Is Adoption Right For You?
We Are Here to Help
Our approach to family services is centred around the child and we are dedicated to building and supporting healthy family relationships. Beginnings offers quality, non-judgmental services to everyone, does not participate in political action, and is committed to the concept of openness.
Beginnings has been working with Canadian families since 1985. We are a private adoption agency licensed by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services to provide adoption services in Ontario. Beyond Ontario, we can provide adoption services on a case by case basis in provinces and territories that have provision for private adoption.
A Note to Prospective Adoptive Parents:
Beginnings would like to acknowledge your patience during this time where we are receiving an influx of applications from prospective adoptive parents hoping to adopt. We are doing our best to manage this in a way that allows us to work in the best interest of the child, meet the needs of our birth parents and maintain a relationship with all of our adoptive families.Due to the shifting demographics and requests of our birth parents, along with the large number of families pursuing adoption in Ontario, we are unable to accept applicants that have more than one child. Due to the realities surrounding unexpected pregnancies and to better serve the needs of our clients, priority for attending orientation may be given to families who are open to accepting higher risks such as; mental health issues, pre-natal drug and alcohol exposure, genetic or developmental risks etc.
Registration:Due to the large number of applications received, our Active List is currently at capacity, and registration for prospective adoptive families will be closed until further notice. Unfortunately, we do not maintain a waiting list so please continue to check this webpage for future updates.
We also invite you to consider our Embryo Donor/Recipient Program, currently open and accepting new registrations. We have worked with over 130 donors and have welcomed 65 new babies to recipient families (many of whom were originally on our adoption list waiting to be matched.) For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
To be eligible for registration you must be considered fully Adopt Ready. This means that you
have your Home Study completed by a private adoption practitioner and your supporting documents are all up to date.
Please note: Due to the shifting demographics and requests of our birth parents, along with the large number of families pursuing adoption in Ontario, we are unable to accept applicants that have more than one child.
If you would like to register to adopt through Beginnings Family Services, please complete the Adoptive Applicant Registration Form below, and carefully follow the steps listed at the top of the form. Please send in all required parts of the application simultaneously, as we do not accept or hold partial registrations.
***Beginnings registration process can take up to 6 months after your application is received***
All applicants are required to attend orientation and complete a private consultation with the Executive Director prior to being placed on the Active List and potentially considered for a match.
Orientation will be facilitated in 2 groups over the next 6 months. After your registration is sent in, please wait to be contacted directly with further details regarding your session. Once these two sessions are filled, we will unfortunately be closing registration again.
If you have completed your homestudy through CAS, you will need a SAFE Homestudy updated to be completed by a private adoption practitioner.
Beginnings advises families to work on renewing their documents at least 8 weeks in advance of expiry. Please refer to your private adoption practitioner for details.
Police Checks – valid for 1 year
Child Welfare Checks – valid for 1 year
Medicals – valid for 2 years
References – valid for 2 years
Home study – valid for 2 years (require SAFE update)
We also invite you to consider our Embryo Donor/Recipient Program, which is currently open and accepting new registrations. We have worked with 130+ donors and have welcomed over 65 new babies to recipient families (many of whom were originally on our adoption list waiting to be matched.) For more information, contact email@example.com.
We believe that birth parents are significant people in the lives of children. Open adoption is a way of honouring that significance and making those connections accessible to the adopted child.
We ask all our prospective adoptive individuals/couples to learn about and become comfortable with open adoption as part of their process of preparing to adopt through Beginnings.
Open adoption involves ongoing communication and contact between the birth parent(s) and the adoptive family, including the child. This can take the form of letters, emails, phone calls or visits. The amount of contact is negotiated and varies from one adoption to another. Open adoption is good for the adopted child as it allows him or her to maintain relationships with important people in his life; as he or she grows older, open adoption allows access to information about his or her origins and background.
Note: Wherever possible, we encourage open adoption. However, there are some circumstances where sharing identifying information may not be appropriate.
Our commitment to open adoption is an important element in safeguarding the welfare of the child
Step By Step
Beginnings offers a full-service menu of adoption-related services that follows a logical step-by-step approach in bringing you together with a beautiful child. The process is as follows:
Attend a PRIDE pre-service training program. As of January 1, 2008, PRIDE training is mandatory for all individuals/couples adopting in Ontario.
Have your Home Study completed by a private Adoption Practitioner.
A Home Study is an in-depth assessment of your family and may take several months to complete. Visit www.children.gov.on.ca for more information.
Continue to read and research all there is to know about adoption.
We encourage you to specifically learn as much about open adoption as you can, particularly regarding the degree of openness that you are comfortable with.
Begin work on your profile, describing your family through words and pictures in a booklet that will be shown to birth parents.
Registration and Approval
Register with Beginnings – you can do this once you have completed your Homestudy with a Private Adoption Practitioner in Ontario.
