Hot Topic: Social Media and Crowdfunding

What are the rules for adoptive and prospective adoptive parents?

We are receiving more and more inquiries about postings, blogs and crowdfunding sites by adoptive parents who have good intentions in wanting to share their adoption journey and also set up sites to fundraise to cover their adoption expenses. However, this is not currently permitted, and when Adoption Options learn of such a posting, we will require that it be removed. Here's why…

In accordance with sec. 85(1) of the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act and sec. 25(2)(d)(iii) of the Adoption Regulations, both prospective adoptive parents and adoption agencies are prohibited from publishing any advertisements dealing with the adoption of a child. While legislation allows for sharing of information between prospective adoptive families and birth families in order to facilitate an adoption, such information sharing must also preserve confidentiality. This often translates into private communication and not public dissemination of information. Public dissemination is seen as an unnecessary disclosure of information beyond the intent of the Act. The posting of profiles online, with widespread access, falls under the category of publication and is prohibited. Furthermore, the Regulation prohibits identifying a specific adoptive parent. The posting of an online profile would identify the prospective adoptive parent and is contrary to the Regulation. This would then include crowdfunding /fundraising efforts to cover adoption fees, as such postings share one’s desire and story to adopt a child.

The issue of publishing advertisements dealing with the adoption of a child, including the posting of profiles online, will be considered when a review of the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act next occurs.  As part of the review, adoption agencies and prospective adoptive families will be given the opportunity to provide their input on how the legislation could better respond to the needs of Alberta families.

You are welcome to seek your own legal advice on this topic.  As regulation review of the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act is coming up in 2016, I welcome your input on how current legislation can better respond to the needs of Alberta families in respect to adoption practice.  You can email me at: sheryl.proulx@adoptionoptions.com.

Sheryl 

Sheryl Proulx, BSW, RSW
Executive Director
Adoption Options