Amaris

Adopting Parents

Adoption is not about finding children for families,

it's about finding families for children.

However you have arrived at adoption, whether infertility, a sense of calling, a family circumstance, a heart for children, or any other reason we know it’s not an easy decision. We understand the emotional challenges that come with adoption and how the process can take its toll on relationships. We take your family’s adoption journey very seriously and walk alongside you every step of the way to make sure you have everything you need to make the process as seamless as possible.

Our passionate team are not just adoption specialists because of our training or because we have walked alongside many families like yours as they have welcomed a new child into their family, but also because a lot of us have been through the process ourselves. We understand the ups and downs and joys and difficulties that come with embracing a new child as your own. We pour all of our knowledge, passion, and experience into guiding you through your adoption journey.

Would highly recommend your agency...

very professional along with care and respect

What you need to know.

Adoption legislation is regulated by each individual province. In Alberta, both private agencies and Alberta Adoptions work together to ensure a safe and ethical adoption process is followed. Amaris works tirelessly to not only find a family for every child, but also ensure that the utmost professionalism and ethics are adhered to. Adoptions are both a wonderful and difficult thing for everyone involved as it includes both loss and the welcoming of a new member into a family. Because of its complexity, we know that adoption is not for everyone, but we believe that everyone can contribute in a meaningful way to ensure that every child, youth and young adult has ‘people’ to call their own.

Why open adoption?

More and more in both domestic and international adoptions, the research and trend has been towards open, versus closed, adoptions. This means that there is some kind of ongoing contact between the birth family and the adoptive family over the life of the child. Research very clearly shows that open adoption facilitates healthier and more empowered birth families as well as adoptive children who grow up to be more well-adjusted adults. As a result of this, Amaris tries to support an open adoption process wherever possible and train and educate our families accordingly.

Four Adoption Options

International Adoption

The process of adopting a child from another country and bringing them to live with you in your home country.

Domestic Adoption

Adopting a child from your home province. In domestic adoption, birth families choose the family they want to place their child in.

Government Adoption

The adoption of a child who is in the care and custody of Alberta Child and Family Services.

Private Direct

A biological family in Alberta has the right to place their child directly into another family’s home for adoption

Making the best choice

When considering adoption, there are many factors to take into account. Many people have a very clear idea of the type or age of child(ren) that they would best be able to care for. As the focus is not on “finding a child for a family”, but rather “finding a family for a child”, it is important to ask yourself hard questions around what you feel you would, or would not, be able to effectively manage. If you are a couple dealing with infertility and have a strong desire for a newborn child, your only options would be either domestic or the United States. If you are not open to any special needs (which includes older children or sibling groups) then you would not be suitable for a government adoption. It is important that you feel a strong leading at some point as you will need to fully welcome and embrace the child’s culture, language, special needs, and unique traits into your home.

International Adoption

Overview

We believe that international adoption should be seen as the last option for that child. Although it is a wonderful gift to the family and the child, it is both a complex and difficult process where the child is removed from everything they know and much of what makes them who they are. Due to certain circumstances, however, there are cases where these children would have little to no chance of a healthy life aside from being adopted internationally. In these cases, Amaris gladly walks with you throughout the journey to guide you along the way.

Timeline

Dependent on which country you choose, but average of around 3 years from start to placement

Steps

1choose

Decide which country you wish to adopt from and select coordinating agency.

2apply

Fill out all paperwork, apply for police & child intervention checks, complete medical report.

3 prepare

Schedule home study, sign up for training, review home study & send to Alberta Adoptions, start citizenship application.

4learn

Compile dossier & send to coordinating agency, lear as much as possible about adoption while waiting for referral.

5referral

Review referral, get medical consult, decide to move forward and adopt or not.

6accept

Formally accept referral, contact coordinating agency for next steps and travel plans.

7travel

Travel to country of origin to pick up child.

8finalize

Arrive at home and book post placement reports with coordinating agency. Contact Amaris for any support you need.

Cost

Please see our fee schedule for costs associated with our agency. Regardless of what country you choose to adopt from, our fees remain the same. The differing costs depend on each country…most families report averages from $30,000 to $75,000

Training Required

You are required to complete a minimum of one full day training. All individuals wanting to adopt must attend. These trainings are offered once per month alternating between Calgary and Edmonton. We also highly recommend doing a lot of reading and research, specifically in the areas of attachment, grief and loss, trauma, transracial adoption issues, and bonding strategies. Please see our resource section for more recommended reading and resources.

