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!


Selecting adoption services may not always be an easy choice, but they might be the right option for both you and your baby. The choice of adoption allows you the ability to continue your life plans without the responsibility of parenting children or experiencing the grief that can come from abortion. It also gives you the opportunity to choose the best family to raise your child. There are many services available when it comes to adoption. 


Planning an adoption for your child can be an emotional challenge, and for some mothers, there is often a sense of loss. Atwell is here to support you during this trying time and help you explore whether the choice of adoption is right for you. While we are not a Hamilton adoption agency, we have the right resources and assistance that can help guide you through the entire adoption journey.

Types of Adoption Options

Today, there are different adoption options available for your consideration. The decision to settle on an open, partially open, or closed adoption can be made anytime during your pregnancy or after the baby is born. 


There are two ways you can go about the adoption process:


Public adoption is facilitated by a branch of the province’s social services program, such as the Children’s Aid Society.


Private adoption is facilitated by a private adoption agency. The agency can provide profiles of potential adoptive parents that you can choose from.

There are three different private adoption options for you to choose from:

Open Adoption

Open adoption allows you the option of playing a role in the life of your child by maintaining contact with them and receiving regular updates on their growth and activities. Ongoing communication with your child may include phone calls, texts, pictures, and visits. 

In an open adoption, you will have a say in choosing the right family for your baby. Some open adoptions allow you to place your child with a family or someone that you know, also known as kinship adoption. This choice must first be screened by a government-approved adoption agency to ensure the family is fit for adopting the child.

Partially Open Adoption

With partially open adoption, you will be able to choose the family who will adopt your child. However, both the birth parents and adoptive parents will share non-identifying information with each other, such as the first names and general locations. The adoption agency or professional will handle any communication between birth parents and adoptive parents.

Closed/Confidential Adoption

By choosing a closed adoption, you would be preserving your identity from your child and the adoptive family. An adoption agency or lawyer will select the family for your child and finalize placement. Moving forward, both you and the adoptive parents will have no information or contact with one another. Only non-identifying information will be shared with the adoptive family. It is only when the child turns 18 that they can choose to make contact with their birth mother.

Atwell’s All About You

At Atwell, we are birth parent advocates. There are many support services that we provide to our clients when considering adoption placement:


  • Atwell will walk the birth parent through the pre-and post-adoption journey. 
  • Atwell will empower birth parents to achieve the adoption that they have envisioned. 
  • Atwell will support the birth parents emotionally during and after the adoption process.

Atwell will also supporot birth parents in creating memories by:


  • Helping birth parents plan and perform an Entrustment Ceremony with the prospective parents. 
  • Assisting birth parents in writing “dear baby” letters for the child to read throughout their lifetime. 
  • Creating a memory box.

About Adoption

We are not an adoption agency, but we do work together with multiple partners across the Hamilton region that we refer to as they’re able to help with the adoption processes. 

For more of our services, click here.


Becoming approved as an adoptive applicant can take some time. Completing all the requirements for adoption in Ontario may sometimes take up to 1 year. The length of time can depend on the type of adoption that’s being pursued, the profile of the child, and updated information and background checks on legal requirements.

Birth parents are allowed to participate in choosing pre-approved prospective parents to adopt their child. All potential adoptive families must complete two mandatory steps to be legally able to have a child placed with them. A home study is a mandatory process where an adoption practitioner will assess a family of individuals considering adoption. PRIDE training is a mandatory 9 module, 27-hour program that provides all adoptive applicants with special information regarding adoption.

There are no government fees in Ontario placing a child for adoption, nor can a birth parent receive or charge any money for the adoption. The cost of the adoption will be $0 to the birth parent. With most public adoptions, a majority of services will be covered by the Children’s Aid Society. Some exceptions may have to do with medical report costs or costs associated with the agency or licence used when going through private or international adoption.

Birth parents will not have to worry about their child being placed in an orphanage. In Canada, we have moved away from orphanages and have implemented more family-type care settings, such as foster care. Orphans are now raised in foster care systems in a family-friendly environment until the adoption process.

Potential adoptive families must do their homework when it comes to selecting an adoption agency. Parents should look for an experienced agency and make sure their values align with their own. For birth parents, we can assist with finding the right adoption resources available for your consideration.

Many adoption agencies will provide education programs for potential parents. These education programs will help prepare you for the challenges of adopting a child. Children adopted from foster care systems may require specific training or certification. Familiarize yourself with the legal, financial, medical, behavioural, and developmental factors relating to adoption.

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