Effective date: May 16, 2008

AdoptOntario, a program of the Adoption Council of Ontario, respects the privacy concerns of all users of the program, and is committed to protecting the personal information of its users and the children and families involved in adoption matters with us.

In addition to our commitment to deal with personal information in a sensitive manner, we are required by law to ensure that our collections, uses, retentions, disclosures and disposals of personal information are carried out in accordance with established privacy principles. This Privacy Policy has therefore been designed to reflect the 10 Principles contained in the Canadian Standards Association's Model Code for Protection of Personal Information.

This Privacy Policy also applies to personal information that is collected, used or disclosed by us through this website.

The following definitions explain terms used in this Privacy Policy:

"Collect" or "Collection" means the act of gathering identifiable personal information from users, children or families featured or third parties by any means.

"Consent" means voluntary agreement with what is being disclosed or proposed. Consent can be either express or implied. Express consent is given explicitly, whether orally, electronically, or in writing. In appropriate circumstances, consent may be implied from a person's conduct. Consent can also be given by an authorized representative, such as a legal guardian or a person having power of attorney.

"Disclose" or "Disclosure" means providing an individual's personal information to anyone other than to that individual or that individual's authorized agent(s).

"Parent Agency" means the Children's Aid Society or Licensed private agency or individual having legal responsibility for a particular child.

"Personal Information" means information about an identifiable individual

  1. Accountability

While our Privacy Officer is primarily responsible for our compliance with this policy, other AdoptOntario personnel may be responsible for the day-to-day collection and processing of personal information or for acting on behalf of the Privacy Officer from time to time. We are responsible for the personal information under our control, including any information that we may transfer to a third party service provider for processing. Any service provider that we may engage to process or otherwise deal with personal information on our behalf is not permitted to use, retain or disclose personal information transferred to it except in accordance with the terms of its service agreement with us.


  1. Identifying Purposes

We collect personal information with the intention of providing timely services and responses related to finding permanent homes for the children needing them in Ontario. Personal information collected on adults using this site may be used for one or more of the following purposes:

Personal information collected on children featured on this site is entered with their best interests a priority, with the intent to help find them permanent families. Identifying information entered on children on the Adoption Resources Databank within the Professional site is entered by their parent agency, respecting their needs.  Their non-identifying information may also be gathered as above for statistical reporting. Information on children on the Public site is provided with the utmost care to protect their privacy and confidentiality. Written consents are required to display children on the Public site, pseudonyms are used for all children featured, and information is limited to protect their privacy. All public information on children can only be accessed with a time-limited password.

Personal information on adoptive applicants is entered on the Adoption Resources Databank within the Professional site with the same sensitivity, by the professional individual or agency with which they are working towards an adoption, with the purpose of finding a match with available children in Ontario .  This information is entered with the full knowledge and written consent of the adults involved. The homestudy of applicants is further protected in that this more personal information may only be viewed by other professionals with the authorization of the homestudy author or responsible case manager, for a limited period of time, and only with the intent to assess further information on a family regarding a particular placement match. The homestudy may also be deleted by the author or responsible case manager as desired.  

Where we collect information directly from an individual, we will explain our purposes before or at the time of collection. If personal information previously collected is to be used or disclosed for a purpose not previously identified, we will, subject to our/your legal rights and obligations, identify that new purpose prior to the relevant use or disclosure.

We endeavour to ensure that any AdoptOntario personnel that may collect personal information on our behalf are able to adequately explain the purposes for which personal information is being collected.

  1. Consent

Before collecting, using or disclosing any personal information we will ensure that we have the individual's consent in an appropriate form. Required Consent Forms are located in the Forms and Documents section of the Professional site.

The professional involved with a particular applicant family is responsible for obtaining their necessary consent before posting their personal information on the Adoption Resources Databank.

A child's parent agency is responsible for obtaining all necessary consents as related to a particular child, including the child's consent where appropriate or required by law, before a child's information is displayed on the Public site.

  1. Limiting Collection

We will collect only the amount of personal information that we require to achieve the purposes identified in (2) above, unless we receive consent from the individual or parent agency to collect it for another purpose.

