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Important Notices

Hello Families! 

Did you know that in Canada, adoptive parents are not eligible for as much EI leave as birth parents?

Our government has created a survey for families to “Share your thoughts: Help us build a better EI program”.

If you would like to participate, please follow the link HERE.


Hello everyone and Happy Thursday! 

The well-being and mental health of all staff is important to TCB, and each year our office is closed for a week to provide a mental health week to all team members.

Please note that our offices will be closed Monday, August 30th through Monday, September 6th (Labour Day holiday).

We hope you all may enjoy some lovely summer weather, and we look forward to connecting with you once we are back on Tuesday, September 7th!

Stay well and safe,
The Children’s Bridge Staff

Adoption Council of Ontario logo

You are invited to the Adoption Council of Ontario’s Pathways Kids Hangout Sessions

A special invitation to the children of our Pathways alumni to join us for some online fun!  There will be arts and crafts, games, and other activities to enjoy!

LOCATION: Online via Zoom (The Zoom link will be emailed to registrants closer to the event date).

(All sessions will be an hour)

Ages 3 to 7

  • July 6, 2021 – 10am
  • July 19, 2021 – 10am
  • August 4, 2021 – 10am
  • August 24, 2021 – 10am

Ages 8 to 11

  • July 6, 2021 – 1pm
  • July 19, 2021 – 1pm
  • August 4, 2021 – 1pm
  • August 24, 2021 – 1pm

Ages 12 to 15

  • July 6, 2021 – 3pm
  • July 19, 2021 – 3pm
  • August 4, 2021 – 3pm
  • August 24, 2021 – 3pm

Ages 16+

  • June 22, 2021 – 7pm

*all times are EST

Reminder: Registrants will receive the link to access the webinar closer to the start date.

Cost: FREE – There is NO cost to attend the Pathways Kids Hangout Session.

 Click here to register.
For inquiries about space in this weekends Kids Hangouts, please contact

Adoption Council of Canada-

The Adoption Council of Canada’s May 2021 Newsletter is now available


Holiday Office Closure

Dear TCB Families,

Our office will be closed on Wednesday, March 31 and Thursday, April 1 for file and IT maintenance.

We will also be closed on Friday, April 2 and Monday April 5 for the Easter long weekend.

We hope you all are able to enjoy some lovely Spring weather, and we look forward to connecting with you once we are back on Tuesday, April 6!

Kind regards,
The CB Staff

Anti-Asian Racism in Canada

A great Op-ed from the Ottawa Business Journal:
How businesses can include Asian-Canadians in their anti-racism work 

Resources for Families Parenting Children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

This extensive list of resources for families parenting a child who has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) was recently shared with us by Autism Canada.

These valuable resources can be found on our website HERE.

Anti-Asian Racism in the time of COVID

Many of you have now heard about the brutal massacre of eight people, six of whom were Asian women, at a massage parlor & spa in Atlanta, Georgia last week. This is not an isolated incident, but is a disturbing acceleration of increasing anti-Asian racism around the world. The Children’s Bridge would like to acknowledge and honour the memory of these eight individuals here.

Soon Chung Park:

  • 74-years old
  • Led a healthy and active lifestyle
  • Survived by her daughter and son-in-law

Hyun Jung Grant:

  • 51-years old
  • Loved karaoke and dancing
  • Survived by two sons

Suncha Kim:

  • 69-years old
  • Loved to line dance and volunteer her time to various causes
  • Wife, mother and grandmother

Yong Ae Yue:

  • 63-years old
  • Loved to cook traditional Korean food and enjoyed Korean karaoke
  • Survived by two sons

Delaina Ashley Yaun:

  • 33-years old
  • Married for less than a year
  • Survived by her 13-year-old son and 8-month-old daughter

Paul Andre Michels:

  • 54-years old
  • Worked as a handyman for the spa
  • Enjoyed riding dirt bikes and summers at the lake

Xiaojie Tan:

  • Owner of the spa/massage parlor
  • 49-years old
  • Dreamed of travelling the world
  • Survived by one daughter

Daoyou Feng:

  • 44-years old
  • Recently started working at the spa, was quiet and reserved

Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz:

  • Survived the shooting but is in critical condition after being shot in the forehead, lungs and stomach
  • 30-years old
  • Originally from Guatemala
  • Has lived in Atlanta since 2015 with his wife and 9-year-old daughter


Click HERE for educational resources and anti-Racist measures you can take today



Please Note: Karyn Arnauld-Bakelaar will be away on holidays from April 6th until April 16th, and back at my desk on Monday, April 19th. For families in the India adoption program, you may contact Lenore Cork-Lemay at (613) 226-2112, or during her absence.

