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Can biological parents still have a relationship with their children even if the children have been made Crown Wards for the purpose of adoption?

By: Steven Benmor, B.Sc., LL.B., Family Lawyer

Jurisdiction: Ontario (Canada)

Dora and Raymond are the biological parents to two young children.

Children’s Aid Society of Toronto (’CAS’) had been involved with this family since the birth of the children. CAS’s concerns related to the cleanliness of the home and the ability of the parents to meet the special needs of one of the children.

Previously, CAS apprehended the children and later returned them to their parents. But in November 2002, the children were once again apprehended because of the conditions in the home. CAS then sought an order of ‘Crown Wardship with no access’ between the children and their parents in order to allow the children to be adopted. CAS was of the view that an order of Crown Wardship with no access would ensure the children’s future opportunity for a permanent and stable home.

After a seven day trial in 2003, the trial judge found that Crown Wardship was in the children’s best interests but did not make a ‘no access order’. Instead, it made a ‘silent with respect to access’ order allowing the CAS to facilitate access between the parents and the children until such time as adoptive parents were found. As a result of this restrictive access order, the mother appealed this decision to the Ontario Court of Appeal.

On September 27, 2005, the highest court in the province ruled that neither parent shall have a right of access to either child in order to allow the children to be adopted.

In doing so, the court was aware that the legislation still permitted the mother to seek an access order if the children had not been placed with adoptive parents within six months. Moreover, an order giving no right of access to the parents did not prevent the CAS from permitting the parents to visit the children.

Steven Benmor

About the author: Steven Benmor practices Family Law in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Visit Steven Benmor’s online Family Law Resource Center for concise answers to many more frequently asked Family law questions, feature articles on Family law topics, dozens of links to other Family law websites, and more at The information on this page is for discussion purposes only. It is by no means legal advice or even a statement of the law on this subject. Please do not rely on the accuracy or completeness of this information. Any question or concern elicited by the information on this page should be taken to a lawyer who will consider the facts of each case and the legal remedies available.