The relative adoption process differs from all other adoptions in Ontario in several important ways. Most significantly, a relative adoption can often be completed directly through the Ontario Family Court without the involvement of either a private adoption practitioner or a Children’s Aid Society. Relative adoptions are also the only adoptions in Ontario for which AdoptReady certification (including homestudy and adoption training) is not required.
To qualify for the relative adoption process, the adoptive parent must have one of the following relations to the child: step-parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, great-aunt, or great-uncle. If you are seeking to adopt a child to whom you are related in another way, you must contact a private adoption practitioner and proceed through the private adoption process, including AdoptReady certification.
Further, the relative adoption process is only available when the adoptive parents are currently residents of Ontario and the child is a legal resident within Canada. To adopt a child to whom you are related, but who is living in another country, you must proceed through the international adoption system. Please note that if there is no adoption practitioner who is currently licensed for the country in which the child resides, you should contact the Ministry of Children and Youth Services directly.
For more information on the relative adoption process you can find a Family Law Information Center (FLIC) in your area here.