Before you apply

Parenting is an expensive job, and sometimes finances can be a barrier for families hoping to adopt through fee-based programs. We want you to know what to expect during the application process and how your employer will support your application now and as your family grows.

Explore the following list of financial support options and additional information about employer benefits and parental leave.

Financial assistance

Whether you adopt locally or internationally, there are fees for most adoptions. The links below may help you fund or finance some of these costs. 

Please note: Inclusion on this list does not imply endorsement by AFABC. Families are expected to do their own research into any funder or fundraising opportunity.

  • National Bank of Canada - Offers low-interest adoption loans financed over a period of time up to 15 years and $20,000.
  • ABBA Canada - Offers adoption grants and free fundraising tips for families adopting locally or internationally. Grant applicants must complete a statement of Christian faith.
  • Brittany's Hope Foundation - Offers grants to families adopting children with special needs through specific US agencies. Local applicants whose adoption agency partners with a Brittany's Hope affiliate may be eligible to apply.
  • Hebrew Free Loan Association of Vancouver - Offers interest free adoption loans of up to $10,000. Loan guarantors must be members of the Jewish community in BC.
  • Reece's Rainbow - International special needs adoption photolisting. Adoption grants are available for specific waiting children.

Workplace benefits

Adoptive parents who are eligible for Employment Insurance (EI) can claim parental leave regardless of their minor child's age at date of placement. Two parent families may split parental leave, or one parent may claim the leave in its entirety.

Adoptive parents receive a maximum of 35 weeks of parental leave through EI. Unfortunately, we are not entitled to the additional 15 weeks maternity leave available to biological mothers.

We have helped support several motions and appeals to the Supreme Court in an effort to equalize parental leave for adoptive parents. Unfortunately, the courts have not sided with adoptive parents. The good news is, more and more employers are helping bridge the gap

Employers can help support adoptive families in large and small ways:

  • Harmonize parental leave. Employers who offer an additional 15 weeks of leave ensure that all children have an equal amount of time with their parent(s) during the critical first year home.  
  • If offered to biological families, ensure that extended leaves, top-ups, or 'baby bonuses' are extended to adoptive families.
  • Reimburse employees for a percentage of, or maximum dollar amount towards adoption-related expenses. If funds are available for fertility treatments, consider offering an equal amount towards adoption-related expenses.
  • Celebrate new arrivals. If there is cake, ice cream, or a welcome gift for new babies, a similar celebration is appreciated when a child of any age is welcomed through adoption. (Adoptive parents, don't be shy about asking others to join the celebration!)

Employees, check with human resources at your place of employment. If there are no adoption-specific benefits, it may be because no one has asked for them yet! You can share or modify this letter with your employer to help build your case for support.

Further reading: 

Already adopted?

Check out the financial options and bursaries available to you and your child.

Want to chat about adoption?

Our adoption support coordinators are happy to answer any questions you may have.