OCI Status News:
India has recently announced changes to families of Indian of origin who maintain OCI status (OCI citizens are of Indian origin, however, they are foreign passport holders and are not citizens of India). Those with OCI status will now be considered of equal status to NRIs (non-resident Indians) in relation to intercountry adoption:

“According to PTI, another major change the new notification is going to bring in is by making OCI cardholders’ par with Non-Resident Indians in the matter of inter-country adoption of Indian children subject to the compliance of the procedure as laid down by the competent authority for such adoption.”

Click HERE for the full story.

Families who believe they may be eligible for OCI status can verify this HERE.

Program Staffing News:
We are extremely pleased to have been able to welcome two new Canadians from India since travel restrictions have been lifted in India. Congratulations are extended to Amy and Matt on the arrival of their son, K. Further congratulations are sent to Meredith and Paul, who returned from India with their new daughter, G., this past weekend.

We have begun working with a Travel Coordinator in India to assist families to plan travel and to provide support while in-country. COVID has made travelling somewhat more complicated, and we welcome Jamal Murshed to our team to help guide and assist our families. Jamal’s services are entirely optional at this time and can be discussed closer to time of travel for an estimate.

Root Family Searches in India:
Karyn recently came across these two interesting and informative articles regarding root family searching in India. The first, entitled “Root Search by Adopted Children: Issues and Challenges” was issued by CARA, and can be found HERE.

The second is titled “How Foreign Adoptees are Finding Their Indian Birth Parents” and can be found HERE.

General Program Information:
We are currently accepting applications for this adoption program. We currently have 31 families in process to adopt from India and can work with adoptive families across Canada (except for Quebec.) This program is open to families of non-Indian descent, as well as those who are Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) or those with Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI). Families who have NRI or OCI status are prioritized by CARA, but all families who meet the requirements are welcome to apply.

Our India program is open to families who wish to adopt a child living with special needs, and those planning to adopt via the mainstream program.

Most of the children are 18-months+ at time of child proposal. Special needs of the children in the Waiting Child program vary widely, and can include (but are not limited to): hearing and/or vision issues, HIV, Hepatitis B, developmental delays, Down Syndrome, heart issues such as ASD or VSD, etc.

If you would like more information about the process to adopt a child from India, please contact, or see our website (Mainstream Program | Special Needs Program) for requirements, cost and estimated timelines.

Children's Bridge

A note from Karyn Arnauld-Bakelaar– Executive Director, Children’s Bridge


Bruno: We would like to take this opportunity to thank our Korea and USA Program Manager, Bruno Jung-Millen for his time and dedication shown to all of our families throughout his 2.5 years with The Children’s Bridge. Bruno has recently completed his MSW, and has accepted a position in his field. His last day with our agency was Friday, March 19th, 2021. We wish you all the best, Bruno!

Darlene: Darlene Catton will be assuming the USA adoption program as of March 22nd, 2021. Darlene has been with our agency for the past 2 decades and has been managing various intercountry adoption programs, including our Florida, USA program for the past 8-months. Darlene can be reached at (905) 836-6776 or Darlene’s current hours are Monday to Thursday from 9:00AM – 4:00PM.

Lenore: Please join me in congratulating Lenore Cork-Lemay, who has accepted the role of our South Korea Program Manager. Lenore has been with TCB for 1.5-years, and is ready to take on new challenges! Lenore can be reached at (613) 226-2112, or Lenore’s current hours are Monday to Friday, from 9:30AM – 3:30PM.

Emily: Emily Catton’s hours have been expanded as she assumes much of the Administrative Assistant role with TCB. Emily can be reached at (613) 807-4238 or at

We are aware that changes to programs in the middle of an adoption process can be stressful for families, but please rest assured that your file is in great hands with either Darlene or Lenore!

I am also on hand to answer any questions or concerns about these staffing changes, and can be reached at (613) 226-2814, or at


As part of our efforts to ensure we are able to continue to work remotely during this time, our team has moved from landlines to cell phones. Please see our website or the list below for current numbers.

