Adoption 101For Birth ParentsDiscuss AdoptionParent ProfilesHome


General Adoption Information
Important Issues
About Public Adoption
About Private Adoption
International Adoption
Licensed Adoption Agencies British Columbia
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Northwest Territories
Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island

Other Site Features
Adoption News Archive
Adoption Books
Adoption Message Boards
Events Calendar
Parent Profiles
Blog About Adoption
Other Resources

Share |


Adopting in Alberta

Private Domestic Adoption

In Alberta, there are four non-government and non-profit agencies that have the authority to arrange private adoptions in the province. All are licensed and monitored by Children’s Services and must comply with all requirements outlined in the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act and Regulations.

In a private adoption in Alberta, the birth parents may choose to place their child through one of the licensed adoption agencies. Private adoption agencies use the same screening and home assessment requirements that Alberta Children’s Services (ACS) employs for approving adoptive families. They also keep an inventory of approved homes and prepare the court documents for adoption finalization. You can view the adoption statistics for Alberta's five private adoption agencies.

Cost of Private Domestic Adoptions
Private adoption is not free. With most domestic private adoptions, prospective adoptive parents pay the registration fees with the agency, the cost of the home study, cost of training and a placement fee when the child is actually placed in the home. These costs can range anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000.

Steps for Private Adoption in Alberta

The following information outlines the typical process for adopting privately in Alberta:

STEP 1: Contact one or more of the five private adoption agencies in Alberta (Private agency listing can be found here) and ask to speak with an adoption worker.

STEP 2: Complete the following important documents and clearances:

  1. An Intervention Record Check. If there is a serious child protection concern, this will be discussed with you by Alberta Children’s Services. You may still choose to continue with your application, but you should be aware that written consent from the Director must be obtained before approval of the home study can be given.
  2. Security Clearance Check. This is obtained from the police department. If you have a criminal record, the nature, seriousness and date of the offense will be taken into consideration. Minor offenses in your past will not prevent your approval as an adoptive parent.
  3. References from persons you designate
  4. Medicals
  5. Financial Statement
  6. Personal Legal Documents

STEP 3: Attend an adoption educational seminar or training. The government regulations state that pre-adoption counseling covering a number of specified topic areas must be provided before approval.

STEP 4: The home study report.
This is probably the scariest part of the adoption process for most applicants. A social worker will visit your home over the span of several months and interview you about your life, your family and your home environment. You will be asked to discuss many personal issues; your worker will want to know about your childhood, your religious beliefs, education, past relationships and marriages, as well as your views on parenting. It's important to be up front and honest with your worker so that he/she will be able to portray a clear and accurate view of your family in the home study report.

STEP 5: Write a "Dear Expectant Parent Letter" and create a profile to submit to your agency for potential birth families to review. Ask your agency if they have any guidelines or for some examples of profiles that have proven successful.

STEP 6: Wait! For most prospective adoptive parents, this can be a very difficult and frustrating time as there is no set time limit. Birth parents choose the family to adopt their baby and each has their own vision of the ideal family for their baby.

STEP 7: The match. If you've been chosen by a birth family, your agency will contact you with the good news. Depending on the birth parents, you most likely will have the opportunity to meet with them before the placement to see if you're a good fit. It's at this meeting that you will most likely discuss an openness agreement and set the boundaries for your future relationship. Some families choose limited contact while some birth parents and adoptive parents become very close and agree to meet regularly before and after the birth. Many birth mothers ask the adoptive parents to attend the birth!

STEP 8: Open your home to your new son or daughter! In Alberta, birth parents sign the consents following the birth of the child but before the baby is placed with the adoptive family. With these consents signed and with the approval of the agency, the adoptive parents may receive the child. Once the consent form has been signed, a birth mother has a 10 day period in which to change her mind and reverse the decision.

Private Direct Placement Adoptions

A private 'direct placement' adoption occurs when a birth parent places their child directly with a family they know or within their own family. This type of adoption is when a birth parent places their child directly with a family they know or within their own family. A home study is not required in Alberta for a direct placement adoption but a judge or birth parent can request one be completed. A direct placement is often complicated but a private agency can help navigate you through the process and finalization.

Direct placement adoption also includes Spousal and Relative adoptions (ex. grandchild, niece, nephew, great niece or nephew, etc.) and may be processed by the applicants themselves using the Adoption Self-Help Kit available through the Queen's Printer Bookstore. These adoptions may also be processed by a lawyer. The services of a private licensed adoption agency may be used to assist in preparing the court document package.

Applicants prepare their own court file using the guide and document samples contained in the Self Help Kit. Adoption Services must be served with a copy of the adoption court file through a designated caseworker at the Child and Family Services Authority in their area.

After Children's Services receives notice about the adoption hearing the records are checked to determine whether there is a child protection concern about the petitioner(s). If there is a concern, the Court is notified, and a report on the concerns may be prepared. The birth parents may request or the judge may order the petitioner(s) to undergo a Home Assessment.

Applicants are responsible for all costs including court costs, document costs and payment for a Home Assessment Report if one is required.

Legal Advice
Families that are involved in an adoption and need legal information may call this toll free number (1-800-661-1095, or 228-1722 in Calgary) and explain what they need or ask for a lawyer referral. They will be given the names and contact information of three lawyers who deal with Family Law issues and who will provide a free half hour consultation. Issues may include legal consents, document completion, filing issues, guardianship or court procedures.



About This Site
Copyright Notice
Privacy Policy
Terms of Use
Click here to see our facebook page
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Facebook & Twitter!