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Private Domestic Adoption

In Alberta, there are five, non-government and non-profit agencies that have the authority to arrange private adoptions in the province. All are licensed and monitored by Alberta’s Human Services and must comply with all requirements outlined in the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act and Regulations.

In Albertan private adoptions, the birth parents may choose to place their child through one of the licensed adoption agencies. Private adoption agencies use the same screening and home assessment requirements that Alberta’s Human Services employs for approving adoptive families. These agencies also keep an inventory of approved homes and prepare the court documents for adoption finalization.

Cost of Private Domestic Adoptions
Private adoption is not free. With most domestic private adoptions, prospective adoptive parents pay the registration fees with the agency, the cost of the home study, cost of training and a placement fee when the child is actually placed in the home. These costs can range anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000.

Steps for Private Adoption in Alberta

The following information outlines the typical process for adopting privately in Alberta:

STEP 1: Contact one or more of the five private adoption agencies in Alberta (Private agency listing can be found here) and ask to speak with an adoption worker.

STEP 2: Complete the following important documents and clearances:

  • An Intervention Record Check. If there is a serious child protection concern, this will be discussed with you by Alberta Children’s Services. You may still choose to continue with your application, but you should be aware that written consent from the Director must be obtained before approval of the home study can be given.
  • Security Clearance Check. This is obtained from the police department. If you have a criminal record, the nature, seriousness and date of the offense will be taken into consideration. Minor offenses in your past will not prevent your approval as an adoptive parent.
  • References from persons you designate
  • Medicals
  • Financial Statement
  • Personal Legal Documents

STEP 3: Attend an adoption educational seminar or training. The government regulations state that pre-adoption counseling covering a number of specified topic areas must be provided before approval.

STEP 4: The home study report. This is probably the scariest part of the adoption process for most applicants. A social worker will visit your home over the span of several months and interview you about your life, your family and your home environment. You will be asked to discuss many personal issues; your worker will want to know about your childhood, your religious beliefs, education, past relationships and marriages, as well as your views on parenting. It’s important to be up front and honest with your worker so that he/she will be able to portray a clear and accurate view of your family in the home study report.

STEP 5: Write a “Dear Expectant Parent Letter” and create a profile to submit to your agency for potential birth families to review. Ask your agency if they have any guidelines or for some examples of profiles that have proven successful.

STEP 6: Wait! 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 7: The match. If you’ve been chosen by a birth family, your agency will contact you with the good news. Depending on the 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 and after the birth. Many birth mothers ask the adoptive parents to attend the birth!

STEP 8: Open your home to your new son or daughter! In Alberta, birth parents sign the consents following the birth of the child but before the baby is placed with the adoptive family. With these consents signed and with the approval of the agency, the adoptive parents may receive the child. Once the consent form has been signed, a birth mother has a 10 day period in which to change her mind and reverse the decision.


 



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