Adoption agencies to face stiffer monitoring

Date: 2009-10-01

Ontario says it will take a closer look at the finances of the international adoption agencies it licenses, after one unexpectedly filed for bankruptcy over the summer and jeopardized adoptions already underway.

Imagine Adoption agency's collapse in July took by surprise adoptive parents, who said they had expected more regulation from the government.

The Cambridge-based agency, which was arranging more than 300 adoptions, primarily from Ethiopia, has since struck a new board of directors, and prospective parents voted last week to pay an extra $4,000 to get it running again. The government said it is supporting an immediate resumption of services at Imagine.

In a news release yesterday, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services said it will require agencies to now submit an audited financial statement, an annual report and a report from the board of directors that outlines agency operations as part of the annual licence renewal. Prior to this, it had required agencies to submit financial statements detailing what money had been received over the course of a year.

The ministry has also asked licensed agencies to strike up a working group to look at setting up an insurance plan to protect prospective parents in the event of another collapse.

Children and Youth Services Minister Deb Matthews said last week that the government's main role is to ensure that agencies are complying with international laws that guard against child trafficking.


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