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Adopting in Alberta

Important Adoption Issues

Who can adopt on Prince Edward Island?

  • Applicants must be 19 years of age or older
  • Applicants can be single, married and/or same sex couples.

Do I need a homestudy to adopt on Prince Edward Island?

Yes. All prospective adoptive parents must complete a homestudy before adopting a child Prince Edward Island. A qualified adoption social worker will conduct your homestudy and together you will discuss your home and community, your marriage relationship 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, your 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.

What does an Open Adoption mean on Prince Edward Island?

Prince Edward Island's Adoption Act allows for both open and closed adoptions. Birth parents and the adoptive parents can make formal or informal agreements for various forms of continuing contact. The amount of contact between families varies as some agree to have visits a few times a year and others agree to see each other more often. Other agreements could also mean just exchanging letters and photos rather than visits. No openness agreement is the same as it depends on the comfort level of each party involved in the adoption.

Who must consent to an adoption on Prince Edward Island?

Consents must be given by the following people:

  • the child's birth mother;
  • the child's birth father (if he meets the definition of father)
  • the child if he/she is 12 years of age or older and competent to make an informed decision.

Note: Where the child is in the continuous custody of Director of Child Welfare, the only consents required are the Director's consent and the child's consent (where he/she is 12 or more years of age).

When do birth parents sign the consent forms?

Consents to adoption can be signed any time after a child is 14 days old on Prince Edward Island.

Can adoption consents be withdrawn?

Yes. A birth parent on Prince Edward Island can withdraw their consent for adoption in writing within 14 days of signing the consent forms.

What about a birth father’s rights?

A birth father on Prince Edward Island must also consent to the adoption. However, the birth father must meet the Adoption Act's definition of a father. A birth father's consent can be dispensed with only by the courts if the birth mother does not name or know the identity of the birth father.

Can a child be placed for adoption outside of Prince Edward Island?

Yes. An inter-provincial adoption is possible if it best meets the needs of the child in terms of safety or a home within the province cannot be found. Permission from the Director of Child Welfare to place the child out of province is required.

What is a pre-hearing study?

On Prince Edward Island, the law requires a pre-hearing study to be completed by an authorized social worker for adoptions of children under 18 years (including step-parent adoptions). This adoption study must be given to the court prior to the adoption hearing as it provides the judge with information about the circumstances of the adoption, the care the child is receiving, and the parenting abilities of the adoptive parents.

Can the agency or adoptive family help with a birth parent’s expenses?

No. It's illegal to give or receive or even offer to give or receive payment to procure a child in Canada. PEI's Adoption Act states: Any person who gives or receives, or agrees to give or receive, any payment or reward, either directly or indirectly, to procure or assist in procuring a child for the purposes of placement or adoption is guilty of an offence and is liable upon summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $20,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year.

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