30,000 Canadian kids in foster care need permanent homes

(Aug. 5, 2010)    Latest figures from the Adoption Council of Canada (ACC) say that child welfare organizations care for nearly 80,000 Canadian children. Of these, about 30,000 are legally free for adoption, but languish in temporary foster homes. The majority are aged 6 and older.

"There are so many myths surrounding the adoption of older children," said ACC President Sandra Scarth. "A lot of parents assume these kids are troubled, but that's not necessarily the case."

She stressed the importance of getting children out of state care and into permanent adoptive homes. "Unless adoptive parents step forward, these children will remain in foster care or institutional placements until they have reached legal age, when they will age out of the child welfare system without the permanent, lifelong connections that every child and youth deserves."

For a second year, ACC will try to raise funds—and awareness about the need to find permanent homes for kids in foster care—with its grassroots event, AdoptWalk.

This year's 5 km. AdoptWalk will take place in two locations: at Riverdale Park West, Toronto on Sept. 26 and at the Shaw Centre, Saskatoon in November. (Register at

"We need to get these kids placed with loving families," said Scarth. "Through AdoptWalk, we are partnering with organizations like Jockey Being Family, Westjet, Via Rail Canada and our media sponsor, Marketwire, to help find them homes. We encourage other partners to join us in creating awareness and raising the funds we need that will enable us to provide educational resources to Canadians."

The fundraising effort is a joint initiative of ACC, the Adoption Council of Ontario and the Adoption Support Centre of Saskatchewan.

Based in Ottawa, the Adoption Council of Canada is the national information and referral service for adoption in Canada. It raises public awareness of adoption, promotes the placement of waiting children and youth, and stresses the importance of post-adoption services.

The Adoption Council of Ontario (ACO) is a non-profit charitable organization representing all aspects of adoption: birth parents, adoptees, adoptive parents and adoption professionals from Ontario. The ACO adoption resource centre in Toronto is supported through memberships, donations and program fees.

The Adoption Support Centre of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon is the primary adoption information and resource centre in Saskatchewan. It offers support and referral services to birth parents, prospective parents, adoptive parents, adoptees, extended family and community organizations.

For more information, contact Sarah Pedersen, ACC Acting Executive Director, 1-888-542-3678,
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