On Prince Edward Island, there are no licensed
private adoption agencies but that doesn't mean a private
adoption can't be arranged. Expectant parents who are considering
an adoption plan for their child can contact the Department
of Social Services and Seniors or a licensed private adoption
The Department of Social Services can assist
expectant parents in finding an adoptive family for their
child from their list of approved waiting families or they
can refer the birth parent(s) to a private adoption agent.
Private adoption agents are social workers
who are licensed by the Director of Child Welfare to arrange
adoptions. These workers also conduct homestudies and ensure
that expectant parents receive mandatory counseling from an
authorized adoption social worker. Private adoption agents
have profiles of approved waiting adoptive families an expectant
parent can choose for their child or the worker can help two
families who have already agreed to an adoption arrangement
with the process.
Cost of Private Domestic
Adoptions Private adoption is not free.
With most domestic private adoptions, prospective adoptive
parents pay the cost of the homestudy (ranges anywhere from
$1,000 to $2,000), fees to register with a private adoption
agent and lawyer's fees. The total costs can range anywhere
from $10,000 to $15,000.
STEP 1: Contact
Services Program at the Department of Social Services and
Seniors and ask for a referral to a private adoption
STEP 2: The Homestudy
process. You will meet with, and be interviewed by
your private adoption agent several times (4 to 6 minimum)
to discuss a variety of topics including your relationship
with spouse/partner, your family and childhood, your financial
and employment situation, your health, lifestyle and home,
your interests, your parenting styles and attitudes, as well
as your understanding of open and closed adoptions. You'll
also discuss your motivation for adopting as well as the characteristics
of the child you're hoping to adopt.
STEP 3: Wait for a match! Once
your homestudy has been completed, your family will be considered
as actively waiting for a match. 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 4: The "call" ...
If you've been chosen by a potential birth family,
your worker will contact you with the good news. Depending
on the potential birth parents, you most likely will have
the opportunity to meet with them before the placement to
see if you're a good fit. It's at this meeting that you will
most likely discuss an openness agreement and set the boundaries
for your future relationship. Some families choose limited
contact while some birth parents and adoptive parents become
very close and agree to meet regularly before the birth. Some
birth mothers involve the adoptive parents with doctor's appointment
and even allow them to attend the birth!
STEP 5: Open your home to your new
son or daughter! On Prince Edward Island , a birth
mother’s consent to the adoption of her child is only
valid if the child is at least 14 days old when the consent
is given.* With these consents signed and with the approval
of the adoption agent, the adoptive parents may receive the
* The birth parents have 14
days after the adoption consents have been signed in which
they can change their minds and withdraw their consent. The
withdrawal must be in writing and the birth parent must obtain
the withdrawal form from the person placing the child for
adoption. It's then the responsibility of this person to return
the child to the birth parents.
STEP 6: Probation period and Adoption Study.
On Prince Edward Island, it takes several months following
the six month mandatory probation period for an adoption to
be finalized. During this time, your social worker is required
by law to complete a pre-hearing study and submit it to the
court before an adoption hearing. This adoption study provides
the judge with information about the circumstances of the
adoption, the care the child is now receiving and if the adoptive
parents' abilities can provide for the child's best interests
now and in the future.
STEP 7: Adoption Finalization!
Once everyone is satisfied that the adoption can
proceed, the adoptive family can proceed with the finalization.
*Important * On Prince
Edward Island, the adoptive family is responsible for hiring
a lawyer for the adoption's finalization as well as the costs