Adoption Basics

Decision-Making Matrix

Public Adoption Private Domestic Adoption International Adoption
Age of children Most children between 6-18 years. 0-18, usually under 1 year of age. 0-10 years.
Openness with birth relatives Can be with birth parents, grandparents, siblings, foster parents and other important people. Taking a child-centered approach is critical. Often with birth parents and extended family members. Not typical.
Overall Cost Free. There is a fee-for-service cost of $15,000-$30,000. There is a fee-for-service cost of $20,000-$60,000, dependent on the requirements in the child’s country of origin.
Minimum age of prospective adoptive applicants 18+ 18+ Dependent on the requirements of the child’s country of origin.
Time to adopt It can vary and may take up to 2 years or more to be matched with a child. The time depends on finding the right match for the children where adoption is right for them. Timeframes to be matched with a child are unpredictable as the birth parent selects the prospective adoptive parents from among waiting families. It may take 1 to 3 years to be matched with a child.
Time in alternative care The length of time a child or youth spends in foster care varies. Children enter care for a variety of reasons and societies aim to return children back home first and it takes time to explore those efforts as well as alternative family members who may be able to offer care for the child or youth. Children often go directly to adoptive parents right after their birth in hospital. Children or youth may live in institutional care (orphanage) or foster care in their country of origin.
Access to social history and medical information Yes. Yes. Access to information depends on country where child is born and the child’s individual circumstances.
Post placement support Children will be placed in the home for at least six months prior to adoption finalization. Adoption worker visits home within 7 days, 30 days of placement and at least every 3 months, until finalization. Private adoption practitioners will visit your home at least twice during the adjustment period, for a fee. Different country requirements for supports, provided for a fee by adoption practitioner. Most home countries require some type of post placement adjustment report.
Subsidies Adoption subsidies are available from societies. Your adoption worker will be able to let you know what is available and if you are eligible. None available. None available.
Siblings Children’s aid societies often seek families to adopt siblings. Sibling relationships are important to consider for adopted children, both in deciding on an adoptive home and in openness planning. Generally, adoption placements occur one child at a time. Sibling adoptions are not common.
Matching Process Applicants are matched to children by their local children’s aid society. Important parts of a child’s identity, including race, gender, ability, religion and culture and needs of children are paramount in adoption planning. Applicants register with adoption agency and birth parents select adoptive parents. Applicants register with licensee and a match is proposed by the home country.