  • Lenore Cork-Lemay – India Program Administration & Korea Program Manager: 613-226-2112
  • Darlene Catton – Thailand and USA Program Manager: 905-836-6776
  • Emily Catton – Administrative Assistant:  613-807-4238
  • Karyn Arnauld-Bakelaar – Executive Director/India Program Manager:  613-226-2814


Please note that several of our general email addresses have changed. These will be updated on all of our paperwork and website, but for now, please make note of the following:

  • has been changed to
  • has been changed to
  • has been changed to


Job Opportunity with Adopt4Life

Adopt4Life is expanding in more regions, and are also adding a provincial bilingual role! If you know anyone who may be a good fit, please share with them.

Those exciting job opportunities are optimal for people with direct lived experience with adoption, kinship, customary care and/or fostering, who have familiarity advocating for supports for their children and/or providing peer support in their community.

Are you interested in partnering with families, service providers, children’s aid societies and First Nations, Indigenous, and Métis, child and family well-being agencies to provide support and guidance to adoptive, kin and customary care parents on their lifelong journey parenting their children? Are you passionate about family engagement and providing needed supports to parents and caregivers, reducing isolation and normalizing their experience? Do you have a strong relationship building capacity and a keen interest in ensuring permanency for children? If flexible hours and the opportunity to work with an organization committed to supporting marginalized communities are important to you, then Adopt4Life is looking for you!

There a few Regional Parent Liaison openings:

  • Agent de liaison provincial bilingue (français et anglais) pour les parents adoptifs*en Ontario à temps partiel (15heures) détails
  • Regional Parent Liaisons, Toronto and the GTA (15/20hrs) details
  • Regional Parent Liaison, Northern region – Parry Sound/Sudbury (25hrs) details
  • Regional Parent Liaison, Western region – Hamilton (25rs) details

ACO Winter Pathways Training Program

The Adoption Council of Ontario has reached out to let us know that there is still room in the Winter Pathways training program for families who have adopted inter-culturally and inter-racially.

The training starts January 19 and runs for eight weeks each Tuesday evening on Zoom. This virtual class is open to families province wide.

The Pathways training program is FREE to Ontario adoptive/kinship/customary care parents and caregivers that have their children already placed with them – thanks to MCCSS funding. Families can have recently adopted their children, or adopted many years ago.

Pathways to Permanence 2 is a 24-hour specialized series of classes designed for foster and adoptive parents, kinship caregivers, and guardians who are parenting children who have experienced trauma and loss as a part of their history.

The course provides tools, techniques and information that empower participants to effectively parent their children.

Full details can be found HERE
Registration is required HERE.

Happy New Year TCB Families!

For all families looking at travelling during this COVID time, please refer to the link below regarding the new pre-departure COVID-19 testing policy announced December 31, 2020 by Transport Canada.

Pre-departure COVID-19 testing policy

Starting January 7, 2021, all air passengers five years of age or older, including Canadians, will be required to show a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours prior to boarding their scheduled departure to Canada.

Unfortunately, the central authorities in the country of your respective adoption program cannot assist you with personal health and travel matters. Kindly review your signed COVID-19 risk waiver. Please contact the local health authority and/or private clinics in the respective countries to inquire about rapid PCR tests.

FOR KOREA FAMILIES ONLY – For your information, Incheon International Airport has a rapid testing centre which offers PCR tests (visit site here ).

We know that this is adding another challenge to an already stressful situation. Please do not hesitate to contact your program manager with any further questions.

Stay safe and well,

The Children’s Bridge


Happy Holidays to all our TCB Families!

What a year it has been, and we are thankful to our families for continuing to navigate through COVID with us. We look forward to the new year and all it has to offer.

Please note that our office will be closed starting Friday, December 18 and will be reopening Monday, January 4, 2021.

We wish you all a safe holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy New year!

The Children’s Bridge

Heart shaped gingerbread cookies that spell out: Merry Xmas


The Children’s Bridge is pleased to announce our January lineup of Information Sessions has now been posted for Thailand, South Korea, the USA, and the USA for same-sex couples.

In addition we offer HIV+ Kids sessions upon request (private sessions are also available.) Our India program session will be announced at a later date (end January/early February.)


Please note that our Agency is currently not accepting new applicants to the India Program.

Our India Program has grown rapidly over the past year, and we are thankful to have the opportunity to work with our families. However, with the increase in families and the added strain of COVID closures and backlog with Consulates and Central Authorities, our Agency has made the decision to focus on our current families and ensure that they are not being “lost in the process” during this time.

