Adopting in Alberta
A child who is not under the permanent guardianship of Calgary and Area Child and Family Services may be placed for private adoption. Three types of private adoptions are available in Alberta:
- Licensed Adoption Agency Placements
- Direct Placements
- Spousal (step-parent) or Relative Adoptions
Ministry of Children's Services licenses non-profit adoption agencies which must comply with all requirements outlined in the Child Welfare Act and Regulations and must make counseling services available to birth and adoptive parents.
A parent wanting to place their child for adoption may make a direct placement with a family they know. The birth parent and prospective adoptive parents must notify the Ministry of Children's Services about the placement. A licensed agency chosen by the adoptive parents processes the paperwork, completes the home assessment and prepares all the Court documents. The agency may charge the adoptive applicant a fee for services.
It is illegal to give or receive payment or reward for placing a child for adoption, or to assist with an adoption placement without either a license or special permission from the Ministry of Children's Services.
Spousal and Relative Adoptions
If one of the child's parents wants their spouse to share parental responsibility by adopting, that spouse must directly petition the Court. If a person wants to adopt a grandchild, niece, nephew, great niece or great nephew, that person may also directly petition the Court. The Ministry of Children's Services has developed a self-help kit that allows a petitioner to prepare the Court documents without a lawyer. These are available from the Queen's Printer Bookstore for a fee. After the Court is petitioned, the Ministry of Children's Services receives notice about the hearing and reviews its records to determine whether it has a child protection concern about the petitioner. The judge may require the petitioner to obtain a home assessment report, which the person can obtain from a licensed agency.
The Ministry of Children's Services assists people who want to adopt children from other countries by providing information, advice and the documentation needed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) as well as other national governments. If needed, reports and home assessments for applicants are completed at their expense by licensed agencies on behalf of the Ministry of Children's Services. If the child is a ward of another country, the adoptive family must meet the adoption requirements of Alberta and the other country. The adoption order may be granted in Alberta or in the child's country.
If the child is not a ward of the other country, the Ministry of Children's Services does not get involved with the adoption process. The adoptive parents must make all arrangements and the adoption order must be granted in the other country. Once the adoptive parents supply a translated copy (if required) of the order, the Ministry of Children's Services will provide the letter of "No Involvement" that CIC requires to allow the child into Canada.
To find out more information regarding International Ward Adoptions contact:
Anne Scully, Manager
Alberta Ministry of Children's Services
11th Floor, 9940 - 106 Street
Edmonton, AB T5K 2N2
Phone (780) 422-0178
Fax (780) 427-2048