July 22nd, 2010 - By: Larry Kusch (Courtesy
of Winnipeg Free Press)
MANITOBANS looking to adopt a child through a
private agency will see their fees rise by more
than 50 per cent.
On Wednesday, Family Services Minister Gord Mackintosh
approved the first increase in private adoption
fees in more than a decade.
Fees for private adoptions within Manitoba will
be allowed to rise to $8,500 from $5,500. Agency
fees for international adoptions will soar to
$8,800 from $5,800.
There are three private, not-for-profit adoption
agencies in Manitoba. Adoption Options Manitoba
assists with private adoptions of Manitoba kids,
while Canadian Advocates for the Adoption of Children
(CAFAC) and UAS Eastern European Adoption facilitate
international adoptions. The three agencies have
arranged a total of 488 adoptions since 1999.
Mackintosh said the higher fees will not apply
to families who are already in the process of
adopting a child.
Manitoba will still have the lowest fees in the
country, he said. Private adoption fees in other
provinces range from $10,000 in Alberta to $14,000
Officials with CAFAC and Adoptions Options said
Wednesday they need to increase their fees to
Patti Sutherland, a board member Friends of Adoption
Manitoba, which provides resources for people
who are thinking about adopting or have already
adopted, said the fee hike may look large on paper,
but it is well justified considering the work
"It was becoming formidable for private
agencies to survive," Sutherland said. "So
if the question they face is 'Do we close our
doors or do we increase our fees?' we definitely
support the increase."
Sutherland said families usually pay their fees
over time throughout the adoption process, and
that there are subsidies available for lower-income
The province says there have been 48 private
adoptions in Manitoba over the past two years
and 64 involving Child and Family Services.