In domestic adoptions, the children who
are placed for adoption are often newborns or young infants.
In most cases, birth parents choose the adoptive family from
an agency’s list of waiting families and will often
want to meet them.
At the time of placement, the agency will
work with the adopting parents and birth parents to determine
what kind of ‘openness agreement’ is right for
them and the child. Openness can mean sharing letters and
pictures through the agency or it can mean having frequent
visits with birth family. The adopting parents decide on the
level of openness they are comfortable with during the home
study process and this is outlined in their home study for
birth parents to read when they are choosing a family.
A domestic adoption through a licensed
adoption agency is not free. With most domestic 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.
The cost to adopt an infant in British Columbia starts at
Below is a general outline of the steps
involved in a domestic placement through a licensed adoption
agency British Columbia.
STEP 1: Contact a
licensed adoption agency in British Columbia and meet with
the agency's Program Director or consultant.
STEP 2: Paperwork. You'll
be required to complete and provide the following documents
- Criminal Record Checks – every
adult living in the household will need to have one completed.
- A Ministry of Children and Family Development
Prior Contact Check
- Financial Statements
- Medical Checks – for each adult
living in the household.
- Copies of birth, marriage and divorce
- Letters of Reference – you will
be asked to provide 4 references
STEP 3: The Home
Study Assessment. A licensed social worker from the agency
you hire will meet with your family for approximately 5 -
6 meetings over the span of several months. He/she will interview
you and your family members and you'll be asked to discuss
many personal issues including your childhood, your family
and relationships, religious beliefs, education, past relationships
and marriages, as well as your views on parenting and adoption.
Being honest and upfront with your social worker is imperative
so that he/she will be able to portray a clear and accurate
view of your family.
STEP 4: Adoption preparation
training. British Columbia's Adoption Act requires
all families to enroll in adoption training. Most private
agencies offer an adoption training course or seminar.
STEP 5: Create your
family's profile to submit to your agency for potential birth
parents to consider. 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 potential birth parent, your agency
will contact you with the good news. Every adoption is different;
however, most potential birth parents will want to meet your
family before the baby is born to ensure they're comfortable
with the adoption and to establish an openness arrangement
(if desired). Today, most families agree to some degree of
openness and it's at this meeting where you'll discuss what
type of relationship after the baby is born you'll have with
each other. Some families choose limited contact (photos and
letters through the agency) while some birth and adoptive
families become very close and agree to meet regularly before
and after the birth. Some birth mothers may ask adoptive parents
to attend doctor's appointments and/or attend the birth.
STEP 8: Open your home
to your new son or daughter! In British Columbia,
a birth mother’s consent to the adoption of her child
is only valid if the child is at least 10 days old when the
consent is given. With these consents signed and with the
approval of the agency, the adoptive parents may receive the
child. The approval of the agency indicates that a home study
was completed successfully and that required services were
provided to the birth parents.
The birth parents may withdraw
their consents within 30 days after signing them. A birth
parent must withdraw their consent in writing and it must
be received by a director or an adoption agency before the
30 days expires.