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Ottawa Profile on Adoption Assistance

Updated January 2008

Agency Contact Person

Robin May
Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa
1602 Telesat Court
Glouccester, ON K1B 1B1
Phone: 613-747-7800
Fax: 613-747-4456

NACAC Representative (Parent/Volunteer)

Laura Eggertson
1602 Botsford St
Ottawa, ON K1G 0R3
Phone: 613-680-2999

Adoption assistance may be available for children with special needs. Often, assistance is provided to encourage the adoption of special needs children and remove the financial disincentives to adoption for the families. If you have questions, please call the North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC) at 651-644-3036 or our subsidy help line at 800-470-6665, or e-mail us at

Ontario’s Adoption Resources on the Web:

Ontario’s Ministry of Children and Youth Services

Federal and Ontario Provincial Nonrefundable Tax Credits

The Adoption Council of Ontario

Winning Kids (Eastern Ontario)

Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa web information:

1. CAS of Ottawa’s legal definition of special needs is as follows:

  1. Physical and/or mental disability, as identified by assessment, e.g. psychiatric, psychological, medical;
  2. Similarly identified "high risk" of physical and/or mental handicap;
  3. Sever emotional disturbance requiring special treatment identified as above;
  4. The child’s age makes placement in a non-subsidized home improbable;
  5. To enable a placement with siblings, where prospective adopters would be unable otherwise to provide financially for the children and the placement is in the children’s best interests;
  6. To enable racial or ethnic matching;
  7. To enable adoption by relatives who would not otherwise be able to provide financially for the child;
  8. To enable adoption by current foster parents who have developed positive emotional ties over an extended period of time in the home, offers permanent stability to the child and the parents are unable to support the child financially without assistance to cover normal maintenance and/or special support services.

2. If available, the standard adoption assistance rate in CAS of Ottawa is:

No, there is no standard adoption assistance rate.

3. Specialized rates, if available, are based on the extraordinary needs of the child, and/or the additional parenting skill needed to raise the child.  If CAS of Ottawa offers special allowances over and above the standard rate, the criteria used to define the higher rates are as follows:

Yes, specialized rates are available.  These would be directly related to the child’s special needs.

4. In addition to monthly payments, what sort of post-adoption services (respite, counseling, residential treatment, parent training, etc.) are provided?  When available, are these services formally specified in the adoption assistance agreement in CAS of Ottawa?

For locally placed children, services include: child and youth counsellors; counselling by workers; respite; support group; training; and community resources.  These are not typically specified in the adoption assistance agreement as all families are eligible for these services whether they have an assisted adoption or not.

5. What medical or dental services are available in CAS of Ottawa?

For foster children, there are additional benefits which would include coverage for dental care, eye glasses, etc.  These do not exist for adopted children.

6. When my child turns 18, which benefits, if any, are available to our family?

If a child is continuing his or her education after age 18, continuation of monthly payments may be made at the discretion of the Executive Director.

7. Do relatives adopting under the program receive the same benefits as non-relatives?


8. Do children adopted from private agencies in CAS of Ottawa receive the same subsidies as those children adopted from public agencies?


Programmatic Procedures

9 . When do subsidy payments begin?

Assistance payments begin on the date the child is placed for adoption.  Starting dates do not differ for a contract-only subsidy.

10. Will CAS of Ottawa consider my family income to determine my child's benefit package?

Yes, depending on the information families provide on the financial statement.

11. Are prospective adoptive families routinely notified of all benefits available to them in CAS of Ottawa?

We do not have an informational brochure.  As a result of the financial limitations of the subsidy program, not all families are routinely notified of the program.

12. Who sets the assistance rates and how are they established?

The ratess are established locally and based on the specific needs of the child, as well as the adoptive parents’ financial situation.

13. Who makes the final determination of a child's eligibility in CAS of Ottawa? What roles, if any, do workers and administrators at the agency or regional level play in eligibility determination and/or assistance negotiation?

Eligibility is determined by the Supervisor, with approval/input from the Director and the Executive Director.  The Supervisor negotiates the agreement.

14. Once a child is determined eligible for assistance, is there any requirement to look for an adoptive family who will accept a placement without assistance?

Yes, there is a requirement, however, it is often the case that there are few, if any, adoptive resources available, assisted or not.

15. Once eligibility is established, how and by whom are assistance agreements negotiated in CAS of Ottawa?

The supervisor negotiates the agreement.

16. A child's adoption assistance agreement may be periodically reviewed by the agency. What is the typical process used in CAS of Ottawa?

Two months prior to the anniversary date, a letter, a financial statement form, and a child update form are sent to the adoptive parents by the subsidy clerk.  When the documents are returned, the supervisor responsible for adoption assistance reviews them.  The subsidy clerk prepares a renewed subsidy application form and an agreement which includes the current information on the child and family.  After the agreement is signed by the Executive Director, the original and a copy are mailed to the adoptive parents requesting them to sign both, retain the copy for their recoreds and return the original to the subsidy clerk which is placed on file.

17. Can adoption assistance agreements be modified if requested by adoptive parents?

Yes, agreements can be modified.  Adoptive parents may request an adjustment of the subsidy or the Society may adjust the subsidy with 30 days notice to the adoptive parents, if the original circumstances have changed.  For any adjustment, an amended agreement is prepared.

18. A deferred or nil agreement is one in which the initial monthly assistance payment is $0.  If a child's needs are listed as high risk and symptoms later manifest, the payment is renegotiated.  Are deferred agreements offered in CAS of Ottawa?

Yes, 25 percent of agreements are deferred.

19. What are the exact steps a family must go through to access the appeal process in CAS of Ottawa?

There are presently client appeal processes.

20. Families may request assistance after the finalization of an adoption under certain circumstances. Below is the process by which families access adoption benefits after finalization.


System Operation and Program Funding

21. How is the adoption assistance program operated and funded in CAS of Ottawa?

Presently, it is locally administered.  There are no provincial protocals regarding assisted adoptions.

22. Below are other programs that may differentiate CAS of Ottawa's adoption assistance program from others around the province or country.


North American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC)
970 Raymond Avenue, Suite 106
St. Paul, MN 55114
phone: 651-644-3036
fax: 651-644-9848