About Us

The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption-Canada is a nonprofit public charity dedicated to finding permanent homes for the more than 30,000 children waiting to be adopted from Canada’s foster care system. Through its signature program, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, the Foundation supports the hiring of adoption professionals who serve youth who are most often overlooked, including teenagers, children with special needs and siblings.

The Foundation also works closely with child welfare advocates and policymakers, provides free resources for adoptive families and raises awareness about the critical need for foster care adoption.


Dramatically increase the number of adoptions of children waiting in North America’s foster care systems.


Every child will have a permanent home and loving family.

Core Beliefs


Every child deserves a safe, loving and permanent family.


No child should linger in foster care or leave the system without a permanent family.


Every child is adoptable.


Our story began in 1990 when Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s, accepted President George H.W. Bush’s invitation to be the spokesperson for a national adoption awareness campaign. However, Dave knew he could do more. In 1992, he established the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

Over the years, Dave’s modest charisma and simple sincerity helped spread the word about adoption. In 1997, he testified before Congress to support an adoption tax credit that aimed to make adoption more affordable. He also appeared in public service announcements, expanded his reach to Canada and led the initiative to create an adoption stamp, which was issued by the U.S. Postal Service in 2000.

On January 8, 2002, Dave passed away and the world lost one of its greatest advocates for children. Dave Thomas was respected for being a talented businessman and a caring philanthropist; his unceasing desire to improve the lives of North America’s most vulnerable children was arguably his greatest contribution to society. Learn more about Dave’s legacy and his lasting impact.

In 2003, the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption-Canada was formally incorporated. We work every day in pursuit of Dave’s vision that every child will have a permanent home and a loving family.