March 2020 News

Date: March 23, 2020 Author: Communications Contract Staff Coordinator Categories: Adoption Newsletter
Thinking about reunion.
 ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 

This is one story of a young woman’s experience in reunion. 

Janet was ecstatic when she received the phone call saying she and her original mother had been found by a private searcher. Her lifelong dream was finally coming true. Two weeks later she sat in a park awaiting the arrival of Carolyn, her original mother. The meeting was everything she hoped for. Carolyn was open, warm, willing to talk and answer any questions. She wanted to know everything she could about Janet and her life. For weeks, Janet floated on a cloud of happiness and could not believe how good she felt. Finally, she was learning about all of who she was and the pieces were fitting together.

One evening, several months later, Carolyn called to invite Janet for Thanksgiving dinner. As Janet started to accept, she felt scared and realized that her hands were shaking. Puzzled by this reaction, Janet asked if she could think it over and promised to call back the next day. She spent all evening wondering what was going on. She knew she was a bit nervous about meeting Carolyn’s husband for the first time and that she would have to arrange it around her meal with her adoptive family, but neither reason felt like they fit her reaction.

She decided to accept, went, and had a good time. Much to her surprise though, she found herself feeling shaky and upset several times later in the week. Within a few weeks, she could hardly stop crying. She would get up in the morning and go to work, returning home to spend her evenings alone and upset. She told both her original mother and adoptive parents about what was happening but was unable to feel comforted by them. The tears, upset and periodic episodes of fear and shaking continued.

Experiences such as Janet’s are not unusual as reunions occur and original parents and adult adoptees enter reunion relationships.

Read more about Search and Reunion Experiences

Peer Support Groups for Search and Reunion:


At the Adoption Council of Ontario, we are committed to the safety, health and well-being of our staff, clients, volunteers and community partners as we all navigate the impact that COVID-19 is having on the world.

The ACO is closely monitoring federal, provincial and local public health guidance and WHO guidelines and would like to provide the following update at this time. ACO staff will be providing our programs remotely at this time and our approach will be re-evaluated in light of developments and public health guidance.

The ACO is extremely fortunate to have strong remote and virtual capabilities so all AdoptOntario services and ACO education and support programs will be available throughout this time. Further information specific to programs is being provided on our website and through program specific emails.

Our staff will not be attending any large gatherings and will be supporting the larger community in healthy practices and social distancing.

ACO Board, staff and volunteers join in encouraging everyone to be safe, healthy and compassionate as we support each other through this challenging time.

Pathways Spring Image A woman on her computer with a mug.


One way or another!! Our free Spring Pathways trainings for adoptive, kinship and customary care parents and caregivers are open for registration! Though originally scheduled to begin in April, we’ve now postponed them to begin in May because of COVID-19. If by then we are still being advised not to meet in-person, (as we and previous participants prefer to do to make Pathways most effective), we will move to a virtual, on-line training format. We are planning to offer Pathways in six Ontario locations this Spring.

Spaces are limited. Register Now!


Pathways Alumni - You're Invited to Our Virtual Follow-Up Sessions!

Pathways alumni are invited to attend our free virtual follow up sessions over the next little while.

These sessions are an opportunity to reconnect with the Pathways concepts and therapeutic parenting approach as well as having the chance to reconnect with other families and our Pathways trainers. We know this is a challenging time for you and your families and we want you to know we are here to support you.


A young girl holding the hands of two adult women. Adoption matters.


Children’s Aid Societies in the Grand River Zone and South West region would like to invite families in their region to a local Adoption Resource Exchange. The event is open to families who are AdoptReady or in the final stages of completing their Home Study. These events are now online only. Once registered, families will be able to access (for three weeks) the Online Platform, view child profiles and videos, and submit an application of interest. AdoptReady or in the final stages of completing their Home Study. Families will be able to network with workers, each other, and find potential matches to children in their are. 

Grand River | March 26

SouthWest | March 27

We're happy to announce two new Adoption Matters webinars! Dianne Mathes, the Executive Director of the ACO, will be hosting two new webinars Search & Reunion and Adoption in Adulthood: The Journey Continues in April. Join us for one of these interesting new webinars, or for one of the other great webinars in our series. Webinars are designed for people with "living" experience of adoption and permanency journeys, as well as the professionals who support them. We are also pleased to announce that later this spring we will be hosting some lunch time webinars - please stay tuned!

Are there other topics you're interested in? Please let us know.




Register Today!

WANT TO SHARE YOUR STORY! Are you interested in sharing your story, or being a guest blogger for the ACO? We want to hear from you. Tell us about your experiences with adoption at.

Adoption Council of Ontario
The Adoption Council of Ontario is a not-for-profit providing outreach, support and education to all adoptees, adoptive parents, potential adoptive parents, birth families, and adoption professionals in Ontario. We deal with public adoption, private adoption, international adoption and relative adoption. Since 1987, we have been working towards a provincial community where all children have families forever.

Copyright 2020 Adoption Council of Ontario. All Rights Reserved.