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Adopting a Child in Alberta


The experience of adopting a child is life-changing. This is because of the addition of a new member and the sacrifices and expectations involved.

Adopting a child in Alberta is a delicate procedure. Several limitations regulate adoption. The law provides for specific requirements and various checks carried out by social workers to verify the suitability of the new family.

As a result, the Alberta adoption process can be a long and complex procedure. So before starting the adoption process, it is good to know what the law provides in this regard. Who to contact to adopt a child?

And what are the essential steps to know? Let’s take a look.


How To Adopt a Baby in Alberta?

The first thing to do is to file the request with the juvenile court of your province. The application must be made by filling in the pre-filled forms made available by the same court.

However, depending on the types of adoption, different authorities will handle the cases. For example, for public adoption within the province, the Ministry of Children’s Services Adoptions will take care of the process.

You must attach the following documents to the application for adoption:

  • Adoption application
  • Documents of proof from a licensed adoption agency
  • Birth certificate
  • Family status
  • Declaration of consent to the adoption
  • Certificate from the general practitioner certifying the excellent health of both spouses
  • Criminal records
  • Report of home assessment
  • References
  • Consent of the children if they are over 12 years
  • Certification of sound psychophysical constitution ascertained by a public structure.

At this point, the court evaluates the request and the attachments. And then, the court will rule on the suitability of the adopters by putting respective authorities to work, such as:

  • Social services
  • Sociologists
  • Psychologists and
  • Other competent professional figures.

Verification of requirements takes approximately 8 weeks or more.

Once the suitability of the couple or a single parent is verified, the data is cross-referenced. The next step is to look for an adoptable child.

After this lapse of time, the court issues the definitive “decree of adoption.” By this verdict, the adopted child becomes, in effect, a legitimate child (with the resulting rights and duties).


How Much Does it Cost To Adopt a Child in Alberta?

The adoption process has very different costs depending on whether it is a national or international adoption.

In the first case, it is free of costs, as required by Canadian law. Public adoptions cost next to nothing.

On the other hand, in private, adoption within the country can cost from 15,000 CAD to 25,000 CAD.

But in the case of international adoption, the costs can be high and vary from country to country.

In fact, the couple who want to proceed with international adoption must pay some extras. These payments go to various contributions to the child’s country of origin to cover administrative expenses.

International adoption can cost up to 50,000 CAD. To these fixed costs are added the travel and stay costs in the chosen country.


How Long Does It Take To Adopt a Baby in Alberta?

It isn’t easy to indicate precisely the time it takes to complete the adoption procedure. But to make an average, we can say that it takes about 3 years.

Generally, the application filed in court is taken over after 5 or 10 months. And from that moment, the process of verifying the requirements begins.

But the times that pass from when a couple is declared suitable for adoption to when they welcome the child into the family vary significantly. The times can vary based on:

  • The availability of the couple themselves
  • The age of the adoptive child
  • The possible adoption of more siblings or
  • The health problems of the child.

Usually, the waiting time may extend if a biological child is already present in the family. In this case, the law requires more extraordinary precautions for its protection.


How Many Children are Available For Adoption in Alberta?

Every year both the number of available children and interested parents are increasing. But unfortunately, the percent of adoption in Alberta is not growing in recent years.

In the last year (2019 -2020), a total number of 211 children was adopted, and 181 children came under private guardianship. And by this time, a total number of 70 children were adopted internationally.


What Income Do You Need To Adopt a Child?

This is an essential question people usually ask before proceeding to child adoption Alberta. Although there is no specific bar set for income while adopting, various other factors are associated instead. The financial measure is a part of the home assessment process.

The main thing to consider is if you can give the child proper decent life. You have to be able to cover the child’s basic needs. In short, domestic and financial stability will make you eligible for child adoption in Alberta.


Can I Adopt If Single?

Alberta has one of the most flexible adoption procedures. Here, anyone can adopt a child fulfilling certain requirements, whether a single parent, same-sex partner or even has children.

But single adoption follows some additional regulations for the sake of the safety of the child. In practice, a single person can adopt, but couples are often privileged. For their part, it is easier for single women to obtain an adoption than it is for single men, who are hardly a minority.


Do You Have To Have Good Credit to Adopt a Child?

The adoption and raising a child is a lot of work. And for that, you must be prepared, domestically and financially.

In addition to the above requirements, others are more difficult to verify:

  • The suitability to educate and
  • Provide for the educational and moral needs of the child.

The assessment of these aspects requires careful analysis usually carried out by the courts for minors. The social services of local authorities help the court with this assessment.


What Do Benefits Do Adoptive Parents get?

The adoptive parents are eligible for few benefits depending on the situation.

For example, any adoptive parents with annual incomes of less than 85,000 CAD will have a child’s benefits package. However, in such cases, the child must be under 10 or has a sibling who is adopted together.

There are other benefits for children who have special needs and are adopted.


Final Words

Adoption not only changes the life of a child but the parents too. But this process is complex in many ways and may scare you.

But suppose you are really interested in adopting a child in Alberta. In that case, we recommend consulting an agency or an expert lawyer. They will help you cope with the legal steps and makes the process easier. Because when it is about your child, you don’t want to take a chance.