Budget 2023 includes $4 million per year in new funding over the next three years to make adoption more affordable. These new initiatives follow up on the commitment by Premier Danielle Smith to make adoption less arduous for Alberta families.
If the Financial Statutes Amendment Act, 2023 passes, the new $4-million package to make adoption more affordable for Albertans will cover the cost of dental, vision and other supplemental health benefits for children adopted in Alberta – regardless of whether they were adopted from the government system or through a private, licensed agency in the province. Alberta will become the first and only province to do this.
This funding support, which would take effect this fall, will help remove medical cost barriers to adoption, especially for children with specialized medical needs.
“We are following through on our commitment to make adoption more affordable for Albertans who are starting or growing their families. If a child can find a loving and stable home sooner – that’s good news for everyone, and most importantly, for the child. That is why we want to help reduce adoption expenses, so that more children can find their forever families.”
In addition to covering the costs of supplementary health benefits, the provincial adoption expenses tax credit amount would be increased by almost $4,000, to $18,210 from $14,365, to help cover the costs of adoption, matching the federal tax credit. This can be claimed by families adopting locally or internationally, and will be retroactive to Jan 1. The increased credit will be available to Albertans when they file their 2023 taxes in spring 2024.
“Adoption shouldn’t create a financial burden for parents starting or growing their families. These new measures will make it easier for a child who needs a home to become part of a family.”
About 5,000 adopted children in Alberta who have already found their forever family and future adopted children will be eligible for these benefits.
If the legislation passes, the cost of private adoption through licensed adoption agencies in Alberta will be subsidized by $6,000 for families that earn less than $180,000. The subsidy would help reduce the cost of adoption by 40 to 50 per cent.
“We are very pleased to see these additional supports for adoptive families through licensed adoption agencies. These new supports mean there is one less barrier for couples experiencing fertility loss and hoping to form a family through adoption. It also means less financial stress for families looking to adopt a child with medical or complex needs.”
“I think it’s fantastic for adoptive families and children to be supported this way. This initiative shows government is behind families and wants to help children in government care find permanent loving homes.”
“As an adoptive parent myself, I know first-hand the expenses and red tape and long processes that prospective parents face when considering adoption. These new supports mean more Albertans can welcome a child into their home, and together, they can build their forever family.”
Budget 2023 secures Alberta’s future by transforming the health-care system to meet people’s needs, supporting Albertans with the high cost of living, keeping our communities safe and driving the economy with more jobs, quality education and continued diversification.
- The number of approved adoptive families for children in government care has dropped by more than half – the lowest number of adoptive families in decades.
- Typically, there are about 100 approved families at any given time but there are only about 30 now.
- Currently, 27 children and youth are waiting to be matched with a loving, permanent home. Most of these children are over the age of seven, have special needs or are part of a sibling group.
- The government covers the costs associated with adopting a child in government care but fees to adopt a child internationally can range between $10,000 and $40,000, while fees through an agency can range between $11,000 and $15,000.
- Children’s Services launched an adoption recruitment campaign in early March focused on adopting children in government care.