Adoption Frustration: The Timeline

I think the most common frustration we have as parents who’ve pursued adoption through Child and Family Services is that nothing happens as quickly as you think it will. Knowledge is key however, so I’ll share a bit of what I’ve learned to help you prepare for your own journey.

From the time you submit your application to the time you are approved; your file will change hands several times. Each time it does, someone new has to take the time to review it and contact you. In my case, it took six months to receive initial contact and an average of three weeks to be contacted by each new worker thereafter. Your start to finish timeline will vary throughout the province, but in the Calgary area it is currently taking a year or more from submission to approval.

Here are a few examples of unforeseen things that held up my application:

1) It took six months to receive the first phone call after submitting my application. This was due to a staffing issue.

2) When I finally received the initial contact from the intake worker, I had to delay our first meeting as I was preparing to move into my new home. My house was mostly in boxes and of course, they want to meet in your home. I delayed this meeting a little over a month, until I took possession of my new home and had a couple of weeks to unpack.

3) It was late November when I finally had my first meeting with the intake worker. The next step was to attend the several days of parental training, however there is no training scheduled for December so I had to wait until January. That was another month long delay.

A tip for keeping things on track:

While I personally didn’t have any issues with the paperwork side of things, I’ve met with many people who have. I’ve heard stories of paperwork being lost, placed in the wrong person’s file, or not being received by Child and Family Services. These things happen, so do yourself a favour by having all of the paperwork filled out and submitted right away, and make sure to keep copies of it handy (in your email, on a flash drive, etc.) so it can be quickly rectified if something goes missing.

Also, your Criminal Record Check is only valid for six months, so find out from your worker when yours expires and make sure to allow enough processing time when submitting a new one.

Posted by: Sarah
Are you following me on Twitter? @sarw1985

2 thoughts on “Adoption Frustration: The Timeline

  1. “Nothing happens as quickly as you think it will.” Truer words have never been written! I know that “the system” is attempting to prevent kids from being put with evil people, but the bureaucracies and duplicate (triplicate, even) paperwork can make it really difficult to get kids the permanency in good homes that they deserve in a timely fashion.

  2. Can’t agree with you more! For us, it’s more like, “Nothing happens”. We are in Toronto and we can’t even get calls back from CAS and we are AdoptReady. At the moment, we are lobbying to see Bill 42 implemented in Ontario – so there would be Ombudsman oversight of CAS. Right now, it is a complete shambles. We submitted applications for two children and four months have passed – we called and got the proverbial someone has been out of office, sick, on leave, and nothing has been done. In one instance there are fourteen families interested in a 4-year old hard to place boy (ourselves included). Yet, no one can be bothered to look at the homestudies and see if there is a match. Instead, he’ll stay in foster care for another year. Sigh. Wishing you the absolute best of luck. We are reaching our end point :(.

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