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Adopting in British Columbia

Public Adoption

A public adoption or adoption of a 'permanent ward' is arranged by Manitoba Child and Family Services agencies. Children become eligible for adoption through this government agency because their birth parents have consented or because the Court has determined that their biological families are unable to care for the child. Social workers try to involve most birth parents in the permanency planning for their child. In Manitoba, there is particular recognition given to preserving the unique heritage and cultural ties of Aboriginal children.

All children who are eligible for adoption and approved adoptive applicants are registered with the province's Central Adoption Registry. Children may be placed with an applicant anywhere in Manitoba. In a situation where more than one applicant is suitable to adopt a child, the child will be placed with the applicant with the earliest application date.

Because the child's needs are the main considerations in adoption planning, Child and Family Services social workers look for the most suitable family for the child, rather than finding a child for the adoptive family.

The Public Adoption Process in Manitoba

STEP 1: Contact your local Child and Family Services agency. Click here for more information.

STEP 2: The homestudy. A qualified adoption social worker will conduct your homestudy and together you will discuss your home and community, your marriage and your thoughts about parenting. You will also discuss many other aspects of being parents of an adopted child, such as your knowledge of adoption issues, including those of separation and loss and their effect on behaviour and development. As part of the homestudy process you will be required to provide information such as medical reports from your doctor, financial statements, police checks and letters from references. Following the homestudy process, the agency's social worker will give the agency a report that includes a recommendation about placing the child with you. You are entitled to a copy of the report.

STEP 3: Your social worker or Child and Family Services agency will enter your information into Manitoba's Central Adoption Registry. This registry has both eligible children and adoptive applicants registered so that matches can be made.

STEP 4: Wait for a match! This part of the process is often the most difficult for waiting families. There is no set period of time; some families are matched quickly while others may wait months or years for a child.

STEP 5: A match is made! Your adoption social worker will share with you information about the proposed child. This information will include a social and medical history, as well as information about the child's behavioural, intellectual and emotional development. All non-identifying information that is known will be shared with you.

STEP 6: Transition home. Before the child is placed with you and depending on the age of the child, you will visit with the child and his/her foster family to help everyone get to know each other. During this time, your child becomes familiar with the new surroundings before moving into your home.

STEP 7: Supervisory Period. After the adoption placement day, there is usually a six- to twelve-month period before the adoption is legalized in Court. This gives you some time to adjust and to deal with any issues that might arise. The adoption social worker will continue to provide support and counsel to your family.

After this post-placement period, Child and Family Services applies to the Court of Queen's Bench for an Order of Adoption on your behalf. The result is that your child is legally considered just as if he or she were born to you. Counseling and support can be provided beyond that time if required by the needs of you and your child.

Adoption Financial Assistance

Following adoption placement of a permanent ward, financial assistance is available for families who adopt a child with special needs that require special services or for families who are adopting more than one child from the same family.

There are three types of financial assistance:

  • One-time start-up costs, such as for transportation, equipment, or necessary changes to the adoptive family's home.
  • Costs of special services for a child who has been diagnosed with special needs.
  • Ongoing maintenance payments to help with the daily care of a child with special needs or who is in a sibling group. The amount is based on the applicants' income and family size.

Adoptive families might be eligible for all three types. Assistance may be available until the child reaches age 18 and may continue even if the family moves to another province.

There are no fees to adopt a permanent ward in Manitoba.


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