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How do I adopt a child in Ontario?

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How do I adopt a child in Ontario?
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Adoption Council of Ontario
Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies

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How do I adopt a child in Ontario?
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Reviewed: 
May 15, 2018
Answer

When you adopt a child, you permanently take over all legal rights and responsibilities to parent that child. You are called an “adoptive parent”.

To adopt a child in Ontario, you must be a resident of Ontario and over 18 years of age.  

You can adopt as an individual or as a couple. But, no more than 2 people can adopt a child.

Your age, health and financial situation are some of the things that are taken into account before you are approved to adopt a child.  But you cannot be denied the right to adopt a child because of your race, gender, sexual orientation, physical disability, or because you are not married.

Different ways to adopt

There are 4 ways to adopt a child in Ontario:

  • Public adoption
  • Private adoption
  • International adoption
  • Family adoption

The way you adopt a child can affect things such as the amount of time and money it takes to adopt a child. For example, a private or international adoption usually costs more than a public or family adoption.

The way you adopt can also affect the adoption process. For example, private and international adoptions are approved by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. Public adoptions are approved by a Children’s Aid Society. And family adoptions, when the child being adopted lives in Ontario, are approved by the court.

If you chose a public, private, or international adoption, you must:

  • take a parent training course, and
  • get a home study

But if you are adopting a child living in Ontario from a family member, you usually do not have to do any courses or get a  home study.

Before you adopt a child, think about things like whether you are ready to:

  • give a child a secure, nurturing, and loving home
  • make a long-term commitment to a child
  • take on the responsibilities of supporting and raising a child
  • start a multi-step adoption process

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