Our Agency will be lifting the hold and accepting new families to the India program in the new year. We will continue to answer inquiries regarding the India program, and look forward to staying connected with interested families.

The Children’s Bridge Annual General Meeting

The Children’s Bridge Annual General Meeting will be held November 21, 2020 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm via Zoom. The AGM is open to all members of The Children’s Bridge. To vote at the meeting you must have an active CB membership. A proxy voting form can be found HERE.

There is no cost to attend the meeting, and attendees will receive the link to the meeting by registering through Eventbrite HERE.

Nominations for the Board of Directors are welcomed and can be sent to Andy Thompson at

India Adoption Program Information Session Flyer


Click HERE for full session details or HERE to register.

Educational Seminar – beyond PRIDE: Preparing your hearts and your lives for your new child

LIVE stream online – Saturday, November 14, 2020

The goal of this educational seminar is to provide a framework for the next stage of your adoption process – beyond PRIDE.

Topics include:

  • Adjustments of children: food, language, sleeping, other children in the home, your extended family, pets;
  • Understanding open adoption relationships (or considerations if no contact);
  • Issues related to mixed racial adoptions; how to talk to your child about adoption; positive adoption language;
  • How to answer questions from family and friends;
  • Guest speakers, including adult adoptees; adoptive parents, birth mother, etc.

9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. $125/person.

View flyer for details

For further information and to register, contact:
Sofie Stergianis | 416-483-0003

September Update

Our latest update is now available in our Month-at-a-Glance section (under the About menu!)

ACO - Adoption Matters Online Education

ACO: Adoption Matters Online Education

With Fall around the corner the ACO is continuing to provide FREE webinars! Educate yourself on different adoption-related topics by signing up for one of their live sessions, listening to an audio recording or watching some on-demand webinars!

Adoption Council of Ontario logo

The Adoption Council of Ontario is offering the following virtual courses:

Pathways to Permanence 2: Parenting Children Who have Experienced Trauma & Loss©

What is it?

An eight session (24-hour) specialized training designed for adoptive, kinship and customary care families who are parenting children who have experienced trauma and loss as a part of their history.

This Fall we are pleased to be offering our Pathways training program virtually to adoptive, kinship, and customary care families in classes that have been organized by geographical region in Ontario, as well as some classes specifically for kinship families, LGBTQ families, families who have adopted children with FASD, families who have adopted inter-culturally/inter-racially and families parenting adopted teens.

Download the flyer HERE.
For detailed information about the training click HERE.

Pathways Practice Session: Touching Base After Pathways

What is it?

An invitation to Pathways Alumni to join us for a coaching session with a PACT trainer. Let’s discuss how you are using the concepts and tools from Pathways. Are they helping? Would more explanation of the “how tos” be helpful? What other topics would you like to learn more about? Includes a special session for kinship caregivers.

Sept. 29 | 7:30 – 8pm

Learn more & register for free HERE

ACT: An Adoption and Permanency Curriculum for Child Welfare and Mental Health Professionals©

What is it?
ACT is an eight-day comprehensive and intensive training program designed primarily for professionals in the child welfare and mental health sectors. ACT provides professionals with a framework for working with all those touched by adoption and permanency journeys.

Interested in ACT?
If you are interested in attending ACT over the Fall or Winter please fill out this survey. If you have questions about ACT please email

Learn More
Please click HERE for detailed information about the training.

Conversations and Panel Discussions

What is it?
You’re invited to join us for an intimate conversation with various members of the adoption constellation, as we explore current and relevant topics. New conversations and panels coming soon!

Listen to previous conversations HERE.

The Adoption Council of Ontario (ACO) is a not-for-profit providing outreach, support and education to all adoptees, adoptive parent, potential adoptive parents, birth families, and adoption professionals in Ontario. Permanency and Adoption Competency Training (PACT) and AdoptOntario are both programs of the ACO that strive to educate pre- and post-adoptive families and adoption professionals about adoption news, services and adoption related events.
Copyright 2020 Adoption Council of Ontario. All Right Reserved.

Have a question about any of these offerings?
Contact Adoption Council of Ontario at or 1-877-ADOPT 20 ext.2989


Dear Families,

We are writing to inform you of an update received from our India In-Country Coordinator.

