Permanent Ward Adoption
What is Adoption?
Adoption is the legal and permanent transfer of parental rights from an agency to another person or couple. Adoptive parents have the same responsibilities and legal rights as biological parents.
What is the difference between foster care and adoption?
Foster care is a temporary arrangement where a child resides with a caregiver family until the child is able to reunite with his or her family, the child is placed on a long-term basis with extended family, or the child is adopted. While in foster care, either the child’s parents or a child and family services agency will be the child’s legal guardian.
Adoption is a lifelong commitment where the child becomes a permanent, legal member of the adoptive family.
While both foster care and adoption involve taking a child or children into your home, each process has its own distinct requirements and expectations. If you are interested in adoption, please contact your local child and family services agency further information.
Who are children available for adoption?
In order to be available for adoption a child must be a permanent ward a child and family services agency (e.g. parental rights have been terminated) and be registered with the Central Adoption Registry. Children of all ages are on the registry, but the greatest need is for placements for children over the age of six years. Both male and female children are available, some in sibling groups. Some children on the registry have a variety of support needs associated with, but not limited to:
- Limited birth parent or family history information
- Traumatic experiences
- Diagnosed/undiagnosed emotional or behavioural problems
- Unknown predisposition to certain genetic factors
- Developmental or cognitive delay
- Physical disability
- Prenatal exposure to substances
- Medical health problems
In addition, many children come from backgrounds that may include:
- Emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse
- Multiple placements
Can I adopt my foster child?
Most children in foster care are not eligible to be adopted. The agency's first priority if a child cannot be returned to his/her biological parents is to seek out extended family members, or someone from that child's community, to care for the child on a long-term basis. Only when all family and community options have been exhausted can the agency consider another plan for the child. Foster parents can only be considered at this point if certain criteria are met. If you are interested in becoming an adoptive parent, you can talk to your local child and family services agency about applying to be placed on the provincial adoption registry.