  1. Limiting Use, Disclosure and Retention

Personal information is used by a limited number of our personnel, as well as by adoption professionals in Ontario on a 'need to know' basis, for a limited number of purposes while they are performing their duties. These purposes are outlined in (2) above. We will not use or disclose an individual's personal information for any other purpose, or to any third party, unless we have been given consent to do so. We retain and dispose of personal information collected for our own purposes in accordance with our Personal Information, Retention and Disposal Policy. Personal information that has been used to make a decision about an individual shall be retained for a reasonable time to permit the individual to access that personal information after the decision has been made. Personal information that has been transferred to us by a parent agency or other adoption professional on an individual's behalf, will be retained or disposed of by us in accordance with applicable law. Subject to this, personal information that is no longer required for our identified and legitimate purposes will be destroyed, erased, or otherwise made permanently anonymous in accordance with our Personal Information, Retention and Disposal Policy.



  1. Accuracy

We will endeavour to ensure that personal information under our control or in our possession is sufficiently accurate, complete and up-to-date, to minimize the possibility that inaccurate personal information is used regarding decisions about applicants or featured children. We will not routinely update personal information, unless it is necessary to fulfill the purposes for which the information is collected.

  1. Safeguards

We protect personal information under our control with safeguards that are appropriate to the sensitivity of that information. These safeguards are designed to protect personal information in all formats against loss or theft, as well as against unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use, or modification.

  1. Openness

Additional information about our privacy-related policies and procedures is available upon request.

  1. Individual Access

Subject to our legal rights and obligations, we will, upon receipt by our Privacy Officer of a written request for access, inform any person about our possession, use, or disclosure of personal information, if any, and permit that person to access that personal information if it is controlled by us. If a person requests such information, that person must provide sufficient information with the request to permit us to provide an account of the existence, use, and disclosure of that personal information. Any personal information provided by us to a person as a result of a request for access shall be in generally understandable form. We will respond to a request within a reasonable time, usually 30 days of receipt of the request. We may extend the response time for an additional 30 days, if responding within the first 30 days would unreasonably interfere with our operations, or the time required to undertake any consultations necessary to respond to the request would make it impractical to meet that time limit. When necessary, we may also extend the response deadline for as long a period as is necessary to permit conversion of the personal information at issue into an alternative format that would allow a person with a sensory disability to read or listen to that information. We will provide written notice of any response period extension within 30 days of your request. We will respond to a request for access at minimal or no cost.

If a person demonstrates to our satisfaction that  personal information that is held or controlled by us is inaccurate or incomplete, we will make appropriate amendments (correction, deletion or addition of personal information). Where appropriate, the amended personal information will be transmitted to other parties that have previously received the inaccurate or incomplete information.


  1. Challenging Compliance

If a person wishes to enquire or complain about our personal information practices or our compliance with this Privacy Policy, it may be sent in writing to the attention of our Privacy Officer at the address below. She will investigate all complaints and respond to all written enquiries. If a complaint is justified, we will take all reasonable steps to amend our relevant privacy-related policy or procedure.

AdoptOntario Privacy Officer:

Pat Convery, Executive Director
Adoption Council of Ontario,
36 Eglinton Avenue West, Suite 503
Toronto, Ontario
M4R 1A1

Tel: 1-877-236-7820
Fax: 1-877-543-0009


This Site contains links to other web sites which are provided as references to help users identify and locate other Internet resources that may be of interest, and not as an endorsement of the content, products, services or organizations involved. We are not responsible for the content of linked third party sites and do not make any representations or warranties regarding the content or accuracy of materials on such third party sites or regarding the privacy practices of such sites.

Users may provide hyperlinks to this Site provided that

  1. We are notified by sending an e-mail to info@adoptontario.ca or aco@adoption.ca
  2. No portion of the site is removed or obscured
  3. Providing hyperlinks to this Site must be discontinued if notified by AdoptOntario or the Adoption Council of Ontario.


NOTE: We reserve the right to modify or supplement this Privacy Policy. The terms of the revised Privacy Policy will only apply to personal information collected subsequent to its effective date.