Adoption needed for older children

    A 'forever family' for every child

    TORONTO, April 24 /CNW/ - When considering adoption most families believe
the younger the child, the better. The Adoption Council of Ontario wants to
dispel that myth by raising the awareness of the considerable benefits to
adopting an older child.
    In Ontario, there are approximately 2,500 children waiting to be adopted.
"There are no unwanted children, just unfound families," said Pat Convery,
Executive Director of the Adoption Council of Ontario (ACO), "We need to do a
better job of informing families about the rewards of adoption, especially the
adoption of older children. These are children that want and need permanent
loving families", she added.
    Adoption advocates Maryanne and Zoe Bourgeois want to let people know
that there are wonderful life experiences to be had by adopting an older child
and adding to a family. Zoe, who was adopted as a teenager, spent nine and a
half years in New Brunswick's foster care system before being adopted by
Maryanne, who is an adoptee herself. The two are in Ontario to inspire
families attending an ACO hosted Education Day -- A Family for Me on Saturday
April 25th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
    "Every child needs a family, and now that I am adopted I feel like a
normal teenager", said Zoe. Her mother adds, "Adoption is simply the
development of a loving and stable relationship between an adult and a child.
It does not have to be any more complicated than that as long as there is
love, respect and a willingness to communicate".

    There are many benefits to adopting an older child:
    -  Older children have clear interests that can be more easily matched
       with those of a prospective adoptive family
    -  Older children can do things as part of a family right from the start
    -  When adopting through a children's aid society, extensive medical
       history is available
    -  Children with special needs typically have been receiving specialized
       care according to their needs

    "Over the past three years only 42 of the 262 children we have placed for
adoption have been between the ages of six and twelve", said David Rivard,
Chief Executive Officer of the Children's Aid Society of Toronto. "We believe
that there is a family out there for all of our eligible children, and we are
working hard everyday to find those families", he added.

    The Adoption Council of Ontario is a non-profit charitable organization
formed in 1987 that educates, supports, and connects those touched by adoption
in Ontario, by providing information, programs and resources. The organization
operates Adopt Ontario, a Ministry funded program that actively connects
families with children in the care of Ontario's children's aid societies via Last year, 3,000 people registered on the Adopt Ontario
website to view waiting children.

    The Children's Aid Society of Toronto is one of the largest child welfare
organizations in North America. It is an incorporated not-for-profit agency
governed by a volunteer board of directors and funded by the Province of
Ontario. Last year CAS of Toronto served more than 26,000 children and almost
12,000 families across the city of Toronto.

For further information:

For further information: Melanie Persaud, Melanie Persaud
Communications, (for Adoption Council of Ontario), (416) 358-8520; Rob
Thompson, Director, Communications, Children's Aid Society of Toronto, (416)
924-4640 ext.2086,

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