How does adoption work?
In 1997 The Adoption Act came into effect and changed the way adoptions happen in British Columbia. Basically there are two ways to adopt. Children in foster care, known as "BC's waiting children" may be adopted through the Ministry of Children and Family Development. There is little or no cost connected with adoption through the Ministry.
Most newborns in British Columbia are placed for adoption through one of 4 licensed agencies. The agencies are all not-for-profit organizations but do charge fees for the services they provide. Fees are approved by the Provincial government. Sunrise Adoption is one of the agencies.
Adoption agencies also facilitate adoptions from other countries.
What is the difference between an agency adoption and a "private adoption"?
There is no such thing as a "private adoption" anymore. As described above, all adoptions in British Columbia are done either through the Ministry or an adoption agency.
Am I too old to adopt?
Different countries have different rules and restrictions about the age of adopting parents.
How do I qualify to adopt?
First, prospective adoptive parents are approved to adopt based on a "homestudy". There are requirements for medical check-ups, proof of financial stability, references, criminal record checks and Ministry prior contacts checks. The homestudy is also an educational process. Prospective adoptive parents learn about being a parent, dealing with issues specific to being an adoptive parent and deciding what sort of adoption is right for them. A Sunrise social worker will meet with you over a period of several months and help you through the process.
Do you ever turn down adoptive parents?
Yes, it isn't common, but it does happen.
How long does it take to adopt a baby in British Columbia?
There are no guarantees. Once your homestudy is complete and has been approved, you are eligible to adopt. In British Columbia, birth parents usually choose the adoptive parents so you might be chosen very quickly, or never chosen, or anywhere in between.
How long does it take to adopt from another country?
Each country is different. Some are more predictable than others but even in the midst of an adoption a country can change the rules or even close its doors to adoption.
May I choose the sex of the child?
In some international adoptions, you may request a specific gender. In domestic adoption, the birth parents usually choose the adopting parents before the child is born when the gender is not yet known.