CARA recently appointed a new CEO who held a Q&A on August 26, 2020. The issue of families waiting to travel to India was addressed. Unfortunately, CARA confirms that the India Government has decided that no special/emergency visas will be issued at this time. Adoption families will have to wait until travel restrictions are lifted and a window to travel opens.

Italian and American families have been advocating for special/emergency visas to be issued; however, the India Government continues to reject all requests.

As your adoption agency, we are frustrated for our families and can understand when families communicate their unhappiness to us. Please know that we continue to monitor the situation as COVID continues to evolve and change on an almost daily basis it seems.

Please take care of yourselves during this time. We will continue to provide updates as we receive them.


The Children’s Bridge
International Adoption Agency

Social Justice & Allyship for Pre-Adoptive Parents of BIPOC Kids

Social Justice & Allyship: Pre-Adoptive Parents of BIPOC Kids


Throughout the last few months, a new lens has been shown on the persistent, dehumanizing racism faced by BIPOC throughout the world, but most notably in North America.

If you’re a pre-adoptive or prospective adoptive parent considering adoption transracially (parenting a child of a different race than your own), you may be wondering how to think about these incidents or talk to your future child about them. You may be wondering if adopting transracially is the right decision for you and your family or considering how best to be prepared to be an anti-racist parent and raise anti-racist children. Takes place every other Wednesday (September 30, October 14, 28, November 11, 25) via Zoom | 7 – 9 pm.

View Flyer 


Social Justice & Allyship: A Five-Part Anti-Racism Series for Adoption Professionals

Social Justice & Allyship: A Five-Part Anti-Racism Series for Adoption Professionals

This course was developed specifically for adoption professionals including adoption practitioners, adoption consultants, adoption doulas, and anyone working in adoption with families adopting transracially. Takes place every other Wednesday (Sept. 23, Oct. 7, 21, Nov. 4, 18) via Zoom | 7 – 9 pm.

View Flyer 


2-Day AdopTALK Virtual Session

Children's Bridge Virtual AdopTALK

Join us us Sept. 26 & 27 for a 2-day preparation workshop for international adoption.

Topics covered include:

  • Coming Home
  • Health Matters
  • Bonding and Attachment
  • Trans-racial Issues in Adoptive Families
  • Talking to Your Child About Adoption
  • Trip Preparation

Registration is required.

For more information or to register: | (613) 226-2112

Program-Specific Zoom Information Sessions

Have you been thinking about creating your family through international adoption?

Look no further! Learn more about specific country programs and meet our Adoption Program Managers through live Zoom sessions. These program-specific information sessions will provide you with an opportunity to ask questions and engage in interactive discussions.

For full details, please view our flyer HERE, and register at Eventbrite.

India: Monday, September 21 @ 5:00 – 6:30 PM | REGISTER
S. Korea: Sunday, September 27 @ 11:00-12:30 PM | REGISTER
USA: Tuesday, October 13 @ 5:00 – 6:30 PM |  CANCELLED
Thailand: Tuesday, October 6 @ 5:00 – 6:30 PM | REGISTER
USA (Same-Sex Couples): Saturday, October 3 @ 11:00-12:30 PM | CANCELLED

Cost: $25 + taxes and Eventbrite fees / per family & per program

“How to Adopt” Virtual Information Session

Please join us Sept. 15 for our free “How to Adopt” session and learn about the international adoption process from start to finish. View the flyer HERE for more information, and register at EventBrite HERE.

To all families in the USA (ASC) Adoption Program:

I would like to introduce you to Darlene Catton who will be managing all cases in the program effective Thursday, July 23rd.

Darlene is a seasoned adoption professional who has been with our agency for over 20 years. She currently oversees the Thailand program and now the ASC program will be transferred to her portfolio. Darlene is based in Toronto, ON and can be reached by email at or on her work cellphone at (905) 836-6776.

Darlene and I have been working on this transition diligently over the past few weeks including reviewing your file and overall program structures. ASC has also been informed of this personnel change.

I have enjoyed every step of the way in supporting your adoption journey and collaborating with ASC. I have been given the opportunity to designate more of my time to manage cases in the USA (HAI) program which is expanding beyond our anticipation, along with the South Korea program.

I would like to kindly ask that you direct all communications to Darlene regarding your file. If your post-adoption file is open for an exchange agreement, Darlene will follow up with you closer to your exchange timeline.

