Welcome changes coming to provincial adoption system

If you are trying to adopt a child here in Ontario, you probably already realize how the enormous amounts of red tape can be discouraging to prospective parents.

A Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth sees a key problems as having no central agency overseeing provincial adoptions. In its place are 47 different children’s aid societies serving the regions. Implementing a centralized adoption process would streamline the arduous process.

But new legislation could cause more local kids to find forever homes with adoptive parents. Issues are currently being addressed by a consultant and legislative changes could take place as soon as this month.

At present, according to province authorities, roughly 6,000 kids are languishing in the system, waiting for adoptive parents. Yet it’s estimated that only 1,500 families have been approved for adoption.

Children’s Aid societies are even encouraging families to go through with international adoptions due to the convoluted processes that can take several years. Meanwhile, children desperate for homes are aging out of the system without ever finding permanent homes.

The Ministry expanded the program of Targeted Subsidies to $1,035 each month instead of $950, as well as families’ income threshold if they adopt or assume legal custody of at least two siblings and kids who are older than 7 years.

If you are struggling to get through the process, take heart. Changes are in the works and there is a light at the end of the long, dark adoption tunnel. Retaining a lawyer to help you navigate the system can also be beneficial for some prospective adoptive parents.

Source: City News, “Adoption system in Ontario riddled with red tape, needs overhaul: Children's advocate,” Sep. 28, 2016

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