Adoption Options
InformationInternational AdoptionPrivate Direct Adoption

Private Direct Adoption including Relative and Step-parent

In Alberta there are two types of private adoption. Birthparents may use the services of a licensed adoption agency to place their baby with an adoptive family or they may place their child directly with a family they know or within their own family. The latter type is called private direct adoption and is often complicated. We are confident that we can assist you through this sometimes overwhelming process as we have had many years experience in helping families to finalize adoptions after receiving a baby in a private direct placement.

If you have already received a baby 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:

Legislation proclaimed on November 1, 2004 changes the processing of private direct adoptions.

A homestudy is no longer required when you file your private direct adoption in court but 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 they do request one, there will be a delay of 6-8 weeks while one is completed before the consent can be signed.

The filing process can now be done by yourselves using a self-help kit available from the Queen’s Printers. However, with our years of experience in processing adoptions, we are available to help you through that process.

If your baby is to be born in another province, 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. We 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.

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 will now be a Private Direct Adoption and may be processed by yourselves or with our assistance.

If you are adopting the child(ren) of your spouse, this is also now a Private Direct Adoption and may be processed by yourselves or with our assistance.

A Self-Help Kit for Private Direct Adoption is available from the Queen’s Printers. In Edmonton call 427-4952; in Calgary call 297-6251. Or go to for more information. Or contact us for our assistance with processing these adoptions.

Adoption Options Services

By deciding to use our services to process a private direct adoption, you will have access to whichever of the following services you request:
  1. Assistance throughout the process.
  2. Participation in an adoption seminar (optional).
  3. A professional home assessment report if required by the judge, your birthparent or another jurisdiction.
  4. Counselling for your birthparents both pre and post adoption (optional).
  5. Preparation of court documents leading to the finalization of your adoption.
  6. Filing of the adoption with the Court of Queen’s Bench.
  7. Serving the required documents on birthparents and Alberta Children’s Services.
To make an appointment for a personal interview, to obtain our fee schedule and application package, or if you have questions about private direct adoptions,

Note: This information and application package is now available via email.