Adoption in BC is governed by a provincial law called the Adoption Act.
Adoption creates new and permanent family ties. Upon adoption, the birth parents stop having any parental rights or obligations (except in step-parent adoptions, where the step-parent becomes a joint parent with the birth parent). The child becomes the child of the adoptive parent(s). Anyone who lives permanently in BC can apply to adopt, including opposite- and same-sex couples.
There are four different types of adoptions:
- placement by the director of adoption (who works for the Ministry of Children and Family Development),
- placement by an adoption agency,
- direct placement (when the birth parent places a child with a non-relative), and
- relative adoption (adoption by a relative or step-parent).
The adoption process involves filing an application in BC Supreme Court.
When making the adoption decision, the court's first and most important consideration is the child's best interests. It must also consider preserving an Aboriginal child's cultural identity.
For more information about how to adopt a child or make an adoption plan for a child, visit the Ministry of Children and Family Development's Adoption website. The site contains the following topics:
- how to adopt within BC,
- how to adopt a child from another country,
- Adoption Act and Regulations, and
- custom adoptions for Aboriginal people.
The website also provides information for adopted adults, adoptive parents, and birth parents.
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