessary.  (Note: PRIDE training is not required again.)  The update generally involves one interview in the family’s home and the focus is on the parents’ adoption and parenting experience as well as the child’s development and well being.  The update can be started 9 months following the placement of the first child and further children can enter the family no sooner than 18 months from this first placement date. 

One of the primary services offered by The Adoption Source is the homestudy.  Our adoption practitioner Helen Dawkes-Brown is one of Ottawa's longest standing and most experienced practitioners in the adoption field having completed hundreds of homestudies over the past 20+ years.  Should you choose to work with The Adoption Source, Helen will strive to perform your homestudy in the utmost professional and compassionate manner.

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