Holiday HoursBoth Atwell locations are closed December 23 – January 2nd. We will reopen for regular hours at Hamilton on January 2nd and Oakville on January 3rd.  If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please go to your nearest walk in clinic or emergency room. 

Merry Christmas from the Atwell team!

The Adoption Process In Canada

The Adoption Process In Canada

The decision to select adoption services is never an easy one, but for many pregnant mothers, it ultimately feels like the best possible choice for them and their unborn child. If you are currently exploring pregnancy options, adoption may be a process you wish to learn more about.

Atwell Centre is not an adoption agency, but we do offer resources and advocacy for birth parents who are considering an adoption placement. Below is a brief overview of the adoption process in Ontario and the services our dedicated team can provide to support you every step of the journey.

For further information and to connect with us in person, visit our Hamilton or Oakville location anytime during business hours.

The Adoption Process in Ontario

Note: How adoption works in Canada varies from province to province. While much of the information below may be relevant nationwide, this post specifically explores adoption in Ontario.

In the Province of Ontario, the adoption process is often complex and typically takes one or more years for adoptive parents to complete. It involves steps that include an extensive home study (to ensure that the placement offers a safe and nurturing environment), mandatory training programs for adoptive parents, and placement oversight until the adoption is finalized.

Ontario adoptions are categorized as either public or private:

  • Public Adoption – Public adoptions are facilitated by the Children’s Aid Society, the provincial child welfare authority responsible for children in extended society care.
  • Private Domestic Adoption –Private adoptions are facilitated by private agencies that are licensed by the government to match children with prospective adoptive parents.

Who Can Adopt

Prospective adoptive families must be legal residents of the province of Ontario. They may be single individuals or couples of any background, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

In order to adopt, an adoptive parent must:

  • Be able to provide a safe, nurturing home and demonstrate that they are emotionally and financially prepared to support and raise a child over the long term
  • Be willing to participate in the steps of the adoption process

Types of Adoption

Depending on the circumstances of the adoption, the birth parents may have more or less involvement in the adoptive process and/or contact with the child and adoptive family.

  • Open Adoption – In an open adoption, the child maintains an ongoing connection with their birth family and/or birth community (e.g., First Nation, Inuit, or Metis). The birth parents may have a direct relationship with the child over time.
  • Closed Adoption – In a closed (confidential) adoption, the birth parents don’t share their identity with the adoptive family, and there is no communication between them. The child may choose to make contact with the birth mother or family after the age of 18.

Adoption Resources in Hamilton

At Atwell Centre: Pregnancy Options Support, we are birth parent advocates. We are not an adoption agency, but we can be by your side every step of the way as you consider an adoption placement. We can help empower you to achieve the adoption you envision.

For further adoption information in Hamilton, book an appointment at our clinic today!

The information provided on the Atwell Centre blog is intended solely for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We strongly recommend that you consult a physician or other qualified healthcare provider for the most up-to-date information and personal medical advice.


If you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, need STI testing, or would like post-abortion support, please book an appointment at Atwell Centre. Your health and well-being are our top priorities.


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