When a child or youth is unable to permanently live with their family, and extended family, cultural and community members have been exhausted as possibilities as permanency options , we seek an alternative to ensure the child or youth’s long-term care and wellbeing. Adoption is intended to provide children and youth with permanency, security, and lifelong support. Children and youth of all ages can be adopted and come from a variety of cultural, racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds, as well as complex lived experiences.

 The Child Youth and Family Services Act (CYFSA) recognizes the importance of race, ancestry, place of origin, cultural and linguistic heritage in making decisions in the best interests of a child.  The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa is committed to this value and acknowledges that historical practices within the child welfare system have often minimized or dismissed the significance of these connections for children.    Given the over representation of First Nations, Inuit and Métis and Black children and youth in our care, we are continuously recruiting adoptive parents who either share the child’s racial and cultural background or who can make an additional commitment to ensure that the child is able to develop a positive and cultural identity and that they are well-supported with experiences of racism and discrimination.   Supporting connections with birth family and the child’s cultural community is an essential component with all adoptions. 

When members of a child or youth’s extended family, cultural circle or community are not in a position to provide permanency, we then match children to approved and waiting adoptive applicants.