Program Manager: Karyn Bakelaar
Tel: 613-226-2112 Ext. 231,
Email Karyn

  Please note:
The USA program currently has open spaces.

General Information:
  • The Children’s Bridge is working in partnership with Adoption by Shepherd Care (ASC), which is based in Hollywood, Florida.
  • Adoptive family is chosen by an expectant mother/father who wish to make an adoption plan for their child.
  • Children are mainly of African-American descent. To a lesser extent, children who are ethnically biracial, Hispanic, and/or Caucasian are sometimes placed for adoption.
  • Infants are placed with adoptive family approximately 10 – 14 days following the birth.
  • Adoption is finalized in Florida approximately 6 months after placement. Family does not need to travel to Florida for finalization, but must present for the finalization hearing by phone.
  • Children can maintain dual citizenship.
  • Time from dossier submission to receiving a proposed match is approximately 9 – 18 months.
  • Applicants must be open to semi-open adoptions, as they will need to exchange pictures and letters with the birth family through the agency until the child reaches 18. Some situations may allow for more openness.
  • Applicants will complete a checklist outlining various situations they are open to (i.e. some alcohol use by the birth mother, history of mental illness, unknown birth father, etc.).
  • In many situations, the adoptive family will have the opportunity to meet the birth mother/father during their trip to Florida.
  • Children with various special needs are also available (i.e. Hep C, HIV, prenatal exposure to possible substance abuse, etc.).
  • 3 post-placement reports are required during the first 90 days home in order to finalize the adoption.
  • Children will reside in an interim home care until placement occurs with the adoptive family.


  • Applicants must be over the age of 25 and no older than 52 years old when their dossier is sent to Florida.
  • This program is open to married couples only. Married couples must have been married for a minimum of 1 year by the time their dossier is received in Florida. No same sex couples or singles are permitted to apply.
  • Applicants must be in sound physical and emotional health. Adoptive applicants must be free of major mental illness such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and obsessive compulsive disorder.
  • Applicants must be open to signing an “Exchange Agreement” with the potential birth family. Almost all of the adoptions will be considered “semi-open”, in that letters and pictures will be exchanged through the agency and available to birth family until the child has reached the age of eighteen (18).
  • Some situations may allow for more openness such as prenatal doctor visits, face-to-face visits between the child, adoptive family, and birth family, depending on the specific situation and birth mother’s desires/needs.
  • Adoptive families will have the opportunity to meet the birth mother/family after the birth of the baby in most situations.
  • Family must possess a stable financial portfolio.
  • At least one member of the couple MUST be a Canadian citizen.
  • Both adoptive applicants must be free from criminal records.
  • This program is open to residents of Ontario only at this time.


  • Complete consultation with Program Manager.
  • Submit ASC’s preliminary application form.
  • Completion of home study, PRIDE training and approval in province.
  • Once approval is received and dossier has been compiled, all is notarized and submitted to ASC in Florida.
  • Match received and reviewed.


  • Completion of home study (average time 3 – 6 months).
  • Approval in province varies from 4 – 16 weeks.
  • Processing of adoption dossier averages 4 – 6 weeks.
  • Wait for proposal approximately 9 – 18 months.
  • Travel to Florida approximately 10 – 14 days after birth.
  • One trip of 7 – 14 days is required.