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What is Adoption?
Adoption is the permanent legal transfer of all parental rights from one person or couple to another person or couple. Adoptive parents have the same rights and responsibilities as biological parents, and adopted children have all of the emotional, social, legal and kinship benefits of biological children.
Legislation and Regulation
Adoption in Canada is a provincially regulated issue. In Ontario, all domestic adoptions are governed by the Child and Family Services Act, part VII. International adoption by families in Ontario is governed by the Intercountry Adoption Act.
Since 2008, all domestic adoptions in Ontario have also been subject to the Access to Adoption Records Act mandating the free disclosure of adoption information to adoptees and birth parents once the adopted child reaches the age of 18.
Most regulation is performed by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services in accordance with provincial law, ministry standards and principles of good practise. Where applicable, the Ministry also ensures that international law and the Hague convention are adhered to.
Types of Adoption
There are four types of adoption in Ontario: Private Adoption, Public Adoption, International Adoption, and Relative Adoption (including step-parent adoption).
- Private Adoption is the process by which birth parents or expectant parents are connected with an adoptive family through the help of a adoption professional. Learn More
- Public Adoption is the process by which children living in foster care as a Crown Ward are connected with adoptive families through the help of the Children’s Aid Society. Learn More
- International Adoption is the process by which an Ontario family adopts a child from another country. Learn More
- Relative Adoption involves the adoption of a child by a step-parent or close relation. “Close relation” is defined in this context as a grandparent, aunt, uncle, great-aunt or great-uncle of the child. Any other relation must proceed through the private adoption system. Learn More