Speaker Profiles

Julie Despaties

Julie Despaties

Founder and Executive Director

Adopt4Life - Ontario's Adoptive Parents Association

Julie’s commitment to supporting permanency for children and youth in families grew from her own adoption journey. After she and her husband adopted a sibling group of three older children, Julie soon realized that adoptive (and kin and customary care) families in Ontario would benefit from more resources, advocacy and community connections. In forming Adopt4Life – Ontario’s Adoptive Parents’ Association, Julie created a unified voice and invaluable peer network for adoptive parents and permanent caregivers.
Julie has been a passionate advocate in the non-profit sector, for more than 20 years. Along with the Adopt4Life team, she has formed collaborative relationships with Children’s Aid Society agencies across the province, as well as with organizational partners, including the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies, Office of the Children’s Lawyer and the Adoption Council of Canada.
A changemaker at heart, Julie has helped shape legislation designed to strengthen the child welfare system to better protect some of Ontario’s most vulnerable young people. She participated in the work of the Motherisk Commission, advocating for the adoptive families impacted.

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