Considering Adopting a Child in Alberta?
If you are a couple looking to adopt a child in Alberta you will participate in “The Alberta Domestic Adoption Program”.
“Domestic” adoption refers to adoptions where:
- The children are usually newborn or infant
- The adopting parties are being matched and the Court applications are completed by a provincially licensed and approved agency
- The process is regulated under the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act and Adoption Regulation
- The adopting parties reside within the jurisdiction of Alberta
Couples may consider adopting children for any number of reasons. Adoption provides an excellent opportunity for families to grow.
Becoming Comfortable with the Adoption Process
In the majority of situations, adoption is not a couple’s first choice as a means of growing their family, nor is it the first choice of most people who find themselves unexpectedly pregnant. The best way to start down this path is to gather as much information as possible and to talk about the process with your partner, your family and trusted friends. At Small Miracles Adoption, we can help provide you with answers to your questions, and offer counselling and support, to help prepare you for your adoption journey.
Where Do The Babies Come From?
Babies still arrive in the same manner as they always have. 🙂 Children can become available for adoption in Alberta for any variety of reasons: Generally, a pregnant individual or a couple makes a decision based on their desire to seek out what is best for their child. This is a particularly difficult decision, but one that is usually grounded in an understanding that they lack the capacity to care for the child and have a genuine desire to see that the child has advantages and opportunities that they cannot provide. Making an adoption plan is a very selfless and courageous decision. When a pregnant individual contacts us to help explore, and complete, an adoption plan we treat them with the utmost of respect they deserve! There is no judgement – ever! We believe that placing a baby or child for Adoption is the “Ultimate Expression of a Committed Heart”. Unfortunately, less than 100 children are placed each year through the Domestic Adoption Program in Alberta.
All adoption agencies operate as not-for-profit companies staffed mainly by Registered Social Workers and people who have a passion for Adoption. We do not receive any government funding. The costs associated with the Adoption Program are all born by the adopting family. There is never any cost to the biological parents. The adopting couple are invoiced on a fee-for-service basis, over time, as they progress through the various stages, and approvals, culminating with the filing of the necessary documents to the Alberta Courts, Court of Queen’s Bench. The fees also include a one-time payment that is set aside for counselling required by the biological parents (and/or their family members) after the adoption placement. The average cost of a Domestic Adoption is $15, 000 -$17,000. This variation is due to the inability to estimate travel costs incurred by the Adoption Social Worker when working with the birth parents and the adoption placement.
The Wait to Adopt
Once approved, the adopting couple is placed on that Agency’s list of eligible families. The length of those lists varies among agencies. The process is also competitive in that several eligible adopting families are presented to each birth couple, or individual, and it is the couple or individual who will initiate any potential match.
Factors that will affect the time that a couple might remain on an agency list before being matched include:
- The number of couples on any given Agency’s list
- How selective the adopting couple is in identifying a child’s characteristics
- How many children become available to any particular Agency
Small Miracles Adoption welcomes same-gender or alternative-gender couples to explore adoption as a means of adding to or completing their families. In many instances, pregnant couples or individuals either prefer or specify alternative-style relationships.
As a couple, you do not have to be married in order to adopt but you do have to be together for at least twenty-four months. Naturally, the strength and longevity of your relationship is an important factor in determining any couple’s suitability to parent.
Why Choose Small Miracles Over Other Agencies?
There are some significant differences between Small Miracles Adoption and other agencies. We characterize ourselves as a “Boutique” adoption agency because we are extremely selective in who we represent, restricting our adopting clients list to a maximum of 12 couples.
The mandatory Adoption Preparation Seminars are similarly limited to a maximum of four couples.
Why Do We Choose to Operate in this manner?
Adoption is very intimate process
It is vitally important that Small Miracles Adoption establishes and maintains close and current relationships with all of our adopting couples. While this is important in our work with clients, it is particularly important when we select and present them to pregnant individuals for matching purposes.
The timeliness of adoption is important
By keeping our Adopting Couples List small, there is a greater chance that they will be placed with a child more quickly than if we held a list of 50 or 100 families. This is important because we want our couples to remain current with the information they receive from our seminar.
Lives on hold
Additionally, we do not want our Adopting Couples to have their lives on hold for any longer a period than practical. Please note, if you are not placed with a child within one year of your homestudy being approved, a yearly update to the report is mandatory as per legislation.
We Care About Your Money
Reasonable Fees and No Annual List Fee
Adoption represents a significant expense. Each Adoption Agency determines its own fee schedule. Our fees are consistently at, or below, what is being charged by other agencies. Small Miracles Adoption does not have an annual fee for being on our list.
*Small Miracles Adoption works with Birth Parents and Adopting couples throughout the Province of Alberta!
**WE REGRET TO INFORM YOU THAT WE ARE NOT ACCEPTING NEW APPLICATIONS FOR OUR DOMESTIC PROGRAM AT THIS TIME. WE WILL REVISIT THIS DECISION IN THE FALL OF 2018.