In Québec, families hoping
to adopt a local newborn or infant can expect to wait anywhere
from 4 to 8 years. Why such a long wait? There are fewer adoptions
due to a number of reasons such as many women choose to abort
and others decide to parent their children as it's more acceptable
socially to do so and utilize government assistance. There
are also more waiting families than babies being placed with
consent for adoption. Also, since it's illegal to 'network
or advertise' in regards to adoption in Québec, prospective
families find it difficult to connect with potential birth
In the majority of cases, the Québecois
children who are willingly placed for adoption are newborns
but some may be as old as 4 years of age. These types of adoptions
are overseen by the Centre Youth and families hoping to adopt
must be registered on their local Centre Youth's waiting list.
Birth families can voice their wishes as to the type of family
they would like to see adopt their child, but in the end,
the Centre Youth makes the final decision in regards to the
child's best interests.
Adopting parents do not generally have contact with the child's
biological parents until one party expresses a desire to meet
with the other before the child is placed. Open adoption agreements
are not legally recognized in Québec but many families do
make informal agreements for future relationships.
STEP 1: Contact
your local Centre Youth and request to speak with an adoption
worker. You may be asked to attend an information session
or be sent an information package with documents.
STEP 2: Paperwork and
more paperwork! Fill out all the paperwork so that
your application can move forward. These documents include
the application form, a self-study questionnaire, references,
a medical examination, proof of employment, a statement of
income, a proof of residence, and a consent form for a police
STEP 3: The psychosocial
assessment (a.k.a. the homestudy). If you've been
accepted by the Centre Youth, based on your application and
forms, you will be contacted by a social worker to begin the
assessment. During the homestudy, your social worker will
meet with you and your family together and on an individual
basis at their office and in your home over a period of approximately
6 to 8 weeks.
During these meetings, you
will be 'interviewed' and it will feel as though nothing in
your life is private. Such topics will be your motivation
for adopting, your history of fertility/infertility, your
professional and cultural situation, your personal history
and your relationship with your partner if you have one, your
health, your extended family, your sex life, your relationship
with your children (if you already have any), your attitude
toward adoption and parenthood. You'll also discuss the type
of child you want to adopt and how you will cope and accept
a child if he/she has any developmental, attachment or behavioural
STEP 4: Psychosocial
Assessment Report. Your social worker will take all
of the content he/she has gathered as a result of your meetings
and write a report for the Centre Youth to assess. If your
family is approved to adopt, a child may be placed in your
home within a few days or you may wait up to a couple of years.
There are a number of factors influencing how long you will
wait for a match including the strengths and weaknesses of
your family, the child's characteristics (age, culture, needs
if any) and the parent-child match itself.
STEP 5: Wait for a
match! If you're waiting for a healthy, Caucasian
newborn, your wait could be as long as 6 to 8 years. Families
that have a greater range of acceptance in terms of a child's
ethnicity and age will undoubtedly have a shorter waiting
STEP 6: The call! Once
you've been chosen for a baby, your social worker from the
Centre Youth will call you with the wonderful news. You will
most likely receive the call and have to act quickly as most
families will bring the baby directly home from the hospital.
STEP 7: A
local adoption requires that the birth parent(s) consent to
the adoption of the child. Consents can be withdrawn but only
within 30 days of the consent being given. Once the 30 day
period has passed, you can begin to breathe easier as the
adoption placement can move forward to finalization.
STEP 8: Finalization!
There is a minimum six month legal period before
finalization of the adoption occurs. Your adoption worker
through Centre Youth will visit with your family regularly
to ensure the placement is successful and to gather information
for the Court for finalization.
Once the court grants the adoption,
your baby is now considered legally part of your family and
all ties with his/her biological family are severed. Your
child will get a new legal name of your choosing and a new
birth certificate will be issued in that name. Congratulations!