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Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption Canada Releases First-of-Its-Kind Survey of Canadian Attitudes on Adoption

OAKVILLE, ON -- (Marketwired) -- 07/16/13 -- Today, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption Canada [http://davethomasfoundation.ca/] released the results of the first-ever survey of Canadians' attitudes, beliefs and opinions about adoption, including foster care, private and international adoption.

An analysis of the data by the Foundation determined that if just 0.4 per cent of Canadians who have considered adoption from foster care would follow through, then every child currently in Canada's foster care system would have a safe, loving and permanent home. In Canada, there are nearly 30,000 children available for adoption.

"The survey found that Canadians generally have positive opinions of adoption, but too few are considering it as an option to grow their families. The 30,000 children waiting for safe, loving, permanent homes in Canada deserve the love that only a family can give them," said Rita Soronen, president and CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

On behalf of the Foundation, Harris Interactive conducted an online survey among more than 1,000 adults within Canadian provinces and territories for the 2013 Canadian Foster Care Adoption Attitudes Survey.

"Understanding Canadians' perceptions about adoption is important to finding a safe, loving and permanent family for every child. While there are slight positive movements in these results, it demonstrates that our mission is more important than ever," said Paul Hilder, chairman of the board of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption Canada. "Even with all the strides made, there are still thousands of children in foster care waiting to be adopted. It is our goal to help shine a spotlight on this important issue in the hopes that it will lead to more adoptions from foster care."

Key findings of the report:

  • Canadians' view foster care adoption more favourably (79 per cent) than private adoption (74 per cent) or international adoption (68 per cent).
  • Of Canadians who have considered adoption, one in four said they would adopt a teenager -- those most at risk of aging out of the system.
  • Just under half (49 per cent) of Canadians agree with the Foundation's belief that every child is adoptable.
  • Eighty-eight per cent of Canadians expressed a favourable, somewhat favourable, or extremely favourable opinion of adoption.
  • Unfortunately, a negative perception exists about the Canadian foster care system as a whole, even among those who are considering adoption.

"The survey is a clear call to action," Soronen said. "Armed with this information, we will continue to share real-life stories of successful foster care adoptions and dispel prevailing myths at every opportunity about the children available for adoption from foster care. We will not rest until every child in Canada has a forever family."

The Foundation provides a free comprehensive guide to foster care adoption, Finding Forever Families: A Step-by-Step Guide to Adoption, that lists Canadian-specific resources, including the names of local social service or child welfare agencies, and details about what to expect at each stage of the adoption process. Information and free materials about foster care adoption is available at davethomasfoundation.ca.

A complete report of the Foundation's findings can be downloaded at http://davethomasfoundation.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/DTFA-HarrisPoll-REPORT-CAN_Final-web.pdf.

About the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption: The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is North America's only dedicated nonprofit public charity dedicated to dramatically increasing the adoptions of the more than 134,000 children waiting in North America's foster care systems. Created by Wendy's® founder Dave Thomas who was adopted, the Foundation implements evidence-based, results-driven signature programs, foster care adoption awareness initiatives and research-based advocacy efforts. To learn more, visit davethomasfoundation.ca or call 1-800-ASK-DTFA.

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