1. How do I refer a child to Canada's Waiting Children and Youth?

  • To refer a child to this program, first register as a professional on the CWCY website. When we have processed your registration, the rest of the professional information section of the website will be open to you, including the Child and Youth Referral Form.

  • Provide all the necessary information, as requested.

  • Write a profile for a child or youth. See our suggestions on how to write engaging profiles.

  • Include high-quality, flattering photos for the child or youth’s profile.


 2. What happens when a child is referred to Canada's Waiting Children and Youth (CWCY)? 


  • Once we review the information you have submitted, we add the child or youth’s profile to our registry of waiting children and youth, and to the photo listing on the website.

  • There is a public and a private profile for each child and youth.

    • The public profile has limited information, an image in place of a picture of the youth, and uses a pseudonym 

    • The private profile contains more information (as provided by the worker), the photo(s) provided by the worker, and a link for potential adoptive parent(s) to submit an Expression of Interest which we will provide to the worker. Private profiles are only available to those who have submitted all of the required information, including a completed PRIDE training certificate, SAFE Home Study and a vulnerable sector check, and upon review, are provided with access.  

  • Upon receiving the material, we expect the adoption worker to review the applicants’ information and assess them as a prospective match for the waiting child or youth. If the adoption worker thinks an applicant is a potential match for their waiting child/ren or youth, the worker should notify the ACC. We will then connect the adoption worker with the family’s case worker.

Note about photo listing: It is only with permission from the child’s adoption worker that we include the child’s profile and photograph on the photo listing section of this website. Our preference  is to receive high quality photos,  showing the personality of the child or youth. If your province or territory prohibits photo listings, however, in lieu of a photo we are happy to accept art work or any other image or form of expression the child or youth feels will represent them. The website will also accept videos.

Please note: You can specify on the child or youth referral form whether the child or youth must remain within your province or territory.


3. What if a family expresses an interest in a child or youth I have referred?


  • We forward the required documents (PRIDE training certificate, SAFE Home Study and vulnerable sector check) as well as the family profile and family information form that all adoptive parent(s) must submit in order to be granted access to the Private Profiles. Professionals who have been approved will also have access to view these files on the website. 

  • If, after reviewing the information, the adoption worker decides to further consider the applicants as a potential match, the worker should then contact the family’s case worker to proceed with next steps (as well as inform the ACC). 

  • If the worker is not going to consider the family or prospective adoptive parent, the adoption worker should communicate this decision to us at the ACC, with a reason for this decision.  We will then write to the applicants and let them know why the worker decided they were not a potential match.

  • If a worker would like a family to complete a home study, or update their profile, the adoption worker should communicate with the family’s worker directly or with the province/territory’s adoption coordinator.  


4. How should I write a child or youth’s description?

"Even brief child descriptions can catch the attention of prospective parents, especially if they include potential ‘hooks’ about a child - unique hobbies, accomplishments, or even challenges. Help recruit prospective adopters by making the most of child biographies." Marie Zemler, coordinator of NACAC's Adoption 2002 Support Project  

For further help, check out our profile writing guidelines.


5. What Information should the descriptions include?

When developing a profile that will be publicly available on this website,  the golden rule is, "Can the child or youth view themselves and feel proud of the portrayal?" Embarrassing descriptions that reveal extremely personal details violate the child or youth’s privacy. Accuracy, personalization, and respect are crucial.