BC Adoption Information
General Adoption Information
Important Issues
Aboriginal Custom Adoption
Public Adoption
Private Adoption
International Adoption

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General Adoption Information

In British Columbia, there are several different types of adoption. These include:

  • Ministry adoption
  • Domestic Adoption
  • Intercountry (International)
  • Custom Aboriginal Adoption
  • Direct Placement
  • Step-parent or relative adoption

A Ministry adoption (a.k.a. ‘public adoption) is arranged through the Ministry of Children and Family Development. The Ministry of Children and Family Development arranges about half of the adoptions that occur in British Columbia. There are infants available for adoption but the majority of children are older and/or have some kind of special needs.

Agency adoptions are those conducted through one of the four, licensed adoption agencies in British Columbia. There are two types of agency adoptions: domestic and international. A domestic agency adoption refers to a placement where the birth parent(s) consent to the adoption and choose the adoptive family through a licensed adoption agency. An intercountry, or ‘international’, adoption is another popular option for families and involves the adoption of a child from another country.

Another type of adoption is Direct placement and this occurs when parents choose someone they know as the adoptive parents of their child. These types of adoptions are conducted by licensed adoption agencies.

Finally, adoption by relatives or stepparents and adult adoptions proceed directly through the courts.

Province Notes

For more information about adoption in British Columbia, visit the Ministry of Children and Family Development’s web site on adoption.

British Columbia Adoption Related Forms

Adoptive Families Association of British Columbia (AFABC) provides province wide support to families that are considering adoption, are in the process of adopting or have already adopted a child.

British Columbia’s Adoption Act The province’s Adoption Act offers a wealth of information about the processes leading to adoption, consents required, court proceedings, openness and disclosure in adoption, legal issues and more.


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