What is it and what does it involve?
The MFA, also known as a home study, is a significant and important part of the adoption process.
When an application is submitted to the Ministry for Domestic adoption, it will be filed with the Central Adoption Registry (CAR) until it is released to begin the MFA. The wait time for files to be released are unknown, can be lengthy and are released to meet the current needs in permanency planning through adoption.
During the MFA process/assessment, a number of topics such as behaviour and discipline, grief and loss, family of origin, family relationships, protection and nurturing, knowledge of child developmental needs and supports will be explored and discussed.
The MFA process/assessment also includes a criminal record check, child abuse record check, home safety check, reference checks, medicals and interviews with the family. Additional documentation such as marriage certificates, birth certificates and copies of permanent residency cards may also be requested.
The applicants will create a Family Profile which includes pictures and a narrative to reflect who they are as a family. This will serve as an introduction to a child they may be matched with, a Child Care Worker who is selecting a family for a child, or birth parents who are considering the family as prospective adoptive parents in a voluntary committal adoption. A Mutual Family Assessment can take between 4-8 months to complete.
Once the MFA is completed and approved (note that not all prospective adoptive parent(s) are approved), the prospective adoptive parent(s) will be (recorded) registered with Central Adoption Registry (CAR) where they will await a potential match with a child.
More information on the Mutual Family Assessment process can be found in the Ministry of Social Services Adoption Services Manual.
MSS Adoption Services Manual
More information on the Mutual Family Assessment process