adoption (a dop' tion) n.
Building a family through the process of concentrated, dedicated, enduring love...



What is adoption?

Adoption is the legal and permanent transfer of parental rights and responsibilities from birthparent(s) to adoptive parent(s). Adoptive parents have the same responsibilities and legal rights as biological parents.

What kinds of adoption are there?

There are five main categories of adoption.

- Public - Adopting an infant, child, or youth from the Canadian 
   child welfare system (Public)

- Adopting an infant or child (Private)

- International - Adopting a child from another country

- Adopting a stepchild/children

- Kinship - Adopting a birth relative

How much does it cost to adopt?

The cost of adoption depends on a number of variables: the type of adoption you undertake, whether you work with an agency, and any associated travel costs. The costs range from almost nothing (for adoptions through Alberta Child and Family Services) to $60,000+ (for local infant or international adoptions).

How long does the adoption process take?

It varies depending on the type of adoption you are pursuing and the age of the child. The process of adopting can range from 9 months to 9 years. When adopting internationally, the process varies according to the other country involved. One way to help speed up an adoption is to be informed, educated, and as proactive as possible.

What is a homestudy?

A homestudy is an in-depth application and interview process conducted by a qualified adoption social worker to assess a family or individual who is considering adoption. Potential adoptive parents are interviewed and undergo various reference, police and background checks and home visits. Contact your agency for their specific homestudy process.

Is there any financial assistance available to adoptive parents?

In the tax year an adoption is finalized, the federal government offers a tax credit. Alberta government allows for tax credits for adoption expenses. Additionally, the National Bank of Canada offers loans for some adoption cases.


You can find more information at

Canada Revenue Agency

National Bank

How do I adopt my partner’s child?

For relative or step-child adoptions within Alberta, there is a self help kit that is available through the Queen’s Printer to process these adoptions. The option to use the services of a lawyer or private licensed adoption agency may assist them with the completions of the adoption and filing with the Court of Queen’s Bench.

Am I too old to adopt?

No! The only age requirement to adopt is that you’re over the age of 18. Contact your local agency for more information.

Can I adopt if I have medical issues?

It depends. Through discussions with a social worker and during your home study, your suitability as an adoptive parent will be determined.

Can I adopt if I am single?

Yes! Contact the agency you want to use to find out their specific guidelines.

Can I adopt if I am gay or lesbian?

Yes. In Canada, there are no legal prohibitions to same-sex adoption. However, some countries do not permit international adoptions by same-sex couples. Contact your agency for more information.

I’m an adoptee and am interested in finding my birth family. How do I do it?

If you were adopted in Alberta, begin with the Alberta Post Adoption Registry. If you were adopted elsewhere in Canada, please contact the province in which your adoption was finalized. View the Canadian Registries. For outside of Canada, try starting with the agency who facilitated your adoption.