It has been my absolute pleasure in getting to know you and your family. I wish you all the best with your adoption journey!


Bruno Jung-Millen
Adoption Program Manager, Korea & USA (HAI)


Please find our most current news update HERE.

Social Justice and Ally-ship: An Anti Racism Series for Adoptive Parents

A 6-part anti-racism series designed for adoptive parents of BIPOC kids will take place starting July 8 via Zoom (live & interactive discussions and presentations).


Volunteers Wanted: Children’s Bridge Board of Directors

The Children’s Bridge is seeking volunteers to join the Board of Directors. Anyone with an interest in furthering the Bridge’s mission of “Making Families Happen” is invited to put their name forward.

Some of our on-going projects include:

  • Identifying new adoption programs
  • Expanding educational and post-adoption services
  • Finding new ways to connect with our members
  • Supporting overall organizational sustainability

Adult adoptees, first/birth families, adoptive parents and/or members with a professional experience in law, human resources and/or financial accounting will be given priority.

To find out more, please contact Andy Thompson at

Please note: Individuals currently in-progress will need to wait until their adoption is finalized before joining the board.

How to Adopt: Program Information Sessions

Have you been thinking about creating your family through international adoption? Look no further! Learn more about specific country programs and meet our Adoption Program Managers through live Zoom sessions. These program-specific information sessions will provide you with an opportunity to ask questions and engage in interactive discussions.

Sessions will provide details about:
Program History | Partnership | Requirements | Child Profile | Timelines | Step-by-Step Process | Trips

India: Tuesday, June 2 | 5 – 6:30 PM
S. Korea: Thursday, June 4 | 5 – 6:30 PM
USA: Monday, June 8 | 5 – 6:30 PM
Thailand: Tuesday, June 9 | 5 – 6:30 PM
USA (Same-Sex Couples): Wednesday, June 10 | 5 – 6:30 PM

Please select the adoption program(s) in which you’re interested and register at Eventbrite.

Live Interactive Sessions via Zoom

$20 + Taxes (per family & per program)

For more information, please contact us:
(613) 226-2112 |

News Update for April / May 2020

Please find our most current news update HERE.

Invitation to a Panel Discussion: Developmental Trauma & COVID-19

COVID-19 is bringing high levels of stress and uncertainty to many in our world today. In many respects this is a live trauma that we are experiencing in the moment each and every day. Like other traumas, it has the potential to have long term impacts. There are clear and serious physical health implications, perhaps less prominent but critical mental health considerations, financial and economic impacts, effects on social and family connections and stability, housing and safety impacts as well as the broader effect this may have on how we view the world and our futures. This event has or will impact us all in one form or another.

However, this pandemic, and the physical distancing that is required, has the potential to impact those who have experienced and are living with developmental trauma in more fundamental ways. The DTAA, as an “action” alliance, recognizes and acknowledges this and wanted to proactively work together – collaboratively across agencies and fields of expertise, to highlight and potentially help prevent some of the negative impacts of this. This time can also be an unique opportunity to seize in some positive ways – to strengthen and deepen the nurturing relationships in our lives, to give back to our communities by keeping ourselves and others safe, and to give ourselves the gift of kindness and compassion during this very challenging time.

Invitation Details

Please join a DTAA panel for a live discussion about developmental trauma and COVID-19. Together we’d like to explore and learn more about the impact of COVID-19 on people with developmental trauma, talk about what can help and provide some helpful tips and resources.

When: Wednesday, May 13
Time: 7:30pm
Location: Zoom (please register for meeting details)
Cost: None – this a free presentation!
Panelists: Leticia Gracia, MSW, RSW, Dr. Charlie Menendez, C.Psych, Susan O’Quinn, MSW, RSW.
Recommended Audience: This panel discussion is primarily for families who are parenting children who have experienced developmental trauma.
Questions: You can share your thoughts and questions ahead of time when you register, and/or during the panel discussion.

To learn more: click here. | To register: click here.

Message from the Children’s Bridge Foundation

The Children’s Bridge Foundation is recruiting new Board Members! CBF is a Canadian charity dedicated to supporting health and education programs for orphaned and abandoned children in the developing world. Started in 2003 by a group of adoptive parents, our charity is run by volunteers who have a passionate desire to help improve the lives of children who have so little and deserve so much more.

