Adoption Services

Our Adoption Program focuses on placing children who are in permanent care of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services with adoptive families.

We offer the following services:
  • Special Needs Adoptions
  • Foster-Adoption Program
  • Supports for Permanency Program
  • Counselling Program
  • Orientation Training for Caregivers

Special Needs Adoption
Our Adoption Program refers to the term "special needs" for a child whom it is difficult to find an adoptive home. The child might need:

  • A special service for an existing condition, or for one that might develop later because of family history, or
  • A special placement that is compatible with the child's age, culture, or need to stay with siblings.

Foster-Adoption Program
Foster-adoption homes are foster homes that have made a commitment to adopt. These families are committed to working with a child to ensure permanency, whether the child returns to his or her birth family or is adopted by the current caregivers. These are considered legal risk placements as there is no guarantee an adoption will take place.

Supports for Permanency Program
A family that adopts a child with special needs often requires additional on-going support. The Supports for Permanency Program offers post adoption support to encourage and secure adoption by families who otherwise would find it difficult to meet the needs of children with special needs. Support includes special service funding and a financial subsidy for families that meet the criteria.

Birth Counselling Program
This program offers pregnant mothers with individual counseling specific to birth parent
options to assist them in planning for an expected child.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. I've heard there is a lengthy waiting list to adopt a child?

A.There is no "waiting list" for persons interested in adopting the children seen on this
     Web site or in the media. Children are "matched" with the family who is best able to
     provide the appropriate care for them.

Q. Are there many children available for adoption in Alberta?

A. There are a number of older, special needs children available.

Q. Who are these "special needs" children that are available?

A. Children needing adoptive families are usually over the age of two, may be of
     mixed racial origin or may be part of a sibling group. Some of the children will have
     health problems, a physical or emotional disability, be developmentally delayed or
     have challenging behaviours.

The child might need:

  • a special service for an existing condition or one that may develop because of family history.
  • a special placement that is compatible with the child's age, culture or need to stay with siblings.

Q. Does it cost money to adopt these children?

A.Alberta Children's Services covers all the administrative costs of adopting a child
     who is in the care of the Ministry. Adoptions completed through private agencies, or
     any portion of an adoption that is completed by an agency (for example, a Home
    Assessment Report), will have fees attached. In addition, when an individual places their child for adoption themselves (what is called a Direct Placement Adoption) there are administrative and court-related fees attached, which are the responsibility of the

Q. Do you have to own your own home and earn a high income?

A.No. You must be able to demonstrate that you have sufficient room and income to
     accommodate the child/children.

Q. What kind of help can I expect if I adopt a "special needs child?

A.Adopting a special needs child is challenging. Post adoption supports are available through the Supports for Permanency Program to families adopting these children. If a child needs special services, families can receive funding to cover the costs of the services necessary to meet the child's special needs.  If the family faces undue financial hardship due to the child's special needs they may be eligible for monthly maintenance payments. Adoption workers can also assist the family in locating appropriate groups or organizations for personal support.

Q. Can single people adopt?

A.Yes. In some cases, a single applicant is considered the best choice for a child being
     "matched" for adoption.

Q. What is the process that I will need to go through to adopt?

A.Applicants for special needs children are required to attend training sessions. A Social Worker will then be assigned to do a family assessment to decide what kind of child would best fit into your family. You will be considered for placement of a child once you have been approved. If the adoption professionals determine that you are the best match for a given child, you will be provided with additional information about the child. If it is agreed that you wish to proceed, a placement plan is prepared. The child and your family will be gradually introduced and integrated. After a period of time when you and the Social Worker are satisfied that your family is adjusting satisfactorily, arrangements are made to finalize the adoption in court.

Q. Who finalizes the Adoption?

A.Your Adoptions Caseworker will prepare the required documents and arrange to file them with
     the court in order to obtain your Adoption Order. If the child is over 12, the child is
     required to provide his or her consent to the adoption.

Q. Where can I get more information on Adoption?

A.Visit the provincial site for more information at

Adoption Contacts:

Brenda Hancharuk 780.645.6426

Adoptions/Permanency Planning Worker
Cold Lake, Bonnyville

Laury Nahirnick 780.349.7728

Adoptions/Permanency Planning Worker
Westlock, Athabasca

Erin Worobetz 780-723-8305

Adoptions/Permanency Planning Worker
Edson, Hinton

Kara Jackson 780-645-6432
Adoptions/Permanency Planning Worker
St. Paul, Lac La Biche

Chantal Tkach  780-849-7299
Adoptions/Permanency Planning Worker
Slave Lake

Lisa Hibbs  780-674-8327
Adoptions/Permanency Planning Worker
Barrhead, Whitecourt

Worobec 780.778.7188
Adoptions Casework Supervisor/Specialist

Susan 780.723.8321

Senior Team Lead West Zone, Adoption and Foster Care

You can also reach us through the Toll Free RITE line at 310.0000.

Adoption/Foster Support Contacts:

Foster Adopt Children Today

Athabasca/Slave Lake Buddy Support
Susan McMann 780.829.3809

Tiger Lily Buddy Support

Jane Ion 780.785.3177

Cold Lake/Bonnyville/St. Paul/Lac La Biche Buddy Support
Pat Mahe 780.635-2648

Barrhead/Westlock Buddy Support
Aurelia Spronk

Whitecourt Buddy Support
Stacy Crossland

Elk Point Buddy Support
Darlene Kozicky 780.724.2216

For comprehensive information about adoptions, and to view profiles of adoptable children please visit