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Child adoption

For many reasons, adopting a child may be the best option for a couple or a person who would like to raise a child.

However, there are laws and regulations in place to ensure that the child is placed in a safe and nurturing environment. There are also requirements a potential adoptive parent has to fulfill before they will be considered.

Qualifications for adopting a child

Adoption is regulated through the provinces and territories. That means each province/territory sets its own requirements and qualifications for the people who want to adopt a child or children.

Regardless of which province or territory you reside in, the person or couple who wants to adopt usually has to fill out a home study, a detailed interview and application process conducted by a social worker.

Although every province and territory has this requirement, the process and requirements likely differ. Generally though, what is involved in this home study, besides interviews, are also police and background checks, home visits and likely the social worker is going to talk to references.

Most provinces have several steps that they require potential adoptive parents to undergo before an intra-provincial adoption is allowed to occur.

For example, British Columbia has a five step program. The first step is to get information from the government about adoption, then meet with a social worker, then go through the home study. Step four is the matching process in which the home study is used to match potential adoptive parents with a child. The last step is child placement.

In Quebec, the requirements for adopting a child or first be a foster family, the adopter must:

  • Be at least 18 years old;
  • Be at least 18 years older than the child;
  • Obtain a satisfactory result on the psychosocial assessment;
  • Obtain the child's consent if he or she is at least 14 years old, unless the child is unable to express his or her wishes.

Five main categories of adoption:

  1. Adopting a child or an infant (Private adoption);
  2. Adopting a child, an infant or youth from the Canadian child welfare system (Public adoption);
  3. Adopting a stepchild or stepchildren;
  4. Adopting a child that is a birth relative (Kinship adoption);
  5. Adopting a child from another country (International).

How much can it cost to adopt?

The costs of adoption vary and will likely increase by year. It also depends if you are adopting a child privately, through the public system or internationally. There are also a variety of other factors that can play a role in increasing (or decreasing) costs for adoptions.

Generally adoptions costs run in these ranges:

  • Private adoption through a licensed private agency: $10,000 - $20,000
  • Public adoption: $0 - $3,000
  • International adoption: $20,000 to $30,000

Remember that prices can vary depending on many outside factors and that the above costs are a very rough estimate.

How long can the adoption process take?

The process of adoption is usually a lengthy one. Depending on a variety of factors the adoption process can take from almost a year to up to a decade. However, the better prepared potential adoptive parents are for the adoption process the less time it may take.

Read more:

Adoption Council of Canada

Regular Adoption and Adoption under the Banque mixte program Quebec