|     |   Friday, November 24, 2017
The SAFE Homestudy

 A homestudy asessment is required for all types of adoption.

What is a S.A.F.E. homestudy?

A S.A.F.E. (Structured Analysis Family Evaluation) homestudy is a standardized assessment tool used by all Ontario adoption practitioners to assist in evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of each adoptive family. The S.A.F.E. homestudy is transferrable between public, private domestic and international agencies. The homestudy process ensures that families develop a good understanding of important parenting and adoption issues and that they are ready for the long term commitment adoption requires. The homestudy also includes gathering personal information that will assist in matching families with children.

What’s involved in completing the homestudy?

The homestudy begins with a 1 ½ - 2 hour consultation with your adoption practitioner to help you learn more about the adoption options and how the process proceeds. An average homestudy will probably take about 3 - 4 months to complete, depending on how long it takes to collect all of the paperwork, how often the interviews occur, and if there are any complicated issues. The paperwork, including medicals, police clearances, child welfare agency clearances, reference letters, and financial information, will be explained to you in your initial consultation with your adoption practitioner. Several interviews follow the initial consultation. Some interviews are conducted individually and some are done as a couple. Any children in the home will be interviewed if they are old enough and adult children outside the home will be contacted. The homestudy process is an opportunity to explore why you would like to adopt, to find out more about your background history and to talk about parenting strengths and skills as well as adoption issues. The adoption practitioner helps to determine your readiness and suitability to adopt and to ensure that you receive the appropriate education and training about adoption.

How much does a homestudy cost?

There is a fee for the initial consultation and a separate fee for the homestudy. For a current list of fees, contact Mary directly at mary@paths2adoption.com 

Adoption Choices
There are three ways that you can adopt and each requires the completion of a S.A.F.E. homestudy. This must be done with an Approved Adoption Practitioner, such as Mary, who can complete all types of adoption, or with a child welfare adoption worker who could assist you with a public adoption.
Topics covered on this page include:
  • Public Domestic Adoption
  • Private Domestic Adoption
  • International Adoption
  • Preparation for Adoption
  • P.R.I.D.E. Training
  • S.A.F.E. Homestudy
  • What Happens After the Homestudy
  • Thinking About Adoption For Your Child (for Birth Parents) 

To book a personal consultation, Mary can be reached at 519-763-1520 or mary@paths2adoption.com





Public Adoption
 The adoption of a child through a Children’s Aid Society (also known as Family and Children’s Services in some areas)  is referred to as a public domestic adoption. There are many children available for adoption in Ontario. Most of these children are residing in foster care. Children are placed for adoption due to parental relinquishment or state intervention. If you choose to adopt an older child, a sibling group or a child with special needs, you are eligible to adopt from any of the of the 53 Children’s Aid Societies across the province. Occasionally, there are infants available for adoption through a Children’s Aid Society but usually it is only possible to adopt an infant through your own local Children’s Aid Society. The Children’s Aid Societies may be willing to complete your homestudy on your behalf or they will accept a homestudy that is completed by an approved adoption practitioner. To see waiting children in Ontario and Canada, visit: AdoptOntario or CanadasWaitingKids and watch this video  about adopting older children.
Private Domestic Adoption
The adoption of a child (usually a newborn) through a private domestic licensee or licenced agency is referred to as a private domestic adoption. This type of adoption is governed by the Child and Family Services Act (CFSA). Licensees facilitate adoptions and are guided by the principles of open adoption. Birth parents are supported in their adoption planning by a birth parent counsellor and they make the decision about which adoptive parent they think would be the best choice for their child.  Open adoption is any type of adoption that allows birth parents, adoptive parents and the adopted child to continue some type of ongoing relationship, such as the exchange of photos, letters and visits. It is impossible to predict waiting times for private domestic adoption as there are many variables to consider including the number of infants being placed for adoption and the birth parent’s preferences in adoptive parents.


International Adoption
The adoption of a child residing in another country is referred to as an international adoption.   The Hague Convention governs many international adoptions, although there are some international adoptions in Ontario from other countries that are not part of the Hague Convention.  Licenced international adoption agencies in Ontario work with many international countries to facilitate adoptions.  Most international adoptees in Canada come from Africa, Eastern Europe, and Asia.Some international countries are only possibilities if you are adopting a relative. International adoptions that are legally finalized in the child's country are governed by the Intercountry Adoption Act (IAA). There are also some international adoptions that are finalized in Ontario and they are governed by the Child and Family Services Act (CFSA).
Preparation For Adoption
 To help prepare for adoption, a P.R.I.D.E. training course is required (see next box) but it is also useful to begin to do additional research and reading about adoption issues, to talk to others who have adopted, and to attend additional seminars on topics such as attachment, transracial issues, openness or about the effects of prenatal drug or alcohol exposure. Refer to the Home page for a list of upcoming seminars and to the Resources page for suggested readings and movies.
PRIDE Training

 What is it?

P.R.I.D.E. (Parent Resources for Information Development and Education) is a 27 hour training program that all adoptive applicants and prospective foster parents must take. It covers a variety of topics that provide useful information about adoption legislation, adoption issues and about parenting an adopted child or fostering.

Where can we complete the training?

The most current trainings in the Wellington - Waterloo - Milton areas are listed on the Home page or for a complete list of upcoming trainings visit www.adoptontario.ca. There is a fee for training unless you attend a course through your local child welfare agency, which is sometimes an option in the case of a public domestic adoption.

After the Homestudy
What happens after the homestudy is done?

For an international adoption, your homestudy report, along with your supporting documentation, is sent to the licensed agency for the country you have chosen. The agency review the materials and then forwards the package to the Ministry of Children and Youth Services for further review. Upon a favourable review, the Ministry will issue an approval, which allows you to proceed with an adoption. For a private domestic adoption, the homestudy is forwarded to any licensees or private adoption agencies that you have chosen to work with until a match is found, at which point the Ministry will review the homestudy and then issue an approval if the review is favourable.  For a public domestic adoption, the homestudy will be forwarded to your local child welfare agency, or to any other one that you choose, for review.

What happens when we get a match?

At that time, you will meet again with your adoption practitioner in your home to review any medical or social history information that has been sent to you. It is also advisable to review any medical information with a doctor, especially in the case of international adoptions, before making a decision to consent to the match.

What happens after the child is placed with us?

For domestic adoptions (public or private): there will be a minimum of 6 months of supervision with at least 3 home visits during that time. At the end of the supervision period, a report (the ROACH) is written by your adoption practitioner providing general information about the adoptive couple, the adopted child and about how the adoption has gone. The report is submitted to the Ministry of Children and Youth Services and then to the Ontario courts as part of the requirements to obtain a final adoption order. For international adoptions there are often requirements for follow-up reports that must be done. Some of these reports are completed by the adoption practitioner and some are completed by the adoptive parents. Your international licensed agency can advise you of any requirements for the country you choose.

Thinking About Adoption For Your Child
If you are thinking about making an adoption plan for your child, Mary can assist you in finding the best place to have your questions answered, to get the support you need and to move forward with your decision making or you can contact a Licensee or licenced agency  directly. 
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