Navigating the Adoption of a Relative in Alberta
Adoption is regulated by the province. In Alberta, there are three types of adoption:
- - the adoption of a child in Alberta government care
- - the international adoption of a child outside of Canada
- - the private adoption of a step-child or relative. Private adoption is also used to adopt a child through a direct placement (or a private agreement with the birth family) or through a licensed adoption agency in Alberta.
Our Edmonton family law lawyers may be able to help you navigate the adoption of a relative in Alberta.
Who Can Adopt a Relative in Alberta?
In order to be eligible to adopt a child in Alberta, you must be at least 18 years old and a resident of Alberta. If you live in another Canadian province, you will need to use the adoption resources for that province.
You will also need to demonstrate to the court that you are ready to adopt. This includes having financial and domestic stability. You will need to provide evidence to the court that you have a steady job and a place to live that can accommodate the child.
What Is the Process for Adopting a Relative in Alberta?
For a private adoption in Alberta, you must complete the relevant forms to apply to the Court for an adoption order and obtain all the required supporting documents. The forms and required attachments are set out in the Adoption self-help kit provided by the province. Once your forms are complete, they are filed with the Court of Queen's Bench.
After it has been filed, your Application for an Adoption Order must be personally served on:
- - any current guardians of the child
- - the child's biological father
- - if you are the sole current guardian of the child, the person who was the child's guardian before you
- - the Minister of Alberta Children's Services
- - if the child is at least 12 years old, the child.
Personal service is usually performed by a professional process server, who swears an affidavit to confirm to the Court that the documents were properly served. If you serve the documents yourself, you will need to swear an affidavit of service. Your family lawyer can ensure that your affidavit meets the requirements of the Court. The affidavit of service must be filed with the Court.
Once your application is filed and served, the Court will review the application and make a decision. The Court may grant your adoption order as requested, or they may dismiss your application. The Court may also decide they need further information. In that case, they may require you to obtain a Home Study Report, order a hearing so they can seek information from you in person, or ask for other specified information in the form of an affidavit.
What are the costs associated with adoption of a relative?
There is a $250 fee to file your adoption application with the Court. In addition, you may incur fees in order to:
- - obtain legal advice
- - obtain supporting documents for your application, such as birth certificates
- - have your application served
- - if a Home Study Report is deemed necessary, the cost is approximately $3,000.
Contact our Edmonton Family Law Lawyers Today For a Consultation
If you are seeking to adopt a relative in Alberta, our Edmonton family law lawyers would be happy to talk through the specifics of your case. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to address your questions, and see how we may be of service to you.
*Please be advised that this article does not constitute legal advice, but is intended as a general overview on a legal subject. For legal advice, please speak with a lawyer.