adoption in canada

simply stephen / November 17, 2009

Adoption in Canada is a regular thing.

There are approximately 2000 domestic and 2000 international adoptions taking place every year for the last decade. The annual birth rate in Canada is currently about 375,000.

The Canadian system of adoption is perhaps the most sophisticated child welfare system in the world, with a complex network of Children’s Aid Societies, counseling and fostering programs. Each province or territory is responsible for it’s own regulations.

Adoptive parents in Canada also receive substantial parental leave (in comparison to many countries). The general belief of each region however, is to protect the rights, health and welfare of the child.

Americans can adopt a child from Canada, but only a handful take place every year. Canadians can also adopt American children and many do. It is on the top list of International providers for Canada. The process involves a few hurdles and you generally have to go through a private agency and Customs & Immigration Canada – a long process.

Here are some guidelines and main points for the territories and provinces in Canada.


  • it is not first come first served
  • priority will be given to disable, child over 7, sibling groups,media feature, child you have fostered for 6 months
  • home study is mandatory
  • contact between adoptive parents and birth parents is controlled
  • to adopt internationally ou can adopt privately or through the governing country

British Columbia

  • same procedures as Alberta
  • open to homosexual adoption & all types of family groups
  • child requires permanence
  • support and help in the parenting process is important
  • medical and consent for international and all adoption


  • must be 18
  • assistance is available – one time start up costs for transport, equipment, special services and daily care
  • Child and Family Services must be notified of intent to adopt internationally

New Brunswick

  • subsidies are available
  • age, gender,orientation,education, finance will not be discriminated
  • money can’t change hands
  • must be married for 2 years
  • birth parent must consent the adoption

Newfoundland and Labrador

  • single parents and all types are accepted
  • self help kits are available
  • exchange of information between adoptive and birth is encouraged
  • open records system
  • Children are involved in the process
  • adoptive parents must be a resident for at least 6 months

Nova Scotia

  • 19 years old
  • birth mothers have the right to review applicants
  • birth parents can not select the parent
  • information can not be made public and it is illegal to recruit and publicly identify a child available for adoption
  • 6 month probation


  • controlled by Ontario Children’s Aid Society working as a team
  • 4 ways to adopt – society, private adoption agency, international agency, courts to adopt a relative (priority)
  • open to all types of family groups, non discrimination of age, race, religion, origin, gender, sexual orientation, mental or physical disability
  • must be a resident
  • siblings can be adopted together, otherwise one adoption at a time
  • 18 years old

Prince Edward Island

  • dealt with by the director of Child Welfare (or a designate)
  • parental leave of up to 52 weeks (only 12 weeks paid)
  • no private agencies


  • age of 18 (exceptions if a relative with a good bond)
  • child must consent if over 10
  • financial assistance is available
  • child over 14 has right to find birth parent
  • 52 weeks of parental leave, varies by region
  • assessments are important, especially for international adoption
  • probation is mandatory for 6 months


  • adoptions must be processed through a provincial child and family services agency
  • illegal to advertise
  • consent of birth parents
  • child over 12 must give consent
  • subsidies are available for special needs children
  • openness for birth parents and identity

Yukon, Northwest and Nunavut Territories (Aboriginal Adoptions)

  • Deal with Native custom adoptions (mostly, only a handful of adoption in these low population areas and they are mostly native)
  • Aboriginal adoptions will take place in the other territories too
  • Aboriginals will generally be kept in a cultural background

There is the basics of adoption in Canada. Keeping things simple and cutting through the info so you don’t have to is what The Simply Stephen Network is all about. Please take the time to review various articles and information pieces that will help you cope with your life problems.

2 thoughts on “adoption in canada

  1. Actually Americans cannot adopt from Canada, as you must be a Canadian citizen to do so. Also majority of Canadian adoptions are family members.

  2. One of the frequent questions in adoption is, Can I See My Child As They Grow Up? The answer is yes. As the birth parent making an adoption plan, you can determine what your level of openness and contact will look like and a conversation that you can have with the family that you choose to place your child with, and we as the agency are here to help you with those conversations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.