Private Direct Adoption
Private Direct, Relative and Spousal Adoption
Birthparents may place their child directly with a family they know, or within their own family (such as a with grandparent, aunt and uncle, or step parent). This type of adoption is called Private Direct Adoption. And it is often complicated. Our professional, experienced staff is here to assist you through this sometimes overwhelming process.
For additional information, download our Private Direct Adoption Information and Application Package here.
If you have already received a child directly from a birthparent, or are adopting a grandchild, niece, nephew, or the children of a new spouse, you now need to do the paperwork required to file this adoption in court. If you are anticipating such a placement, you may wish to consult with us regarding this process. Here are some important additional pieces you need to know:
Child, Youth & Family Enhancement Act
Legislation proclaimed on November 1, 2004 legislates the processing of private direct adoptions.
A homestudy is not required when you file your private direct adoption in court, however the judge could ask for one. The birthparent can also ask to see one and will be given that option when she/he completes the consent form. If a homestudy is requested, you can expect a delay of 6-8 weeks before the consent can be signed while one is completed.
Filing for Adoption
Private direct adoptions, including relative and spousal adoptions, may be filed using a Self-help Kit available through Alberta Human Services (humanservices.alberta.ca/adoption) or the Queen’s Printers (www.qp.alberta.ca), or by having us assist you with that process. We have had many years experience in helping families finalize adoptions in a private direct placement, and we are available to guide you through your these steps.
Other Provinces and Territories
If your baby is to be born in outside of Alberta, there may be additional pieces that need to be done in advance to comply with the laws of that province or territory. For example, NWT will require a homestudy before you can receive the baby and Ontario does not allow private direct adoptions at all. Our experienced staff can answer your questions about other provinces.
If the baby will be born in the USA, that becomes an international adoption and rules for international adoption must be closely followed.
Pre and post placement counselling for both you and your birthparents is one of our optional services. Adoption is a very emotional and complicated process and we know that people do better when they have the support and counselling of professionals who really understand what they are going through. In private direct adoptions, fees are charged to the adoptive parents if they choose counselling for their birthparents.
Lawyers can assist with a private direct placement in two ways. They can take the birthparent's consents, which must be done on a government-regulated form, or they can help you to file your adoption. If they suggest going to court to obtain a private guardianship order for you, then they are not aware of current adoption laws in Alberta (Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act proclaimed November 1, 2004). It is against the law to obtain a guardianship order if your intentions are to adopt the child. Furthermore the adoption consent itself makes you joint guardians until the adoption is finalized at which point you become the sole guardians.
If you are adopting a child who is related to you, this is a Private Direct Adoption and may be processed by yourselves or with our assistance.
Step-Parent (or Spousal) Adoption
If you are adopting the child(ren) of your spouse, this is also a Private Direct Adoption and may be processed by yourselves or with our assistance.
Adoption Options Services
We can assist you with any or all of the following services to help you process your Private Direct Adoption, upon request. This is a fee-for-service process, and charges only apply to the services you choose.
Assistance throughout the process
Participation in an adoption seminar (optional)
A professional home assessment (homestudy) report - if required by the judge, your birthparent or another jurisdiction
Counselling for your birthparents (optional)
Preparation of court documents leading to the finalization of your adoption
Filing of the adoption with the Court of Queen’s Bench
Serving the required documents to birthparents and Alberta Children’s Services
To make an appointment for a personal interview, obtain our fee schedule, or ask questions about private direct adoptions, please feel free to contact us at our Calgary or Edmonton offices.
Click the link to download our Private Direct Adoption Information and Application Package.