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For Prospective Adoptive Parents

If you are considering adopting a child in Canada, there are many, many resources to assist you.

Help us help you! LifeCanada is not legally mandated to facilitate adoptions, nor do we profit from them. However, we do strive to connect prospective adoptive parents with those facing unplanned or unexpected pregnancies through appropriate local channels.

If you would like to be added to our list of prospective adoptive parents, and particularly, if you are open to adopting a child with special needs, please visit our sign-up page.

Adoption in Canada - General information

Laws and adoption practices vary by region, so it is best to research those for your province or territory. You can find a list of adoption-related resources in your province or territory here.

Generally, Canada has 3 types of adoption:

1)     Public

2)     Private (domestic)

3)     Private (international)

Here is what you can expect from each:

Public adoption: Public adoptions are those arranged by a government agency such as Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (ON) or Ministry of Social Development (NB). There is typically little to no cost for adopting through the public system.

Those seeking to adopt through the public system should be aware that there are very few healthy newborns available for adoption in Canada. This should not deter you from pursuing the adoption of wonderful children in need of a permanent, loving home through the public system. You should, however, expect that the process can be quite lengthy and potentially emotionally challenging due to possible legal and other delays.

You may wish to consider becoming a foster parent first or to join the many parents who are seeking to offer temporary placements through organizations like Safe Families Canada.

Below are the steps you can take to begin your adoption journey. Best wishes!

Step 1: Get informed

Attend a free information or educational session in your area to help you determine if adoption is right for you.    

Click here for a list of links to Ministries in your province or territory who can help you. 

Step 2: Complete the intake process 

Parents hoping to adopt in the public system must generally go through criminal and medical record checks and a review of their family history. They must complete a home study or home assessment (SAFE), get an adoption order from a court and attend parenting classes such as PRIDE. Once they are ‘home study ready’, they must wait to be matched with a child in their region.

For information on where you can begin the process of adoption in your province or territory, visit our Resources page.

Private domestic and private international adoption

Unlike public adoptions, private adoptions are facilitated through local adoption agencies or licensees. Prospective parents can expect a screening process comparable or even the same as for those adopting via the public system. Private adoptions are not available in all the provinces and territories of Canada.

Parents seeking to adopt through the private system should know that there are very few newborns available for adoption in Canada. As well, private adoptions typically involve hefty legal and other fees (in the thousands), especially if they involve adopting out of country.

Prospective parents hoping to adopt either within Canada or from another country can visit our Resources page for a list of private agencies and licensees in your region, if one is available.

Adoption of children with special needs

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If you would like to be added to our database of prospective parents, and particularly if you are open to adopting a child with special needs, please visit our Sign-Up page.