International Adoption

Choosing A Country...


Evaluating countries: Know What To Ask
You’re choosing a country to adopt from—what do you need to know to make an informed decision? Here are some questions to ask about the countries you are evaluating.



  • How many people from my province have successfully adopted from this country?

  • How certain is the outcome in working with this country? Will the process be stressful?

  • Is the process with this country going to change?


  • What restrictions for adoptive parents?

  • Minimum or maximum age?

  • Marital status restrictions?

  • Allow previously divorced, common-law, single or same-sex applicants?


  • Do the available children match my criteria for age, sex, race and special needs?

  • What is the physical and mental health of the children from this country?

  • Does it vary by area or orphanage?

  • What is the prevalence of HIV, hepatitis B, tuberculosis, syphilis, fetal alcohol syndrome or other conditions?

  • What is the profile of a typical birthmother?

  • What prenatal diet and medical care was she likely to have received?

  • Will the child resemble me?

  • Will it be obvious she joined our family by adoption? (Does this matter in your decision?)

  • Why are the children available for international adoption? E.g. poverty, country laws.


  • How does the matching process work?

  • Can I request the sex of my child? How certain will it be that my request is granted?


  • How long will the process take, start to finish?

  • Is the time fairly predictable?

  • How often are delays experienced? While waiting for a proposal? After I get a proposal? Need to stay longer than foreseen in the child’s country?


  • How many trips are required to the country?

  • For how long?

  • Do we travel on our own or in a group? Escort available? 


  • What is the cost?

  • What does it include?

  • Any extra charges?

  • Can charges change during the process?

  • How can I pay for this adoption?

  • When is the money payable?

  • What is refundable?


  • Are procedures in this country above board? i.e. no corruption anticipated.

  • What is the involvement of birth parents in this country? e.g. in termination of their parental rights.

  • Where is the adoption finalized, in the country or in Canada?

  • Do I provide progress reports to the child’s birth country after finalization?


  • Is there a reputable agency or facilitator for this country?

  • What pre- and post-adoption support is available for this country, via agency or support groups? 

  • What culture and heritage support is available, via agency or support groups? 


  • How do I feel about this country and culture in general?

  • How do we feel about becoming a part of this culture through our child?

  • How will our family and friends feel about a child from this race and culture joining our family?

Click on a country of interest to learn more about available children, criteria to adopt, the process and approximate costs.  Please note that this information is subject to change and should be confirmed with Alberta Children’s Services at proceeding. 


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