The Children’s Bridge Foundation is a completely volunteer-based charitable organization (CRA Charitable number: 895155208R0001) that has no religious or political affiliation. Over the years, we have helped support children in China, Kenya, Zambia, Thailand, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Nepal, Kazakhstan, South Africa, Syria and Vietnam.

Our mandate is to raise funds and partner with efficient and accountable local organizations to assist them in offering support to orphaned and abandoned children. Support ranges from medical programs to educational support to training or resources for caregivers of orphaned and abandoned children to help these children to break the cycle of poverty.

Please visit our website at to learn more about our programs. If you are interested in donating, or in joining us, please contact Board President Dahlia Stein at

We are particularly in need of anyone with accounting, communications or fundraising experience!


A Message from our Executive Director: Travel Advisories/COVID

Response to COVID-19: A Message to Families

Dear Families,

During this unprecedented time, we are writing to express our support as you proceed through your adoption journey. As adoptive parents ourselves, we are very aware that this is already a time filled with uncertainty and great excitement while waiting for news of travel to meet your child or to complete the adoption process — without these additional health and travel concerns.

We ask for your patience, and to know that staff will do their best to ensure that each family’s adoption process is completed as expeditiously as possible, while also respecting the directives being issued from our own government, and our overseas partners and authorities. This means that some family travel dates and/or court dates will be postponed and/or rescheduled, and we ask that you please follow the direction of staff for the well-being of current and future children and families participating in the program.

The Board wishes to thank our staff who work tirelessly every day to support our families, even more in the face of these challenging circumstances. Last year The Children’s Bridge invested in collaboration tools and technologies to allow our staff to better work remotely, and we will make use of those technologies during this time. We ask for your understanding if response times are a little longer than usual while staff also deal with their own disruptions and alternative working situations (working with kids at home!).

In addition to reducing the number of staff in the office, AdopTALK and other events planned for March and April will be rescheduled. Details will follow.

We continue to follow the recommendations of public health officials and government officials to guide our approach. The Board strongly encourages both our staff and families to stay informed and follow the advice of health care officials. As the situation evolves, we will continue to support you to the fullest of our ability, and will keep you informed as new information becomes available. Please visit our Travel Advisories & Restrictions page, as staff will continue to update this page regularly.


John Sutton
Chair, Board of Directors

Karyn Arnauld-Bakelaar
Executive Director

Time to Attach – We Need Your Help

During the past two years, The Adoption Council of Canada, Adopt4Life, and Western University have together advocated for the introduction of a new 15-week attachment benefit program for adoptive, kin, and customary care parents, through a campaign titled #TimeToAttach. Through this ongoing effort, they have worked towards the implementation of this additional parental benefit leave under the Employment Insurance program to support healthy and secure attachment for adoptive families.

Currently, adoptive families are not eligible for the 15 additional weeks of maternity benefits that birth and surrogate mothers may access. The adoption community faces certain additional challenges in building their family through adoption or through a customary or kinship care arrangement. In particular, adopted children need time and support to build an attachment relationship with their new parents or caregivers. Attachment benefits should be delivered in parallel to maternity benefits, which would recognize the unique challenges our families face, just as maternity benefits do for families formed through birth.

These organizations have been engaged with policy makers and stakeholders across party lines, urging the swift implementation of a new attachment benefits program in Budget 2020. Policy makers have indicated that a determining factor in this decision is a demonstration of a strong show of support from across Canada, representing multiple sectors and communities. A strong show of support would be a determining factor in whether the new attachment benefits program becomes part of this fiscal budget, and a reality for families.

If you feel like this is a campaign that you would like to support, the movement could use your help. Adopt4Life and the Adoption Council of Canada is planning to send the letter provided in the links below to Minister Qualtrough, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, along with her office, demonstrating the extensive support for #TimeToAttach. They are asking for support from individuals who may be affected by this and would like to add their voice to the campaign. Families can do this by engaging with the available social content, offering letters of support, participating in research, sharing their own parenting stories, etc.

If you would like to add your name to the letter being sent to Minister Qualtrough, please send a short email to confirming she can include your family name in the final version of the attached letter. Please feel free to spread the word of this campaign to your contacts, and/or on social media platforms, etc.

Julie (Adopt4Life) is happy to answer any questions that you may have on this campaign, so please feel free to email her if you require additional information. Additional information and current updates on #TimeToAttach, can also be found HERE.

#TimeToAttach – letter in English | #DuTempsPourSAttacher – lettre en français

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