What Experts Are Saying About Changes In Ontario's Adoption System
"The Minister's action today shows an impressive grasp of the issues facing prospective parents and kids in care. This package of legislative changes and other supports for prospective parents and children will result in better outcomes for Crown wards and help make it possible for families to open their homes and hearts to waiting children."
- Will Falk, Co-Chair, Adoption Working Group, Expert Panel on Infertility and Adoption; and adoptive father of two boys
"OACAS applauds Minister Broten and the McGuinty government for this comprehensive and thoughtful announcement. These changes, taken collectively, are important steps in making "family" a reality for many, many children and youth in CAS care. We look forward to working with the government on the details of the proposals and putting Ontario on the map as a leader in supporting children and families."
- Mary Ballantyne, Executive Director, Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies
"The Adoption Council of Ontario is encouraged by Minister Broten's comments today. The leadership, reform and supports proposed will greatly assist the adoption community - professionals and adoptive families - in finding permanent homes for more children. We have a lot of work to do and today we are affirmed that the government is part of the team - we will accomplish so much more when we work together."
- Pat Convery, Executive Director of the Adoption Council of Ontario
"If you were in a family and left home at 16, you could go back. Kids in care can't - once they leave, the door is closed. It's great that government is making sure the door is kept open so that youth who need help can go back to their children's aid society for support."
- Adam Diamond, YouthCAN Co-ordinator
"This special support for Crown wards attending post-secondary is fantastic. It puts youth in care on the same playing field as other youth!"
- Jade Maitland, YouthCAN Co-ordinator
"As Aboriginal Advisor to the Minister, I am pleased to see there is a strengthening of customary care as an option for permanency. There are also a number of provisions that allow for a greater reliance on traditional values and cultural sensitivity to work with First Nations and Aboriginal communities. All of these items together means that there will be more positive outcomes for our people in the future."
- John Beaucage, Aboriginal Advisor to the Minister of Children and Youth Services
"These changes have been advocated for many years, and it is wonderful to see that, finally, there has been the courage to put this plan forward. This legislative change will be a powerful and welcomed tool in the hands of children's aid societies, who bear responsibility for finding a permanent home for children who cannot return to their family of origin, and it introduces new judicial responsibility, which I believe will also be welcomed."
- Cheryl Appell, Co-Chair, Adoption Working Group Expert Panel on Infertility and Adoption
"The Commission is very encouraged by these important new measures. They are child focused and will open new doors to permanency for children who are currently Crown wards. They make room for maintaining connections with birth families while removing barriers to connecting kids to adoptive families. The change to allow 16- and 17-year olds to return and receive CAS support is an excellent measure and reflects what all of us as parents would want to do for our children."
- Ene Underwood, Chair, Commission to Promote Sustainable Child Welfare
"The proposed legislation will provide Ontario's most vulnerable children and youth with opportunity, equity and fairness. The legislation will enhance their life chances, aspirations and offer them hope and options. It is the right thing to do for children and youth who are dependent on the province to act as a good and caring parent."
- Nathan Gilbert, Executive Director, Laidlaw Foundation
"These changes show leadership in helping the lives of Ontario's most vulnerable kids. Now is the time we need our kids to succeed. The Laidlaw Foundation's Not So Easy to Navigate report pointed out that children in care encountered barriers to post-secondary education - the amendments will increase opportunity and affordability of post-secondary education for kids in care, which has the potential to change lives."
- John Stapleton, Social Policy Expert
"We are pleased with the critical changes that are happening under the leadership of Minister Broten and are certain that Ontario's most vulnerable children waiting for adoptive homes will benefit from these efforts."
- Rita L. Soronen, President and Chief Executive Officer, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption