For those of us raised in conventional families, it can be easy to take our childhoods for granted. 

Maybe your parents used to embarrass you. Maybe hearing your grandfather tell the same story every family dinner felt annoying. No matter your toddler tantrums or teenage antics, we’re sure that no matter what, you loved them anyway. And that’s the same for every family – even if that family looks different from yours.

November is Adoption Awareness Month in Alberta, and it’s an opportunity to dispel old stigmas and learn about what modern adoption really looks like. 

Types of Adoptions

Adoption Awareness Month
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Adoption is an often overlooked and misunderstood subject, but the truth is far more complex. It’s real people with emotions, obstacles, and circumstances that come together to form the complete adoption story.

In the past, many adoptions were closed, which meant no contact between the biological and adoptive families. However, more people are now exploring open adoptions, in which the birth parents or parents stay involved in the child’s life at the same time as they are raised by their adoptive families.

While some believe that placing a child for adoption means goodbye, pursuing an open adoption can mean the very opposite. It’s more like a bittersweet “hello” to a better future filled with possibility, love, and opportunity. 

How To Adopt in Alberta

Adoption Awareness Month
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Adoption in Alberta is provincially regulated by Alberta’s Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act. This states that an applicant must be over 18 years of age and a resident of Alberta at the time of application, approval and placement.

Applicants are then screened, trained, and assessed by a home study completed by a social worker. This is important to ensure that prospective adoptive families are safe, competent and well-suited for a child.

Seeking Support

Adoption Awareness Month
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For those facing an unexpected pregnancy, considering other options for their child, or in need of support, all of Alberta’s licensed agencies offer free counselling to listen and help individuals navigate their unique situations. They provide a judgment-free space to help with this big decision and find the outcome that’s best for the child and families in question.

No matter what your family looks like, it’s important to know that adoption is not a shame-based decision. It takes a lot of courage and strength on behalf of the birth parents, and it is always a decision made out of love.

National Adoption Month is the time to learn and celebrate families that have grown through adoption while recognizing that many children in Alberta are still waiting to meet their forever families.

Learn more about the modern adoption process in Alberta by exploring the link below.