When beginning (and even throughout) the adoption process waiting parents have a lot of questions. The answers to these questions are often changing and evolving due to the changing of laws and policies and addition of new programs.

Here are some current answers to a few of those common questions:

We are thinking about international adoption and we don’t know where to start.

Start with research. Look into agencies and the programs that they offer. Try to find the best match for you and your family. This decision can be overwhelming and difficult. Some people prefer to take their P.R.I.D.E. training (see below) first which allows them to make connections with other families who are planning to adopt. It can also be an opportunity to learn about yourself enabling you to better decide which program will be the best for your family.

How much does it cost?

P.R.I.D.E. (Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education) training is interconnected with the home study. It covers topics such as adoption and child welfare systems, processes and laws, attachment, loss issues in adoption, the impact of adoption on family members, child development, child management, issues specific to the needs of adopted children, the effects of neglect, lack of stimulation, abuse, and institutionalization on children, identity formation and the importance of cultural and racial awareness and the importance of connections and continuity for children. Parents planning to pursue an international adoption are required to take the private P.R.I.D.E. courses at the cost of about $1400 per couple. A full schedule of classes and their prices can be found on the Adopt Ontario web site.

Must I follow pre-adoption coursework? Where can I take these classes?

International adoption can be costly, but it’s important to know that not all expenses come at the same time; they are spread out over a couple of years depending on the pace of your adoption. Presently, the total cost can add up to around $45 000 (variable depending on country and program). This includes P.R.I.D.E training, home study, documents for the dossier (such as police background check), application fee, administration fees, foreign administration/adoption fees, airfare and travel accommodations, Canadian citizenship and passport.

It is reassuring to know that adoption expenses can serve as a tax rebate and that there are banks that provide loans specifically for adoption. Learn about the National Bank International Adoption Package.

For siblings are the costs double?

These questions are specific to each program. Generally, parents between the ages of 30 and 50 are preferred. Adoption of children with special needs, older children and sibling groups will usually be faster. Children ages vary widely. Adoption of newborn and infant children is currently generally only possible through the USA program.

What about adopting siblings?

Siblings are possible in most countries, particularly Haiti and Ukraine, which has the most frequent sibling adoptions.

For siblings are the costs double?

No. There is an additional fee only; the amount varies depending on the country.

Can single parents and same sex couples adopt?

Single women can adopt in Vietnam, Honduras, and Haiti. Single men may be considered for the Vietnam program in isolated circumstances. Single men, single women and same sex couples may adopt in the USA.

For more specific information contact Manon at manon@tdh.ca