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The Adoption Council of Canada (ACC) is the umbrella organization for adoption in Canada



1. How do I refer a child to Canada's Waiting Children?

  • To refer a child to this program, first register as a professional on the CWC website. When we have processed your registration, the rest of the professional information section of the website will be open to you, including the Child and Youth Referral Form.
  • Provide all the necessary information, as requested.
  • Write a profile for a child or youth. See our suggestions on how to write engaging profiles.
  • Include high-quality, flattering photos for the child or youth’s profile.


 2. What happens when a child is referred to Canada's Waiting Children (CWC)?       

  • Once we review the information you have submitted, we add the child or youth’s profile to our registry of waiting children and youth, and to the photolisting on the website.
  • Prospective adoptive parents interested in viewing the profiles on Canada’s Waiting Children must sign up to access the online database.
  • People who want to know more or to express an interest in a child or youth or a sibling group on the list of Canada’s Waiting Children will then need to electronically register and fill out a family information form. They can also email a copy of the form  to the ACC.  There is a $50 fee for individuals or families to register with Canada’s Waiting Children for one year. They can renew for subsequent years, for $25 per year.
  • If a prospective adoptive parent expresses interest in a child or youth, we send all of the applicants’ information (the family information form, a home study, and/or a family profile) to the adoption worker responsible for referring the child or youth or sibling group.
  • Upon receiving the material, we expect the adoption worker to review the applicants’ information and assess them as a prospective match for the waiting child or youth. If the adoption worker thinks an applicant is a potential match for their waiting child/ren or youth, the worker should notify the ACC. We will then connect the adoption worker with the family’s case worker.

If the adoption worker does not feel the applicant is a good match, the worker should contact the ACC to let us know about the decision and letting us know why it’s not a potential match. We will write a letter to the applicant letting them know about the decision, and providing them with a reason, if the worker has provided us with one. Every six months, the ACC will send the child welfare professionals who are registered on the site a reminder to update information about each child and youth they have referred to the website.  

If there is a change in the status of the child or youth, we ask that you let us know. We will then update and make any necessary changes to the profile of the child, youth, or sibling group. Note about families: People who receive passwords to view the Canada’s Waiting Children site may have completed home studies, may have home studies that are in progress, may have applied and are awaiting a home study, or may just be interested in adoption. To express an interest in a child or youth, however, they must indicate on their family information form that they have either completed a home study or that a home study is in process. 

Note about photolisting: It is only with permission from the child’s adoption worker that we include the child’s profile and photograph on the photolisting section of this website. Our preference  is to receive high quality photos,  showing the personality of the child or youth. If your province or territory prohibits photolistings, however, in lieu of a photo we are happy to accept art work or any other image or form of expression the child or youth feels will represent them. The website will also accept videos.

Please note: You can specify on the child or youth referral form whether the child or youth must remain within your province or territory.


3. What if a family expresses an interest in a child or youth I have referred?      

  • We forward the profile and family information form all families who have expressed an interest in a child or youth to that child or youth’s adoption worker. If a home study or family profile is available as well, we will also forward this information.
  • If, after reviewing the information, the adoption worker decides to further consider the applicants as a potential match, the worker should then contact the family’s case worker to proceed with next steps.
  • If the worker is not going to consider the family or prospective adoptive parent,  the adoption worker should communicate this decision to us at the ACC, with a reason for this decision.  We will then write to the applicants and let them know why the worker decided they were not a potential match.
  • If a worker would like a family to complete a home study, or update their profile, the adoption worker should communicate with the family’s worker directly or with the province/territory’s adoption coordinator.  In Ontario, you may send requests  directly to the appropriate Children's Aid Society.


4. How should I write a child or youth’s description?

"Even brief child descriptions can catch the attention of prospective parents, especially if they include potential ‘hooks’ about a child - unique hobbies, accomplishments, or even challenges. Help recruit prospective adopters by making the most of child biographies." Marie Zemler, coordinator of NACAC's Adoption 2002 Support Project  

For further help, check out our profile writing guidelines.


5. What Information should the descriptions include?

When developing a profile that will be publicly available on this website,  the golden rule is, "Can the child or youth view herself and feel proud of the portrayal?" Embarrassing descriptions that reveal extremely personal details violate the child or youth’s privacy. Accuracy, personalization, and respect are crucial. View our profile writing guidelines for writing description illustrated with quotes from descriptions that Maggie Cotton, a former foster child , composed when writing profiles for the Northwest Adoption Exchange.

Helping Hands Grant program from c-Seven. Learn more here.