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Adopting in Alberta

Public Adoption

In Alberta, public adoption is through the Alberta Children and Youth Services. Children who are in the permanent care of the government and are ready to be adopted are all considered to have special needs. These needs could include being part of a sibling group that needs to stay together, children who are between the ages of 8 and 18 years of age, and children who may have medical, physical, developmental, learning and emotional problems. These children are matched with adoptive families that are approved and given specialized training by the Ministry.

Steps for Public Adoption in Alberta

STEP 1: Complete the Application to Adopt a Child. This form can also be obtained from your local Child & Family Services Authority or Delegated First Nation agency.

STEP 2: Attend the required parent preparation training offered by Alberta Children’s Services.

STEP 3: Meet with your social worker and have a home study assessment (this includes completing Criminal Record checks, CYIM checks, medicals, contacts with references, financial information, and other information as required).

Your Home Assessment Report is completed if you:

  • will accept a child with major physical, emotional, medical or developmental handicaps
  • will accept a child seven years of age or over;
  • will accept a sibling group of three or more children;
  • are a member of an Indian band or Metis Settlement;
  • will accept a child who has been featured in the media (Wednesday's Child, Adoption Services website, Newspaper);
  • want to adopt a foster child who has been in your home at least six months and who is ready for adoption.

STEP 4: The matching process. Once your home study is complete, your social worker will begin efforts to match you with a child who needs a family. You can also search for a match through the Alberta Children and Youth Service ’s web site which has profiles of waiting children. Wednesday’s Child, which is a cooperative initiative between Alberta Children's Services and CTV Television, features some of the children in Alberta who are ready to be adopted. One minute videos are shown on CTV in Edmonton and Calgary, and added to the children's profiles that you can find on their Profile Lookup page. Click here to see videos and air dates.

STEP 5: Open your home. Once you are matched with a child, your social worker will tell you more about the child and his/her background. If you are selected to adopt this child and you accept the match, you will begin pre-placement visits with the child. Depending on the age of the child and circumstances, pre-placement visits could be short (if the child is an infant) or longer to ensure the transition is smooth and the attachment process has begun.

STEP 6: Once pre-placement visits have completed, the child will be placed in your home. After a period of time when you and the worker are satisfied with your family's adjustment, arrangements are made to finalize the adoption in court.

Financial Assistance for Families Adopting Children with Special Needs

There's no cost to adopt a child through Alberta Children and Youth Services. For families who adopt a special needs child, there is a program called “Supports for Permanency Program” in place to provided financial assistance. More information can be found by here.