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International Adoption Course PDF Print E-mail

The Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption requires adoptive applicants to complete ten hours of training before they can be approved. Christian Adoptions Services presents the Preparation for International Adoption workshop to couples considering adopting overseas. The workshop is held monthly in Edmonton or Calgary.

Baby in potThe course outline is as follows:

  • Alberta Statistics; Where are Albertans getting their adopted children from? A brief look at foster care, government adoption, older children, licensed agencies, and International.
  • Why International Adoption? Studies, success rates, is it worth the risk? What are the pros and cons?
  • Where to begin: Research - resources available, doing your homework to find the country
  • that will work best for you, and that you will be comfortable with, what will it cost?
  • Adoptive Parents of B.C. Video - "Building a Family by International Adoption"
  • Choosing the child; why a younger child may be your best choice.
  • Developmental delays.....are you prepared to do the work that is necessary?
  • Separation, how it affects the child, what to expect and how to deal with it.
  • Overview of attachment issues, realistic expectation of older child adoptions, and how to deal with the issues. Realistic ways to manage the behaviours/words of wisdom from seasoned parents.
  • Self esteem issues when you look different from your brothers. Connecting you child to their heritage, telling their adoption 'story', providing positive role models, and a building healthy sense of identity
  • Show-and Tell - Adoptive parents bring their little ones and come to share their experiences, show off their children and answer questions.
  • Resource List, help in planning your research

This positive presentation is a mixture of lecture, discussion, hearing the stories of others who have adopted internationally and sharing from the participants. It includes extensive hand outs and is thought provoking and part of the preparation every parent needs before adopting internationally. This is a mandatory course that is required before couples can be approved to adopt internationally.


  • Tandela Swann, MSW, RSW
    Executive Director, Christian Adoption Services

    Tandela comes to us with a clinical MSW from the UofC and a BSc in Psych from McGill University, with a minor in International Relations. She was first introduced to Christian Adoption Services in Alberta in 2004 when she adopted her oldest son from Uganda, after living and working there with orphans and ex-child soldiers for a couple of years. Her more recent work with Alberta Health Services has included counselling and court mandated psychological and psychiatric assessments with youth in the justice system, and some time with child protection. She has also previously worked with teen moms through Catholic Family Services as well as kids with trauma related mental health at Alberta Children's Hospital. She became the new Executive Director at Christian Adoption Services in September 2014 after the previous ED of 25 years, Wendy Robinson, retired.

    She is passionate about God, her young family, and finding a place of belonging for every child.

  • Kathy Williams,  MSW, RSW
    Social Worker, Christian Adoption Services

    Kathy brings over a decade of social work experience to Christian Adoption Services. Her MSW research was on cross-cultural issues in parenting, and she has a strong interest in developing attachment in adoptive families. She has worked for CAS since 2004.

Upcoming workshops:

  • May 6, 2017 - Edmonton
  • June 24, 2017 - Calgary
  • September 16, 2017 - Edmonton
  • October 14, 2017 - Calgary
  • November 18, 2017 - Edmonton

    Workshops run from 9:30 am to 5 pm.  Lunch is provided. Call 403-256-3224 (Calgary) or 1-877-256-3224 (toll-free) to register.

    Cost is $400 per couple; $300 for single applicant.

    If you are adopting a relative you are eligible for an individual course that will relate more specifically to your situation. Call the office for more information.