2,500 Children and Youth Waiting for Adoptive Parents in Ontario

    November is Adoption Awareness Month

    TORONTO, Nov. 1 /CNW/ - During Adoption Awareness Month, the Ontario
Association of Children's Aid Societies (OACAS) and its member agencies remind
Ontarians that more families are needed to adopt children and youth in care.
    In Ontario, approximately 2,500 Crown wards are ready for adoption and
continue to live in foster, kinship or group home care. Of these, 34% are
children between 6-12 years of age and 20% are aged 13-18 years.
    "There are so many children and youth in the care of Ontario's Children
Aid Societies dreaming of being adopted," said Jeanette Lewis, Executive
Director of the OACAS. "We need more families to adopt older children and
youth, sibling groups and children of diverse culture and heritage."
    Parents from diverse cultural backgrounds, single parents or same-sex
parents are encouraged to consider adoption. Adoptive parents who have the
capacity to adopt children with special needs, sibling groups or older
children are also desired.
    "The incredible privilege of having a wonderful family of five sons ages
34 to 48, and six fabulous grandchildren has totally enriched my life," said
Bob Smith, a single parent and adoptive father of five including three
brothers. Smith, a retired businessman and Director of the Laidlaw Foundation,
added, "for me, the immense rewards far outweigh the challenges of raising
adolescent, young men who came into my life at ages 10 to 19."
    Ontario's Children's Aid Societies (CASs) use a standardized home study
assessment process and education program for families wanting to adopt: the
Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education (PRIDE) training
program and the Structured Assessment Family Evaluation (SAFE) program for
assessing prospective foster, kin, customary care and adoptive families. Last
year, Ontario's CASs approved more than 1,400 families as potential adoptive
parents and placed approximately 800 children and youth in previously approved
adoptive homes.
    Ontario's CASs are always looking for permanent homes for children and
youth of all ages and for the best possible match of parent and child. Many
elements are taken into consideration to facilitate the adoption process such
as the culture and heritage of the child and adoptive family, the potential
relationship with the birth family and relatives, and the need for special
health services and educational supports.
    If you are considering adoption, please contact your local Children's Aid
Society for more information or visit www.oacas.org.

For further information:

For further information: Marcelo Gomez-Wiuckstern, Communications
Manager, (416) 987-9648

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Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies

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