Agencies and Workers
All adoption programs in Ontario are overseen by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS). MCYS recognizes that adoption process is a lengthy and emotional process and has taken a number of steps to ensure that families are well informed and protected.
In the case of private adoption licensees and private agencies the MCYS Private and International Adoption Unit requires that each adoption professional renew their license on an annual basis. In the case of licensees and agencies a full accounting of the agency’s operations and activities including audited financial statements must be provided.
International adoption agencies are private corporations licensed by the Ontario government to safely facilitate adoptions under the Intercountry Adoption Act
International adoption agencies are required to ensure all prospective adoptive families understand the licensing process, the roles and responsibilities of licensed agencies, and the financial and other risks sometimes associated with international adoption.
Agencies and licensees should be able to provide fact sheets or some form of written documentation to help families understand their adoption process and the agency's past experience with placements. Many agencies post this information on their website.
In the case of a Children’s Aid Society, each agency is a public agency with a board of directors. As such, each agency will produce an annual report outlining their operations of the past year and anticipated outcomes for the upcoming year. Additionally, the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies produces updated reports on the status of children in care in Ontario on an annual basis.
Despite all the government oversight, prospective adoptive families are often concerned about how to know if the agency they are considering is a good fit for them. Families are encouraged to make direct contact with staff at an agency and ask questions about their service model. If the agency hosts information sessions or provides individual consultations these are often an excellent way to get to know the agency and have your questions answered. Sessions at a CAS would have no cost but private agencies or licensees may have a fee for the information session.
Additionally, a number of websites in Ontario host forums to contact adoptive parents directly to ask specific questions about the adoption process and the reputation of a specific agency. Canadadopts and AdoptiveParents.ca are two such sites that may be invaluable in helping you select the agency that is right for you.