If you are Thinking of Placing Your Child for Adoption...

Adoption is a lifelong experience for parents, adopted children, and adoptive families. Placing a child for adoption is an important decision, and it may be difficult and confusing. Parents have the right to carefully consider their options before making this important choice. No one should pressure parents to place a child for adoption.

If you are considering placing your child for adoption, it is a good idea to contact one of British Columbia's licensed adoption agencies. Licensed adoption agencies handle most infant adoptions in BC. An adoption worker from a licensed adoption agency can discuss your options with you and help you make the best choice for you and your child.

What to expect

When you meet with an agency adoption worker you can expect to receive balanced, non-judgmental information. The adoption worker will discuss alternatives to adoption with you. For example, the adoption worker may ask if you have considered medical options. They will also ask if you have thought about caring for the child with support, or if you have thought about having the child cared for by family members. These questions are asked to ensure that you are making an informed choice about adoption.

The adoption worker will explain the ways in which children can be placed for adoption in British Columbia:

  • As a parent you can choose a direct placement, in which someone you know adopts your child, or you may have relatives who wish to consider adopting the child.
  • You can place your child with an adoption agency for placement.
  • Both of these types of adoption require the involvement of a licensed adoption agency.

If you decide to place your child for adoption

If you decide to place your child for adoption the adoption worker will discuss your continuing involvement in the adoption process with you. When parents participate in the adoption process it helps ensure that adoption is carried out in ways that are best for the child. There are several important ways that parents can be involved in the adoption process:

  • You may choose to help select an adoptive family for your child.
  • You will be asked to provide information about the child's pre-adoption family, including significant medical and social history. The medical history is used to inform the adoptive family about potential challenges like genetically transmitted medical conditions. Other information about family history is held on file in case the child requests it at a future date and it is given to the adoptive family to share with the child. This information can be important to the child in gaining a healthy sense of self as they mature.
  • When you place your child for adoption you will be involved in decisions about relationships that you and other significant people may have with the child after adoption. Plans about ongoing post-adoption relationships are called openness agreements. Openness makes it easier for the pre-adoption parents and adoptive family to exchange important information. As well, on-going relationships with pre-adoption parents and family members help an adopted child develop a healthy sense of identity and belonging.
  • If you are the child's legal guardian you sign an adoption consent to make the adoption final.

You can also expect that the agency adoption worker will discuss your emotional reactions to placing your child for adoption. Placing your child for adoption can be a highly significant loss, and in grieving this loss you may experience a range of strong emotions. If you wish, the adoption worker can refer you to support services to help you with your feelings about placing your child for adoption.