Adopting a child you know
Adopting the child of someone you know, but who is not a relative, is called a "direct placement". This type of adoption requires the assistance of a licensed adoption agency.
Your agency assists both sets of parents in preparing for adoption. First, the agency provides counselling to the expectant parents. When adoption is chosen, the agency helps both sets of parents create an adoption plan together.
This planning includes a pre-placement assessment of your adoptive family and gathers the birth family's medical and social history. Most direct placement adoptions will also include an openness agreement which determines the level and frequency of contact between your families.
Dependent on the birth parents' wishes, an infant can come home from hospital with you. Some adoptive parents are invited to the delivery, and some are called to the hospital after the birth. Birth families may also choose to spend time at home with baby prior to placement.
Birth and adoptive parents share joint guardianship from the date of placement until the adoption order is granted. In British Columbia, a birth mother cannot sign consents until 10 days after giving birth. She may revoke consent at any time within 30 days of giving birth. Consents are usually taken together on day 10, but a birth father may sign consent at any time after birth. His consent cannot be revoked once the child is placed in the adoptive home.
In cases where birth fathers are not named or where he cannot be located, a search of the BC Government Birth Father Registry is completed. The agency will make formal attempts to locate him. A birth father who is not named or located has 150 days after his child's birth to claim parental rights.
The adoption order is granted six months after placement.