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Adoption Myths and Realities

Myths and Realities

Approximately 1 in 5 Canadians are touched by adoption.

They are either adopted themselves, have an adopted sibling or family member, are adoptive parents, birthparents, or birth relatives. Today, that means almost 7 million Canadians are affected by adoption, and yet adoption remains one of the most misunderstood and stigmatized social phenomenon’s in our country.

One of the most critical challenges we face in Canada is the number of children in our child welfare system that are eligible for adoption and waiting desperately for a permanent, loving family to call their own.  Of the more than 78,000 children in Canada’s child welfare system, approximately 30,000 are legally free or eligible for adoption. 

Here are some other facts about adopting from foster care that you may be surprised to learn.


Myth - There are no children available for adoption in Canada.

Reality - There are thousands of children available for adoption in Canada through the public child welfare system, including babies. However, the majority of children waiting for adoptive families are age 6 and older. These children need permanent homes and are rewarding additions to the families who adopt them.

Myth - Adopting a child from foster care costs less than private or international adoption but is still expensive.

Reality - Public adoption costs very little.  


Myth - A biological parent can take back an adopted child.

Reality - This is a common fear.  However, once parental rights have been terminated, biological parents cannot regain custody of their children.


Myth – Children in foster care are always physically, mentally or emotionally damaged and won’t recover.

Reality – Children who are placed in foster care have often suffered neglect, abandonment or abuse.  Loving foster families and ultimately, permanent adoptive families give these children the best chance at successful outcomes and bright futures.


Myth - As a single parent, I will have a much more difficult time adopting a child, as I am perceived to be less capable.

Reality - A single parent can provide a loving stable home.  Increasing numbers of children live in single parent homes (as the number of two parent homes declines) and thrive beautifully, and increasingly, single parents successfully adopt.


Myth - Same-sex parents are not good candidates for providing a healthy environment for an adoptive child.

Reality - Studies have shown that children of same-sex parents adjust well and thrive in positive environments just as well as those in heterosexual families do.  Same-sex couples can and do adopt children in Canada.


Myth - If I am over the age of 45, I will not be able to adopt.

Reality - Many parents over the ages of 40 and even 50 adopt children and experience great success. In fact, there are increasing numbers of grandparents in Canada adopting their grandchildren. There are no hard and fast age prohibitions through the public adoption system in Canada.