Adoption Information

Information on the Processes For Different Types of Adoption

Private Domestic Adoption

Private domestic adoption is a process by which a child’s biological family makes a decision to develop an adoption plan for their child, usually at the time of birth.

Private domestic adoption is facilitated by an individual licensee or domestic agency licensed by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, to place children for adoption.  Private domestic adoptions are on a fee for service basis and are mostly the placements of newborn infants.

Private domestic adoption is an adoption of a child who is “resident of Canada” by Ontario residents. Part VIII of the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, 2017 (CYFSA) and the CYFSA regulations provide the legal framework for all adoptions by Ontario residents that are finalized in Ontario.

To complete a private domestic adoption - prospective adoptive applicants must be AdoptReady.  Requirements for adoption applicants must include:

Being selected by a 
biological parent wishing 
to place her child for 

A willingness to meet with the biological parent(s) and to work on a mutually agreed upon plan for contact after the birth of the baby (Openness Agreement)

Working with a licensee who 
will prepare and submit a 
Proposal to the ministry 
regarding the proposed 
placement.  A Proposal is a 
comprehensive package of 
all required documents for 
prospective adoptive 
applicants and the 
biological family

Receiving ministry approval 
before the baby can be 
placed with the adoptive 

Intercountry Adoption

Intercountry adoption involves the adoption of a child, who is resident in a foreign country, by prospective adoptive applicants who are residents of Ontario. Intercountry adoptions are facilitated by intercountry adoption agencies, licensed through the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services to facilitate adoptions from specific foreign countries.

Intercountry adoption agencies are also required to be accredited in the foreign country.  Children are usually selected by authorities in the child’s country of origin based on the recommendation of an approved Adoption. Intercountry adoptions are on a fee for service basis.

The Child, Youth and Family Services Act also applies to prospective adoptive applicants finalizing an intercountry adoption in Ontario.  The Intercountry Adoption Act applies to Ontario prospective adoptive applicants finalizing an intercountry adoption in the child’s country of origin.

To complete an intercountry adoption, prospective adoptive applicants must:

Work with a ministry-licensed intercountry adoption agency

Have an adoption homestudy completed by a ministry approved adoption practitioner

Obtain a ministry Director’s approval for the applicant(s)’ eligibility and suitability to adopt based on the homestudy

Child Welfare Adoption

Child welfare adoptions involves the adoption of a child or youth in the care of Ontario’s child welfare system.  Typically there are no fees associated with public adoptions.

Children’s Aid Societies facilitate the adoption of a child or youth in their care which includes – recruitment and assessment of prospective adoptive applicants; matching children with prospective applicants; supervising adoption placements and providing post-adoption services including financial supports for some families.

The children available for adoption through the public system are generally past the stage of early infancy. These children will be aware of their environment, caregivers and any changes that take place in their environment.  An older child may bring with him or her a history of abuse, depravation, multiple placements, institutionalization, developmental delays and other challenges.

For public adoptions, prospective adoptive applicants can call their local children’s aid society or a private adoption practitioner, to discuss their interest in adopting.  There are also other supports available such as the Adoption Resource Exchange and AdoptOntario that focus on matching children in need of adoption with the appropriate family.

PRIDE (Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education) Pre-Service Training Program

PRIDE is a mandatory adoption and fostering preparation and ongoing educational program.  The PRIDE curriculum for prospective applicants is a 27 hour training program that provides education about foster parenting and all forms of adoption. 

To view a schedule for PRIDE pre-service training sessions, please click the link below to review the PRIDE training schedule listed on AdoptOntario.

Schedule PRIDE Pre-Service Training

The PRIDE curriculum provides information to help prepare all prospective parents for the 
responsibilities involved in raising their children and incorporates information about:

Adoption and child welfare systems, processes and laws

Attachment as a central
issue in all adoptions

Loss issues in adoption

Child development, child management and an overview of issues specific to the need of adopted children

The effects of neglect, lack of stimulation, abuse, institutionalization on children

Identity formation and importance of cultural and racial awareness

ready to get started?

If you'd like to take the next step, view the adoption services we offer or our comprehensive list of adoption resources.

Adoption Services Resources