Adoption – Frequently Asked Questions

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What is adoption?

Adoption is the process through which a child becomes a permanent part of a family. All children need roots and a feeling that they belong. There are children of all ages who need adoptive families to meet their needs.

In all cases, greatest consideration is given to the child's best interests. This includes the child's opportunity to become a permanent member of a nurturing family, the adoptive parents' ability to meet the child's mental, physical, emotional and educational needs, and the child's cultural, linguistic, racial and religious heritage.

Who may adopt?

Applicants must be Manitoba residents, 18 years of age or older.

Who are the children being adopted?

In some situations, parents plan adoption for their child.  Birth Parent Counselling is available at agencies for parents to discuss their options.


There are infants who need adoptive families.

Toddlers, Older Children and Children with Special Needs

Adopting a child is very different from adopting an infant. These children have had many experiences in their lives, and adoptive parents must be mature and flexible to meet their needs. 
Children with special needs are of all ages. They require extra understanding and acceptance. Examples of children with special needs are:

    • Children who have a history of painful experiences including abuse, neglect, or problems due to separation from their family and familiar surroundings.
    • Children who have developmental or physical disabilities.
    • Sibling groups who need a family who can adopt them together.
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What are the steps in adopting a child?

Application for adoption

After making the decision you would like to adopt, applying is the first step. You may apply to a licensed adoption agency or a child and family services agency. Note: You will need to apply to a child and family services agency for adoption of permanent wards.

Orientation Meetings and Preparation Workshops

These learning opportunities are available with all Manitoba agencies and will help you decide whether adoption is right for you. You will have the opportunity to learn from adoption workers and from parents who are having real-life experiences in adopting.

The Homestudy

A homestudy is an assessment process between you and an adoption worker. The homestudy helps decide whether you are able to assume the responsibilities of being an adoptive parent and helps to identify which children you are most suited to parent.

Together with the worker, you will discuss your home and community, your significant relationships and your thoughts about parenting. You will also discuss many other aspects of parenting an adopted child, such as your knowledge of adoption issues, including those of separation and loss and their effect on behaviour and development.

The adoption worker will get to know your family and help you explore feelings, attitudes, capabilities and expectations. He or she will help you get ready for reactions you may have following adoption placement that you didn't expect.

Your worker may also discuss issues that arise in specific cases, particularly with international adoptions, where special consideration must be given to children of another race or culture who will have to adjust to a new country and language. These children may have experienced institutional care, and there may be limited social and medical history available.

As part of the homestudy process you will need to provide information such as medical reports from your doctor, financial statements, police checks and letters from references.

Following the homestudy process, the agency's worker will give the agency a report that includes a recommendation about placing the child with you. You are entitled to a copy of the report.

Post-Adoption Registry

Following the adoption of your child, you may register on his or her behalf with the Post-Adoption Registry.

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What is "Openness" in adoption?

Adoptive parents have the opportunity to have contact with birth family and others.
Contact can range from limited or ongoing visits with birth family members to the exchange of cards, letters and photographs, either directly or through an agency.

What types of adoption are available in Manitoba?Two boys

Select a type of adoption to learn more:

How much will an adoption cost?

It depends on the kind of adoption. Adoptive parents may need to pay legal fees and agency fees for certain services. Check with the agency you choose about their fee schedule. Birth parents are never charged fees by an agency.

How long will it take?

It depends on the needs of the children available for adoption at any given time. You will need to speak to your local child and family services (CFS) agency or licensed adoption agency for more detailed time frames.

Can I place a child for adoption if I am under 18?

Yes, you can place a child for adoption and sign the legal forms required in different types of adoption even if you are under 18 years old.

How much will I be told about a child's background?

You will be told everything that is known about the child and his/her background, including medical reports.

I am thinking about making an adoption plan for my child. Can I choose the adoptive family?

With private adoption, you may choose the adoptive parents. With adoption of a permanent ward, child and family services (CFS) will involve birth parents in choosing a family for their child wherever possible.

Who provides the services we need?

Adoption services are provided by child and family services agencies or licensed adoption agencies. Where the child being adopted is not a permanent ward, legal services are usually provided by lawyers.

How can I learn more about adoption?

If you would like more information on adoption contact your local child and family services agency or a licensed adoption agency. A worker will explain adoption to you in detail and answer any specific questions you may have.

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