There are 2 methods of private adoption:
- direct placement, spousal/step-parent or relative adoption
- licensed adoption agencies
The adoption process for a direct placement, spousal/step-parent or relative adoption can take between 2 to 6 months from the time you file your court application until an adoption order is granted.
Learn more about processes and timelines for private adoption (PDF, 43 KB).
Direct placement, spousal/step-parent or relative adoption
Use this process if:
- you are interested in adopting the child of a spouse or relative (for example, grandchild, niece, nephew, great niece or nephew)
- there is a privately made agreement to place a child between birth and adoptive families who know each other and are making their own arrangements
Licensed adoption agencies
Use this process if you wish to adopt a child through a private licensed adoption agency in Alberta.
To adopt a child, you must:
- be an Alberta resident
- be at least 18 years old
- demonstrate financial and domestic stability
Direct placements, spousal/step-parent or relative adoption
If you make the arrangements yourself, you can expect to pay:
- charges for photocopying documents
- fees to obtain some of the documents
- fees to file the documents with the Court
- costs to serve the documents
The fee to file documents with the Court, for one or more children in the family, is approximately $250.00.
If you use the services of a lawyer or a licensed adoption agency to assist you, you will be charged for their services.
Sometimes, you may need to get a Home Study Report. You can expect to pay approximately $3000.00 for a Home Study Report through a licensed adoption agency.
Licensed agency adoptions
Bill 206: Child, Youth and Family Enhancement (Adoption Advertising) Amendment Act (PDF, 437 KB) received Royal Assent on December 15, 2017. The Bill amends section 85(2) of the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act (CYFEA) to allow “the publication of an advertisement by a licensed adoption agency publicizing the profiles of prospective adoptive parents that meets the requirements prescribed in the regulations.”
To reflect this change and support implementation, regulatory amendments were developed for the Adoption Regulation. These amendments were established through a Ministerial Order on November 25, 2020 and provide direction to licensed adoption agencies regarding the publication of approved family profiles, profile management, reporting requirements, as well as the authority to charge for any additional expenses incurred in relation to advertising profiles.
Please contact agencies directly to obtain information on licensed agency adoption fees.
How to apply
Step 1. Choose an application process
If you are applying to adopt through direct placement, spousal/step-parent or relative adoption, follow the steps below.
If you want to adopt through a licensed adoption agency, see the list of licensed adoption agencies. You will need to contact the agencies directly.
Step 2. Fill out the Adoption Self-Help Kit
PDF form issues
Fillable PDF forms do not open properly on some mobile devices and web browsers. To fill in and save the form:
- Save the PDF form to your computer – click or right-click the link and download the form.
- Open the PDF form with Adobe Reader. Fill it in and save it.
Adoption Self-Help Kit (PDF, 556 KB)
The kit provides detailed information on completing the forms and on preparing the supporting documents you will need to include in your Application for Adoption Order.
You can also purchase the kit from the Queen’s Printer.
Step 3. File your application with the Court of Queen’s Bench
Find a Court of Queen’s Bench and file your adoption application there, along with all supporting documents.
You will need to pay the $250 filing fee.
Step 4. Serve notice of your application
You will need to personally serve the Application for Adoption Order to:
- the child’s current guardian(s) other than you
- the biological father of the child
- if you are the sole guardian, the person who was the guardian before you
- the Minister of Alberta Children’s Services, and
- the child, if the child is 12 years old or older
Step 5. Prepare and submit an Affidavit of Service
Affidavit of Personal Service (PDF, 15 KB)
Fill out an affidavit for each person you served.
You must swear your affidavit in front of a Commissioner for Oaths or Notary Public. The clerk of the court may commission your affidavit.
Submit the form to the clerk of the court within 10 days of serving the last person with the notice for the Application for Adoption Order.
After you apply
The clerk of the court will present your Application for Adoption Order to a judge for review.
The Judge may:
- grant an Adoption Order
- request further information
- order that a Home Study Report be prepared
- order a hearing to be held
- dismiss your Application for Adoption Order
You will be notified of the Judge's decision by the court.
Licensed adoption agencies
A Small Miracle Adoption
AMARIS Adoption and Family Support Services
- Families who are involved in an adoption and require legal information can call toll-free to explain what they need and ask for a lawyer referral:
Connect with Alberta Adoption Services with questions or comments.
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