Alberta moves to reform the adoption system

The United Conservative government of Alberta is moving to simplify and streamline the adoption process, a move that should trigger applause from pro-lifers. From Lethbridge News:

As Alberta marks Adoption Awareness Month, the provincial government is taking action to make the process easier to navigate. Right now, the province has a complex process for adoption, which does more to create barriers for adoptees, birth parents and couples looking to adopt a child.

Children’s Services Minister Rebecca Schulz, expects the changes put forth will make it easier for families to navigate adoptions, increase accountability of adoption agencies, and improve processes for prospective adoptive parents. As well, Bill 48, the Red Tape Reduction Implementation Act 2020, (No. 2), which was tabled on November 16, will provide adult adoptees and former children in care with improved access to their biological and family information.

Alberta’s current adoption legislation has been in force since 2005. If Bill 48 is passed, changes will come into effect Jan. 1, 2021.

Key Changes include:

— Proclaiming the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act (Adoption Advertising), introduced by MLA Aheer in 2017, will allow prospective adoptive parents to advertise their profiles publicly through licensed adoption agencies

– a change parents have been lobbying to implement since its introduction. An order-in-council was granted Nov. 25.

— Improving transparency and accountability of licensed agencies.

— Making it easier for adult adoptees and birth families to connect in the Post Adoption Registry.

— Providing online resources for prospective parents.

— Simplifying and standardizing adoption processes. Searle Turton, the MLA for Spruce Grove-Stony Plain, is an adoptive parent and has first-hand knowledge of how the former system impacted his family…There are also changes that will benefit adopted children who are now adults, such as Laura (Lawands) Osgood, a survivor of the ’60s Scoop.

“Connecting with my father and my birth family has given me my identity but I’m still filling in the blanks in my life. I’ve lost my language, and my heritage was taken from me. I’m a toddler in my culture. Opening access to adoption information for ‘60s Scoop survivors is incredibly important. Our past is part of our story. And it needs to be shared.”

A welcome move. Other provinces should follow suit.

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