I'm thinking about adopting — FAQs

Here are some questions often asked by people considering becoming adoptive parents. The answers provided are a starting point. Many additional resources are available to provide you with a greater understanding of what is involved in adoption and guide you step-by-step through the process.

  1. How do I find a child to adopt?

    For public adoptions, please contact your local children's aid society to discuss your 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.

    For private adoptions, you should contact an approved licensed agency or practitioner.

    For international adoptions, a child is usually selected by authorities in the child’s country of origin based on the recommendation provided by the approved adoption agency or practitioner you are using.

    Families may want to explore all types of adoption before determining what best suits their needs.

  2. Do I have to use an agency?

    You must work with a children's aid society for a public adoption.

    For a private adoption, you must work with an Ontario agency or individual who is licensed to place a child for adoption. For international adoption, you must work with an Ontario agency licensed to facilitate adoptions from the child’s home country.

  3. How do I choose an agency?

    For public adoption, contact your local children's aid society. Here are the lists of private and international adoption agencies.

    You can also attend information sessions given by private licensees. Be sure to ask for references from agencies or adoption practitioners. Follow up and talk to other families who have used their services and generally to other families who have recently adopted.

  4. Where can I get step-by-step information about the entire adoption process?

    A step-by-step guide to the process can be found in the I’ve decided to adopt a child section.

    Adoption information sessions are also offered by your local children's aid society and private licensed agencies. The Adoption Council of Ontario also offers how-to-adopt sessions.

    If you are interested in learning more about international adoption, you can also arrange a consultation with an agency licensed for the country from which you wish to adopt a child. Always seek out the most up-to-date information as processes can change, particularly with international adoptions, where individual countries may change their legislation, policies and practices.

  5. How much does it cost to adopt a child?

    The cost varies greatly depending on which adoption route you choose.

    • Public — no cost
    • Private — $15,000 to $25,000
    • International — $20,000 to $50,000

  6. How long does it take to adopt a child?

    No two adoptions are exactly alike. There is no set length of time. It is not a first-come, first-served service.

    The overriding goal is to find the family that best meets the needs of an individual child and this can take time. Some families may be matched with a child within a year. But it can take several years, particularly in the case of international adoptions which are much more complex to complete.

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