Once you have completed your homestudy and registered with Beginnings, you will be invited to Orientation where adoptive applicants will learn more about Beginnings policies and process’. Orientation will be followed up with scheduling a private Consultation as the final step in moving to our Active List of prospective adoptive individuals/couples.
Once on the Active List, your profile will be considered for presentation to birth parents based on your range of acceptance and the “best fit” birth parents are hoping for. Beginnings has around 70 individuals/couples who are ready to adopt on our Active List at any given time.
Once a birth parent has selected a couple on the basis of their profile, Beginnings’ counselors facilitate a face-to-face meeting between the birth parents and the adoptive couple so they can get acquainted before each party makes a final decision about proceeding. Your Private Practitioner is encouraged to attend.
If both parties agree to proceed, they usually meet on several occasions before the birth to work out a mutually agreed upon plan for contact after the birth of the baby.
Acceptance and Legal
Beginnings prepares and submits a Proposal to the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services regarding the proposed placement. A Proposal is a comprehensive package of all the required documents. It must be reviewed by the Ministry staff and approval given before a child is placed in an adoptive family.
When the baby is born, if Ministry approval has been granted, the baby can go home with the adoptive parents directly from the hospital. Otherwise, the baby is cared for in one of Beginnings approved foster homes.
Birth parents are provided with independent legal advice before they sign a “Parent’s Consent to Adoption” in the presence of a lawyer. This cannot be signed before the eighth day after the birth.
Once Consents are signed, birth parents have 21 days during which they may reverse their adoption plan.
Beginnings offers to facilitate an Entrustment Ceremony with the birth and adoptive families usually at the time of placement of the child with the adoptive couple.
It’s normal to feel confused, alone and overwhelmed when facing an unplanned pregnancy. You may want help to explore options and decide what is best for you and your baby.
Beginnings has been serving individuals and individuals/couples facing unplanned pregnancies since 1985. A Beginnings counsellor can help answer your questions in a safe, caring environment. Taking the time to explore all your options will empower you to make the best informed plan.
- Free pregnancy counselling and pregnancy support
- Licensed, private open adoption services
- Short-term foster care (if needed)
- Community resource assistance
All of our services to expectant parents are free.
Hoping to Adopt?
Children who join a family through adoption are precious expressions of love. We hope you find the following information useful as you consider using Beginnings’ services in your adoption journey.
Adoption through Beginnings:
• Beginnings is an adoption agency licensed by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services to provide private adoption services for Ontario children and families.
• Our full-service agency has professional staff who provide social work services to all parties involved in an adoption plan, as well as the required paper work to finalize an adoption. We work collaboratively with your private adoption practitioner throughout the process.
• We believe openness in adoption benefits the adopted child, and we are committed to open adoption.
Yes. Beginnings is licensed by the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services to provide adoption services in Ontario.
Beginnings offers information to all persons interested in private adoption, provides placements and foster care homes for children from newborns up to 12 months of age.
Beginnings offers adoptive parents an orientation session and a consultation with the Executive Director to determine the “best fit”, profile review, maintenance on Beginnings Active List, matching services, facilitation of meetings between birth and adoptive families, collaboration with the adoptive couple’s private adoption practitioner, provision of travel letters and OHIP cards, commissioning of documents and court finalization documentation. Covenant agreements are arranged between birth and adoptive families and are facilitated by Beginnings, and Entrustment Ceremonies are available at the time of placement. Follow up support is ongoing for adoptive parents and children adopted through Beginnings throughout their life time.
Beginnings offers birth parents the opportunity for open adoption education, comprehensive, ongoing counselling support, choice of adoptive families, viewing profiles, meetings with adoptive individuals/couples, sharing of identifying information and background information about the adoptive couple, hospital support, referral and transportation for independent legal advice and consent signing. Covenant agreements are arranged between birth and adoptive families and facilitated by Beginnings. Birth parents have the opportunity to take part in an Entrustment Ceremony at the time of placement. Follow up support is ongoing for birth parents and their immediate family members throughout their life time.
Private adoption offers an alternative to parenting, when expectant parents are not able or prepared. It also offers an alternative to child welfare intervention. An open adoption agency empowers the birth parents to choose their child’s family and stay connected.
Beginnings does not provide matching services for out of province adoptive families. However, if a birth parent outside of Ontario has made a connection with adoptive parents in Ontario, we can explore each individual situation to see if we can provide assistance.
No. We only provide domestic adoption services. If birth parents are willing and able to travel to Ontario and be responsible for all medical costs, living costs etc., then it may be possible to place a child with a couple through Beginnings.
A child has full legal status and rights of protection under the law at the time of birth.
Every province and territory has their own adoption legislation. Beginnings works within all provincial and territorial laws.