Permanency Planning/Adoption

Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (NCFST) recognizes the historic abuse of adoption practices directed towards First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities. NCFST will make exhaustive efforts to ensure that a child remains connected to their caregiver, family, band or identified community and shall consider openness orders or agreements before the child is placed on adoption. The child, if over the age of 7, will be provided with their own legal counsel through the Office of the Children’s Lawyer (OCL) to ensure their voice is heard during the process.

In rare situations where reunification of a child with their biological parents or alternative care providers is not successful through adoption may be considered.

Adoption provides the legal means for another family to permanently take on the care and raising of a child. At times, a child will be voluntarily placed on adoption with the consent of both the biological parents and band (adoption on consent). When the biological parents and band do not agree with adoption, the matter will be brought to court.  Only children on Extended Society Care are eligible to be placed for adoption.
For more information on the adoption process, please see the MCCSS’s adoption resources.

Steps Towards Adoption

To preserve and nurture an Aboriginal child’s identity, culture and traditions, NCFST will only consider Aboriginal applicants when placing children on adoption.  Applicants must be prepared to maintain connections to the family of origin and/or identified Aboriginal community or band. This is a life long commitment.  Adopt candidates must satisfactorily complete a SAFE home study and PRIDE pre-service training.

Before placing a child on adoption, NCFST engages in a thorough matching process to ensure candidates can best meet the needs of the child. Under the recent changes to the Child, Youth and Family Services Act (CYFSA), birth parents and bands will be strongly encouraged to participate in the matching process and provide their input and guidance.

A child is placed with a family for a probationary period. Adoption probation usually lasts several months allowing the Permanency Planning Worker to assess the relationship and to determine if the candidates are actively meeting the needs of the child.

When the adopted family has successfully completed the probationary period and the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services has approved the placement, the adoption will be finalized through the Courts.