Adoption Services – How to appeal

Know the Alberta Adoption Services decisions that can be appealed and how to file or withdraw an appeal.

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What is an appeal

An appeal is when you ask an appeal panel to review a decision Alberta Adoption Services has made about international adoption applications or licensing an adoption agency. The appeal panel:

  • is made up of private citizens who are not Government of Alberta employees
  • has the authority and training to hear your appeal

Who can appeal

You can appeal a decision Alberta Adoption Services has made under the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act and the Adoption Regulation (CYFE Act and Adoption Regulation) if you:

  • applied for an international adoption
  • applied for an adoption agency licence
  • have an adoption agency licence

What can be appealed

Under the CYFE Act and Adoption Regulation you have the right to appeal some decisions Alberta Adoption Services makes about international adoption applications and adoption agency licences. These are general guidelines about the decisions the appeal panel can and cannot review:

International adoption applications

The appeal panel can review decisions Alberta Adoption Services makes to not approve:

  • an initial home study or addendum to update a home study report
  • an adoption and placement that involves a child whose country of origin requires approval

For these decisions, the appeal panel may:

  • agree with the decision or
  • send it back to Alberta Adoption Services to be reconsidered under the CYFE Act

The appeal panel cannot review decisions on any other international adoption matter.

Adoption agency licensing

The appeal panel can review decisions Alberta Adoption Services makes about:

  • not issuing you a licence to operate an adoption agency
  • the terms and conditions on your conditional licence
  • not renewing your adoption agency licence
  • suspending or cancelling your adoption agency licence

For these decisions the appeal panel may agree with, reverse or change Alberta Adoption Services’ decision.

The appeal panel cannot review decisions on any other adoption licensing matter.

For more information, review the CYFE Act and Adoption Regulation or contact the Appeals Secretariat.

Steps to file an appeal

Make sure to appeal within the 30-day deadline from the date you got the decision in person, by phone, email or letter.

Step 1. Complete a notice of appeal

To file your appeal, use the part of the Notice of Appeal form that relates to the matter you want to appeal.

Fillable PDF forms do not open properly on some mobile devices and web browsers.

If you are having problems opening the form, contact PDF form technical support.

Fill out an appeal form

  • Download: open the Notice of Appeal to the Appeal Panel form in Adobe
    Reader, read the instructions, fill in the part that best suits your situation:

    • Part 5 – Appellant is an Applicant for an International Adoption
    • Part 7 – Appellant is an Applicant for a Licence to Operate an Adoption Agency
    • Part 8 – Appellant Holds a Licence to Operate an Adoption Agency

    Then save and print it. Or, print a copy and fill it in.

  • Paper copy: contact the Appeals Secretariat to pick up a form or have it sent to you by email, fax or mail. When you get it, read the instructions and fill it in.
  • Make sure the form is signed.
  • Include an Authorization form if someone will be acting on your behalf throughout the appeal process.
  • Keep copies for your files.

Step 2. File your notice of appeal

Make sure to:

  • include your signed Notice of Appeal form and the Authorization form if someone will be acting on your behalf
  • include a copy of Alberta Adoption Services’ decision that you are appealing
  • keep copies of all documents for your own files

Submit your documents by:

After you file an appeal

You will get a letter from the Appeals Secretariat saying they received your appeal. The Appeals Secretariat will start setting up your appeal hearing. Contact them, if you:

  • need an interpreter since all hearings are in English
  • want to get information about organizations that may be able to help you with your appeal
  • are waiting for any new information related to the appeal
  • want to withdraw your appeal
  • have moved or changed your phone number or email so they can reach you to give you the hearing date – if you do not take part when the hearing is scheduled, it may happen without you and your right to appeal will end

Find out what happens before, during and after the appeal hearing.

Withdrawing an appeal

You can withdraw your appeal at any time. This means it is stopped and you no longer want to appeal Alberta Adoption Service's decision. Tell the Appeals Secretariat as soon as you choose to withdraw your appeal.


The Appeals Secretariat is a neutral government office that runs separately from Alberta Adoption Services.

Connect with the Appeals Secretariat:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed 12 to 1 pm and statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-2709
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-422-1088
Email: [email protected]

2nd Floor, Agronomy Centre
6903 116 Street NW
Edmonton, Alberta  T6H 5Z2

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