Permanency can provide youth in care with stability, lifelong connection, and a sense of belonging.

These goals can be achieved through relational, cultural, legal, physical, and self-permanency.  

Permanency families can be created through adoption, kinship care, guardianship, custom adoption, long-term fostering, and more!

The five domains of permanency

Permanency is often described as having four domains: relational, cultural, legal, and physical permanency. Youth from care have identified a fifth important domain, which they call self-permanency. Learn more about the five domains of permanency through the eyes of youth from care. Visit

Adoption and other options

Adoption can be an option for teens! Whether adoption is a good fit depends on the teen’s legal status, whether or not they’ve turned 19 yet, the teen’s feelings, and more. Learn more about teen adoption.

Sometimes another form of legal permanence, like guardianship, is a better fit. Options like moral adoption and Indigenous customary care can provide commitment and stability without a formal legal process. Learn more about other types of permanency.

If you’re a teen in care and you want to know if you could be adopted, the best place to start is by talking to your social worker. 

If you’re an adult who is interested in adopting a teen you know, see if you can talk to the teen’s social worker. If you need more help, reach out to our Permanency and family support team or call us at 1-877-236-7807.

Other legal options for youth

Sometimes legal permanency options like adoption or guardianship don’t work out, or aren’t a good option. 

If you’re in that position, the Ministry of Children and Family Development might be able to help through a legal agreement with you. 

Youth agreements

A Youth Agreement (YAG) is a legal agreement made between youth who are 16–18 years old and the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) to help youth who need assistance and protection to live on their own. A Youth Agreement can help with creating physical and self-permanency by enabling youth to find a place to live and cover some basic living costs. 

Visit MCFD’s website for more information about youth agreements, including Agreements with Young Adults (AYA).