Adopting from the United States PDF Print E-mail

Child from USA

The USA warrants its own heading as one of the currently best working processes. This program has elements of a domestic adoption, in that birth families are choosing the families that will raise their babies, usually before the baby is born.  Approved families need to put together a photo album of pictures of themselves, their home, families etc.  These albums are shown to prospective birth families. Families are often matched before the baby is born.  Remember that nothing is final, until the baby is born and the birth family has signed relinquishment documents.  Ask your agency how long, after signing, the birth family has the right to change their mind (this varies by State).  Wait times vary as families are not necessarily picked (by birth families) in the order in which they apply to the program.  

The United States is a Hague jurisdiction. Prospective adoptive families must work with a Hague-approved (for outgoing adoptions) agency in the United States.  Call us to find out which agencies have a working arrangement with the Alberta government.  

Families usually stay in the United States for three to six weeks.  Once arriving home, you will need to complete the required post-placement reports.  Finalization of the adoption occurs after the post-placement reports are done.  

Many of the children are African American, but families have also been matched with bi-racial, Hispanic or Caucasian babies.

Adopting a child of another race is a huge responsibility. It will be important to encourage them to feel good about who they are; to help them develop friendships with other children of similar heritage, to provide race appropriate toys and books. The close proximity of the United States makes it possible for you to return for holidays, visiting areas where your child will have the opportunity to connect with other people of birth heritage. It will be important to talk about racism, and differences as a child who has been prepared will not be “thrown” by it. It is important to be open to learning about hair and skin care. In the Black community, a child with well-lotioned skin and well-cared for hair is a loved child.

In Edmonton, attend the CAS international play group on the 3rd Friday morning of the month - phone Kathy 780-438-3455 for details; in Grande Prairie, call Jodi Lojczyc at 780-766-2716; in Calgary, attend the CAS international playgroup - call the office. Come with your questions, as other participants would love to tell you their story.

Suggested Reading

Adult books

  • Inside Trans-Racial Adoption, by Gail Steinberg and Beth Hall (Perspectives Press)
  • Talking with Young Children about Adoption, by Mary Watkins and Susan Fisher (Yale University Press)

Children’s Books

  • The Skin I’m In, by Pat Thomas (Barrons) about race, colour, and racism
  • Dealing with Racism, by Jen Green (Copper Beech Books)
  • The Mulberry Bird, the Anne Brodzinsky (Perspectives Press) about adoption
  • I’m Brown and My Sister Isn’t, by Robbie O’Shea (RKO Enterprises)
  • Amazing Grace, by Mary Hoffman and Caroline Binch (Frances Lincoln Limited) a young black girl finds she can become anything she wants