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Adopting in Alberta

Public Adoption

All public adoptions in Saskatchewan are arranged through the Ministry of Social Services. The children who are available for adoption range in age from infant to 18 years old. Children who are in the permanent care of the government are often considered to be special needs.

These children have a variety of special needs including:

  • they are part of a sibling group;
  • they were exposed to drugs or alcohol in utero and may have behavioural and learning disabilities;
  • they have difficulty attaching to a new family;
  • they have suffered abuse or neglect and this has delayed their ability to learn and develop; or
  • they have a combination of the above

Children become available for adoption in many ways. Some children (many with the special needs mentioned above) come into the care of the Ministry by court order while some birth parents choose to make an adoption plan for their child.

Since 1989, Saskatchewan's Ministry of Social Services has offered "open" adoptions as an option and has encouraged birth parents to take an active role in the selection of the adoptive parents. Openness allows for varying degrees of contact and information sharing between the birth parent and adoptive parents as the adopted child grows up.

Social Services does not charge any registration or homestudy fees for a domestic adoption. However, there may be some costs for certain documents like medical reports, criminal record checks as well as in-province travel.

The Process to Adopt Through Social Services

STEP 1: If you're interested in adopting a child in Saskatchewan, contact your local Social Services office. An adoption worker will arrange an appointment to discuss adoption options with you and help determine which adoption programs for which you want to apply. Once you've completed an application form, you'll be registered on a provincial waiting list. Time on the waiting list will vary depending on a variety factors including how many children are available for adoption and the number of approved adoptive parents who are also waiting.

STEP 2: The homestudy. 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 a medical assessment from your family doctor to confirm that you're in good physical and mental health. As well, you, anyone 19 years or older living in your home, will be asked to undergo a criminal record check. You will also need to provide three references from friends, colleagues or professionals.

STEP 3: Homestudy approval. You will be given the opportunity to review the homestudy and once you have signed off on it, the report is registered at the Central Adoption Registry. When birth parents make an adoption plan, their request includes the criteria they want in an adoptive family. Their request is registered centrally and then matched to the range of acceptance of several prospective adoptive parents. Birth parents are given the opportunity to consider several adoption homestudies that may meet the expectations they have for prospective adoptive parents of their child.

STEP 4: The matching process. When a match has occurred and you have accepted a prospective adoptive child, a series of pre placement visits begin. If the child lives in a different community, you will be asked to travel there at your own expense. These initial visits are structured and supervised, with your social worker and/or the child's social worker present and possibly the child's caregiver. As your relationship with the child grows, you will begin to spend time alone with the child and have him or her visit your home.

STEP 5: Open your home to your new son or daughter. Once the pre placement visits are completed to the satisfaction of both social workers, the child will be placed in your home. At any point in the process before the placement of the child in your home, you can decide against proceeding. If you have any doubts about the placement, discuss your concerns with your social worker.

Throughout the adoption process, it is important for you to remember that while the steps must be followed, it is also an individual process. The average time from application to homestudy takes several months.

Financial Assistance

The Assisted Adoption Program may provide assistance to adoptive families who are interested in the challenge of parenting children who have special needs and are in the care of the Minister of Social Services prior to adoption. This program is discussed with families pursuing adoption of children with special needs.


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