adoption (a dop' tion) n.
Building a family through the process of concentrated, dedicated, enduring love...
WHERE TO START
Beginning the adoption journey can be quite overwhelming, and it can be difficult to know where to start.
To point you in the right direction, we suggest asking yourself these questions:
1) Do I want to adopt a child from Alberta, or one from another country?
If you choose to adopt a child from another country, you'll want to connect with a private agency who handles international adoptions.
2) Do I want an infant, toddler or an older child?
If you decide that you would prefer an infant, then adopting through a private agency would be your best bet. While adopting an infant through public (government) adoption is possible, it is less common for infants to be in foster care.
3) How open am I to special needs?
"Special needs" can mean a lot of different things. A child can be considered "special needs" if they are older, part of a sibling group or have a diagnosis such as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder or Autism. All children in foster care are considered "special needs" because they have all experienced some form of trauma, but even children adopted as infants could have special needs that present themselves as the child ages. It is important to consider which kinds of special needs you will be open to.
4) How much money can I dedicate to adoption?
International adoption is typically the most expensive route, with private adoption being the second most expensive and public adoption costing very little. Supports for Permanency is a program which offers financial support to families who adopt publicly. The government also provides post-secondary tuition for youth adopted after a certain age.
PUBLIC / GOVERNMENT
Child and Family Services facilitates adoption of (typically older) children of 3-18 years old in government (foster) care.
Facilitated by Child and Family Services, Kinship is the adoption of a child in care, by a family member or someone they have an existing relationship with.
PRIVATE DOMESTIC / INFANT ADOPTION
Adoption of an infant who has been surrendered by the birth parents. This is facilitated through a private agency.
DIRECT PLACEMENT / PRIVATE DIRECT
When a biological parent places their child directly into the care of someone they know. This is facilitated through a private agency and then Child & Family Services.
Adoption of children (typically infants or toddlers) from outside of Canada. This is facilitated through a private agency and then Child & Family Services.