Adoption is often considered one of the “happiest” areas in the practice of family law as it involves formally bringing a child into your family whether than means creating a legal relationship between a step-parent and child or welcoming a new child into the family.

Public adoptions refers to the adoption of a child in government care who for a number of reasons was no longer able to be cared for by their biological family.  There are many wonderful children in “the system” who are waiting for a family to provide them with a safe and loving home.  Public adoptions are subject to the rules of the province in which the child resides.  In Alberta, the family or individual wishing to adopt a child in care must be approved by Alberta Children’s Services and must meet certain criteria to ensure that the needs of the child or children will be met.

Private adoption refers to the adoption of a child or children as a result of a private agreement between the birth parents and the adoptive family or the adoption of a child or children by a relative (step-parent, grandparent, sibling, aunt, uncle or cousin).   It also includes adoption through a private licensed adoption agency which will often have its own criteria to ensure that a child or children are placed with a loving and caring adoptive parent who is best able to ensure that the child’s needs are met.

International adoptions are also becoming more and more common as loving parents are looking beyond international borders to provide a home for children in need of safe, loving and families.   International adoptions are particularly complicated and subject to a number of safeguards and procedures to ensure that the best interests of the child, of the biological parents and of the adoptive parents are all addressed.

Both public and private adoptions are subject review by our Courts and will require formal applications to finalize the adoption.   The rules and requirements for adoption can be difficult to navigate.   One of our senior lawyers at Matkovic Allan LLP, Ms. Colleen Christie has helped many families through this process.   Should you have any questions regarding adoption, please feel free to contact Ms. Christie to discuss how to best proceed.