Who can adopt in British Columbia?
- Every effort is made to place British
Columbia's waiting children within the province. Placement
out of the province is only considered when the prospective
adoptive family is related to the child or already has a
significant relationship with the child.
- A child may be placed for adoption with
one adult or 2 adults jointly.
- One adult may apply to the court to jointly
become a parent of a child with a birth parent of the child.
Do I need a home study to adopt
in British Columbia?
Yes. All prospective adoptive parents must complete a home
study and attend training before adopting a child in British
Columbia. The home study is conducted by a qualified social
worker who interviews you and your family over several weeks.
During these interviews, your social worker will talk to you
about why you’ve chosen adoption, your childhood, your
family, your views on parenting, your relationship with your
partner (if applicable) and other appropriate topics. Social
workers do not expect families to be perfect. In fact,
they are looking for people who have dealt with challenges
in their lives in a positive and proactive manner. At the
end of these interviews, the social worker writes a report
and will give her recommendations about adoption for your
What is the Smoke-Free Environment
Preference in British Columbia?
Recently, the Ministry introduced a smoke-free
policy for foster parents. A smoke-free environment means
no smoking in the home or the family's vehicle. The policy
does not apply to the use of tobacco for cultural or traditional
The Ministry does not require adoptive parents
to quit smoking. However, in the best interests of the child,
there is a preference for adoptive families to provide a non-smoking
environment. The Ministry hopes to ensure a smoke-free environment
for all children and you in its care - through the foster
care system and on into placement in their adoptive homes.
What does an Open Adoption mean
in British Columbia?
Openness agreements can be made with the
biological families and other important people in a child's
life. These agreements outline the kind of contact and information
exchange each party would like and how often this communication
and contact will take place. Participation in an openness
agreement is voluntary for everyone. Openness in adoption
recognizes the importance to a child's continued psychological
and emotional health, development and well being of maintaining
In British Columbia, there is a "Post-Adoption Openness
Registry" where any party in an adoption can register
to make an Openness Agreement if one wasn't made before their
adoption was completed. For more information, contact the
Registry at (250) 387-3660.
Who must give consent to an adoption in British Columbia?
Generally, for the adoption of a child in British Columbia,
consents must be obtained from:
- the birth mother
- the birth father
- any person appointed as the child's guardian
- the child, if he/she is 12 years of age
Note: Where the child is in the continuous custody of a Director
under the Child, Youth and Family Services Act, the only consents
required are the Director's consent and the child's consent
(where he/she is 12 or more years of age).
Can adoption consents be withdrawn?
Yes. A birth parent in British Columbia may withdraw their
consent to the adoption plan within 30 days of the child’s
birth even though the child has been placed for adoption during
that period. The 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. Also, the consent to the
adoption of a child is only valid if the child is at least
10 days old when the consent is given.
What are the rights of birth fathers
in British Columbia?
If you believe you are the father of a child who may be placed
for adoption, you can register your name on the Birth Father
Registry to receive notification of the proposed adoption.
You can register before the child is born or up to 150 days
Can prospective adoptive parents
advertise their desire to adopt in British Columbia?
Yes.In British Columbia, families
who are hoping to adopt can network and advertise to adopt.
Can children born in British Columbia
be placed for adoption outside of the province?
Yes, but every effort is made to keep children
in the province. If an appropriate family cannot be found
in British Columbia, social workers may contact agencies in
other provinces. Children may also be placed with extended
family that lives in other provinces. In private adoptions,
birth parents in British Columbia may choose families outside
of the province.
Can the agency
or adoptive family help with a birth parent’s expenses?
No. It is illegal to give or receive or even offer to give
or receive payment to procure a child in Canada.