Domestic Adoption

Overview

Domestic adoptions through a private agency like Amaris generally involves an expectant parent contacting the agency to make an adoption plan for their child. They are then able to choose from profiles of screened and trained adoptive families and are supported and empowered through the process of placement. These adoptions are all considered ‘open adoptions’ where contact is maintained with the birth family as the child grows. There are also occasional circumstances where an older child may be placed through our domestic program, or a child who may be receiving services from the government may be placed with one of our families rather than going into foster care.

Steps

1interview

Contact us to schedule preliminary interview to determine fit, add your name to waitlist.

2application

Once you are close to top of waitlist, start application paperwork including police checks and medical assessment.

3

home
study

Schedule home study and book domestic adoption training sessions.

4approval

Wait for approval from Domestic Adoption Program, at which point you become active.

5

profile
creation

Create adoption profile to be presented to potential birth families, learn as much as you can about adoption while you wait for a match.

6match

Once a birth family selects your profile we will contact you to set up first meeting.

7meet

Several meetings with birth parents will follow. Birth parents lead the process based on comfort level.

8placement

If both families agree to proceed the child will be placed in your care. After 10 day revocation period passes, placement becomes final and adoption documents are compiled.

Government Adoption

Overview

Government adoptions involve the adoption of a child who has been in the care of Child and Family Services. These children were apprehended from their biological families for a number of reasons due to their health and safety being at risk. There are currently many children in our province’s care looking for forever families and these adoptions do not come with any costs to the adoptive family. *please note that we are not generally involved in government adoptions as we are a private agency. That being said, because we are passionate about every child finding a forever home, we feel that it is important to list this as an option for you to consider*

Stories

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Private Direct

Overview

A Private Direct adoption involves the placement of a child for adoption by their birth family into a family that they know, or even within their own family, such as with a step parent or grandparent. Although these adoptions technically do not require agency or government involvement, they can be complicated and create difficult future relationships. As a result, we recommend that you contact us for a consult to assist with this process if this is something you are considering.

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Need Help?

Need help determining which adoption option is best for you? Fill out our short simple questionnaire and we’ll help you narrow down the options so you make the best choice for you and your growing family.

Need help determining which adoption option is best for you? Our staff would be happy to talk you through the process. If you fill out an application, one of our adoption experts will review it and contact you within 2 days to provide you with more detailed information, and answer your questions. Or, book a free consultation to talk to someone directly.

Or you can book a free consultation now to talk to someone directly.

Have questions?

One of the most common reasons why people find themselves going down the road of adoption is that they are unable to have biological children. Although this is still a very legitimate and wonderful reason to adopt, it is imperative that you and your spouse have worked through the grief of your infertility and do not see adoption as a 'last resort option'. The child you adopt needs to know they are wanted and desired the same as any child, regardless of how they joined your family. Our belief is that you are only ready to adopt when you are willing to put the best interest of the child you are going to adopt above all other desires and interests of your own heart or family.

There are many different things to consider when deciding which route to take for an adoption. You need to think about the age range that you are open to, whether you are open to special needs or sibling groups, and what the current make up of your family is. You need to be honest with yourselves about what you feel you can manage at this time, what your timelines are, and the financial commitment involved. For example, if you know you are only open to very young children or babies, your only options at this time are either our Domestic program or through the United States.

We currently have staff all over the province of Alberta. Specifically, we have workers in Lethbridge, Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, and LaCrete. If you live outside of those locations, we can send a social worker to your location.

Every country has slightly different requirements for adoptive parents, such as years married, age between the applicants and the child, and current number of children in the home. Applicants need to discuss these requirements with their coordinating agency before moving forward to ensure they fit the criteria. From the Alberta side, applicants need to complete criminal and intervention record checks, get medical reports from a physician, provide four references, and submit their T4s for assessment.

The home study is a detailed assessment completed by either a registered social worker or psychologist. It is a required part of the adoption process to assess the family for safety, health, and overall ability to parent an adopted child. Although the majority of people comment that it was "not as bad as we thought", we recognize that it can be anxiety provoking to have someone report on all aspects of your life and history. Our social workers are skilled and professional and try to make the process as painless as possible- you may even really start to like them! At the end of the day, we are looking out for the best interest of the child and need to ensure that the families we help place children into are capable, committed, and healthy enough to work through the challenges that will inevitably arise in adoption.

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Want more info?

“We understand that the adoption process can be overwhelming and daunting. We’re here for you every step of the way. We would be delighted to talk with you and give you more information.”