OACAS and ACO launch Adoption Awareness Month

Adoption is an option for children and youth in care

TORONTO, Nov. 3 /CNW/ - Every child deserves a family and that is why the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies (OACAS) and the Adoption Council of Ontario (ACO) are partnering to advance "one day, every child in Ontario will have a family."

During November, the OACAS and the ACO are promoting Adoption Awareness Month to remind Ontarians that adoption is an option for many children and youth in care.

"There are more than 9,200 Crown wards in Ontario and every one of them deserves a permanent family," said Jeanette Lewis, Executive Director, OACAS. "There are a number of ways to help children and youth find a family and adoption is one very important option."

The campaign aims to raise awareness of adoption and increase the number of children adopted. Resources and information for service providers are available to help improve families' experience of adoption; to make the connection for children in care to families looking to adopt; and to support families after they have adopted. The campaign will feature a public service announcement, brochure and on-line resources.

Children's Aid Societies (CASs) work with children and families and are responsible for placing children for adoption. The Adoption Council of Ontario works with CASs and adoption practitioners and other organizations, providing information and a service which helps match prospective parents to children waiting for families.

    
    At March 31, 2009, CASs placed 865 children with adoptive families, of
    them:
    -   628 children aged 0 to 5
    -   217 children aged 6 to 12
    -   16 youth aged 13 to 15
    -   4 youth aged 16 to 18
    

Ontario's Children's Aid Societies provide a free, public adoption system in Ontario, which includes support, training and education. CASs are always looking for permanent homes for children and youth of all ages and offer many options including adoption, kinship care arrangements, legal custody and long-term foster care. People interested in adoption are encouraged to contact their local agency for more information about the process, orientation or information evenings. AdoptOntario is also a valued resource for information that will help match people interested in adoption with waiting children.

QUOTES

"Our adoptive families, our children, are a great resource in this province. They need to be treated as such and given every opportunity to succeed." - Paula Schuck, adoptive mother and cofounder of the London Coalition of Adoptive Families and the Canadian Coalition of Adoptive Families.

"As a Crown ward, you dread certain dates but if you are adopted, those "cut off" dates aren't as worrisome because you are supported by your adoptive family." - Kelly, adopted at the age of 12*

"Adoption is peace of mind because you have somewhere permanent to go home to each day." - Michael, adopted at age 5*

"Adoption is 'the best' word you can hear because it means long-term and you no longer have to worry about always having to switch places." - Jessica, adopted at age 8*

"In an ideal world there would be no need for adoption, but in the meantime we need to stand up and support families to do the best job they can." - Lexi Deece-Cassidy, adoptive mom.

* Although actual quotes, names have been changed for privacy protection.

    
    For more information :
    -   Your local Children's Aid Society -
        www.oacas.org/childwelfare/locate.htm
    -   Adoption Council of Ontario - http://www.adoption.on.ca/
    -   Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies -
        http://www.oacas.org/childwelfare/adopt.htm
    

SOURCE Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies

For further information: For further information: Marcelo Gomez-Wiuckstern, Communications Director, Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies, (416) 987-9648, mgomez-wiuckstern@oacas.org, www.oacas.org; Pat Convery, Executive Director, Adoption Council of Ontario, (416) 482-0021 x 2666, pat.convery@adoptontario.ca, www.adoption.on.ca

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Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies

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