Adoption in Canada is kind of a best kept secret. To like everyone, including those of us who live there. In Canada, the adoption system is very multifaceted, and about as diverse and expansive as the country itself. A simple Google search on the topic can leave you with a lot more questions than you originally started with. For this reason, we bring you a guided listicle on Canadian adoption that will answer many of your preliminary questions. Annnnnd, we will warn you, the system is so boss; reading any further will probably result in you incorporating adoption into your family planning.
1. Adoption is provincially regulated
Across provinces and territories in Canada, adoption policy differs greatly. In some provinces, direct placements are allowed, meaning adoption arrangements can be made directly between expecting mothers and adoptive parents without involving an agency. Instead, the parties can involve the aid of adoption practitioners, licensed authorities, or lawyers directly. In other provinces and territories, this practice is strictly prohibited. For this reason, when considering adoption, best practice is to start by scrolling through your province’s adoption website.
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Nova Scotia
- Northwest Territories
- Prince Edward Island
2. There are 5 types of adoption available to Canadians
- Public Welfare Agency Adoption: This type is the most popular way to adopt in Canada. Most of the children available for adoption via this route are over the age of 2.
- Infant adoption via licensed adoption practitioner or private agency. ‘Nuff said. This is the mainstay for adopting babies domestically. Costs can range anywhere from $10,000 – $20,000.
- Custom adoption or customary arrangement. This type of adoption was designed specifically for children of aboriginal descent. Custom adoptions ensure aboriginal children in long-term care are raised within aboriginal households – keeping them connected to their culture and communities.
- Kinship or Step-Parent Adoption. This type of adoption is reserved for family – grandparents, aunts/uncles extended family and step-parents – of intended children. These adoptions can be completed by obtaining a self-help kit at your local court. Some procedural provincial differences do apply here, so always inquire with local agencies or the ministry to save you time and leg work.
- International Adoption. Can be arranged via private agency. Make sure that you ask a lot of questions regarding the agency’s experience with international adoption as well as navigating immigration and international laws. Seasoned agencies can shave off a lot of wait time and avoid unnecessary costs and delays.
3. The average length of time to complete an adoption is two years
This statistic is an average; realities skew both north and south of 2 years. Direct placements are generally much quicker as they can be completed in as little as a few months where international adoptions can take years. Where public adoption is concerned, you can expect 2 years to be the norm to complete the mandatory home study and legal proceedings.
4. The average age of children available for adoption in Canada is 10
Consider adopting an older child. You may have missed out on baby’s first smile or first word, but you’ll also miss out on changing diapers, potty training, early morning feeds… you get the picture.
5. The federal government offers an tax credit for adoption expenses
Adoptive parents can claim up to $15,453 in adoption expenses for each child the year the adoption is completed. These expenses include travel expenses, court costs, even document translation fees where necessary. For a complete list, see Canada Revenue.
6. Adoption is totally accessible
Public adoption through a child protection agency usually costs nothing at all.
7. Some provinces and agencies have profiles posted on their websites of waiting, available children
These profiles contain detailed information about the children’s personalities, academics, matching consideration, and even sometimes photos. Just try not to fall in love with one of these kids.
Featured Image: @thewindexpedition