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Getting Started on an International Adoption PDF Print E-mail

BabyThere are a number of steps to follow to adopt internationally.

  • Research: interview couples who have adopted internationally. Check the Alberta Government website at www.adoptionalberta.gov.ab.ca for specific country requirements. If at some time during your process, Christian Adoption Services is unable to assist you with a question or concern, you can speak with someone at Adoption Services, through the Alberta Government, by calling: (780) 422-0178 then listen to the prompts, or Adoption Services at their website: www.adoptionalberta.gov.ab.ca

  • Fill out the International Adoption Application (ADOP2777) form, available on the Adoption Alberta website, and send it to Alberta Adoption Services. Christian Adoption Services cannot begin your Home Assessment until we receive this form.

  • Complete the application form for the adoption agency you are choosing and mail it in. Include a cheque for the application fee. CAS application fee is $400.
  • Intervention Record Check: (or child welfare check) We need a form for everyone over 18 living in the home.  If you resided outside of Alberta within the last 5 years, you will need to provide a Intervention Record Check from that jurisdiction as well.  
  • Take the Criminal Check form to the Police Department. Is this acceptable for the country or do you need an RCMP check or an Interpol Check? Ask your coordinator. (See the Interpol Check section under our NewsBlog to get more information)
  • Complete the Preparation for International Adoption Course ($400 couple, $300 single/relative workshop)

  • Send out 4 reference forms to people who have known you for 5 years. These are confidential and should be returned to Christian Adoption Services by the reference (friend, relative, co worker, friend at church). One should be from a family member.  If you pick them up, it should be in a sealed envelope. These are the agency requirements. What does your country require?

  • Make an appointment for your medical. Take your Agency form, and the form your country requires to the appointment if both forms are different. Get an AIDS test.

  • Order an original framing size marriage certificate. Send us a copy of this. We also need photocopies of your birth certificates. Are photocopies of birth certificates acceptable for your country?

  • Get an employment letter from each applicant working. Prepare a Statement of Earnings. Adoption Services requires a copy of your T4 or the front page of your income tax to attach to the back of your home assessment to verify income.

  • Are there coordinators for the country you have picked? Choose a coordinator.

  • Send us everything as it comes in. Keep a copy of everything. If your country requires the originals, provide us with copies and show the worker the originals.

  • Complete the Home Study Questionnaire and send it to us.

  • Send $1,500 to initiate your Home Study and pay the balance on completion. (You will be charged mileage and travel time, at 50cents per km and $35 an hour travel time. Travel expenses can be shared if you wait until a social worker is meeting with other families in your area.) At least one Home Study meeting must be in your home.

  • Review your finished home study for errors or corrections, sign it. T4’s need to be attached. Copies containing seals go to Adoption Services in Edmonton. You may use a courier and track to see if it has arrived, and to have it returned. It can take 3-4 weeks.

  • Prepare your dossier, translations, with the help of your coordinator meeting the requirements of the country and courier the completed dossier to Adoption Services.

  • Wait, as patiently as possible, read about adoption, prepare a room for your child and talk to other families from IAFA who have been there before. Pray lots.

  • Review your “proposal” or “match” when we contact you. Dr. Baxter at the Edmonton Adoption Clinic or Dr. M. Lemay at the Calgary Children's Hospital will review it for a fee.  Check the Resources section of this website (under support groups and services) to get their contact information.   Fax/email your acceptance to Adoption Services.   Send in the originals. 


  • Contact Adoption Services when you arrive home (780) 422-5641

  • Contact Alberta Health Care, and any private insurance plans you have.

  • Get a thorough medical check up at the Adoption Clinic (Dr. C. Baxter) in Edmonton, or Calgary Children’s Hospital (Dr. K. Smart). Ask about parasites, scabies, and giardia.

  • Contact the public health nurse to come to your home about immunizations, speech delays, developmental testing and any other concerns.

  • Is a legal name change necessary? It can be done at the Registries offices.

  • Apply for Canadian Citizenship.

  • Contact the agency, volunteer for “Show-and-Tell”.

  • What are your country's requirements for post-placement reports? Photos of your child playing in your home, and with family members are needed. Once your child is a Canadian citizen you can send an annual information letter yourself with photos.

Send your letter and photos annually; they are critical to the continuance of International Adoption. Countries who receive regular reports and photos believe their adoptions to be successful and continue to allow Canadians to adopt. Countries have closed their doors to International Adoption as they felt they “lost track” of children and they became concerned adoptees were not doing well, abandoned or deceased.