What is Adoption?

Adoption is a legal process whereby the status of parentage is changed. When an adoption order is granted, the adopted child becomes the child of the adoptive parent and the adoptive parent becomes the parent of the adopted child. The adopted child ceases to be the child of the previous parent before the adoption order was made and that person ceases to be the parent of the adopted child, except where the person is the spouse of the adoptive parent. The adoption of a child can have significant impact on access issues, support issues and estate issues as well.

Process of Adoption

The process of obtaining an adoption order differs depending on the circumstances. There are three categories of adoption applications: Family adoptions, where the applicant is a relative of the adoptive child; Adult adoptions, where the adoptive child is over 18 years old; and Society adoptions, where the child has been placed for adoption by a Children’s Aid Society or a licensee. An adoption:

  • may be the result of a child protection proceeding;
  • may be commenced by a parent and a step-parent;
  • may be between family members;
  • may involve a child from a different country or may be related to people who live Ontario.

The circumstances of a particular case will determine the process and which laws are engaged.

Types of Adoption

Adoption is a serious process with significant practical, legal and emotional impacts. Adoption orders are final and irrevocable, subject only to limited right to appeal. When you start to think about adoption it is important that you seek the advice of a family lawyer.

  • Private Adoption

    A private adoption involves working with a private adoption agency to find suitable birth parents. The adoptive parents undergo thorough screening in a process known as a home study before being matched with different birth parents. These private adoptions are regulated by the government under the Ontario Child, Youth and Family Services Act. The adoptive parents must work with a private adoption licensee who help navigate the process

  • Inter-Provincial Adoption

    Children can also be placed inter-provincially for adoption. In such a case, the adoptive parent may have made a connection with a birth parent who is outside of Ontario. The private adoption licensee can help to explore this option on behalf of the birth parent or the adoptive parents.

  • Step-Parent Adoption

    At Frenkel Tobin, we can help process stepparent adoptions. We work with families to assist in completing the required documents, obtaining all the necessary consents from all necessary parties, and filing everything with the appropriate court. We can also assist in changing the adopted child’s name.

  • Relative adoption

    It involves a relative adopting a child without going through the process of a homestudy. At Frenkel Tobin, we can assist you to adopt a child that is related to you without being approved by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services as an appropriate parent.