Legal adoption in BC: What you need to know

Apr 26 2018, 6:20 am

For a variety of reasons, there are many children and teens without a loving home. According to the Adoptive Families Association of BC, more than 900 children and youth are in foster care, waiting to be adopted.

Adoption is one of the wonderful ways that people can help each other in this world. Every year, the Ministry of Children and Family Development places approximately 350 children, while many continue to wait, as reported by the Adoptive Families Association of BC.

These children are looking for loving parents who will help them to learn and grow. Thankfully, there are many individuals and couples who hope to adopt a child. In BC, you must be at least 19 years of age and a resident of the province for a minimum of at least six months before you can adopt.

There are a number of ways that you can do this; adopting from foster care, adopting an infant through a licensed agency, international adoption, or adopting a relative or a step-child.

However, the legal process behind adoption requires a lot more consideration than one might imagine. With this in mind, we spoke to Nathan Lidder, the founding lawyer at Coal Harbour Law, to find out the do’s and don’t’s of the adoption process for the prospective parent(s).

Do: Your research 

Research the adoption agency if you choose that route and ensure that they are licensed. You can visit Adopt BC Kids or contact the Adoptive Families Association of BC to arrange an appointment with an adoption case worker.

Do: Hire a lawyer

Lawyers have the knowledge and expertise to help you with the very complicated adoption process. They can help take you through the Adoption Act of BC and explain how many other laws will have an impact on both the parents and the child. Many people are often unaware that there are offences and penalties for non-compliance with the Adoption Act or regulations.

Do: Think local

International adoption is a great option but it is also complex and time-consuming. Don’t forget that there are many children who need help right here at home and would love to be adopted. As we mentioned previously, more than 900 children are waiting to be adopted in BC.

Do: Consider family size

You can consider adoption along with having your own biological children. This is a fantastic way for families that already have biological kids to grow the family through adoption.

Do: Have an open mind

Adoption is an excellent way to start a family as a single person or with a partner. Adoption may also allow you to have a family where health restrictions may be preventing you.

Don’t:  Take advice from unlicensed professionals

This includes family and friends who “know someone who did an adoption” or “found a webpage that tells you how to do it.” It is important to be aware that the internet can be a great tool to conduct research, but it’s definitely not a substitute for professionals.

Don’t: Assume anything

You don’t know how long processes are going to take with adoption. This includes the timelines and even the success of the adoption. There is no guarantee that the adoption will be approved.

Adoption is one of many areas that Coal Harbour Law can help you with. Specialist lawyers at the firm look forward to engaging with clients on more than a just transactional basis. They pride themselves on seeking out the best and most practical way to assist their clients’ needs.

For more information, visit Coal Harbour Law now.

The information contained in this article is intended to be educational and informative. It is not legal advice or a substitute for it. Each individual should retain a lawyer in order to asses their specific needs.

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