International Adoption Options for Canadians in 2014

Since 2005, international adoption has been of interest to me. All of those baby girls being abandoned in China due to the one child policy can stir a person up! While international adoption has drastically changed from 2005 to 2014, the doors are still technically open to adopting from abroad. In 2014, there’s less countries to adopt from, the cost is greater, there’s often more trips required to complete the adoption, and no matter what country, there seems to be a long, long wait.

While there’s plenty of information on international adoption options for Americans, there’s very little written in regards to adopting abroad for Canadians. The following is a summary at this point in time in 2014, please keep in mind that international adoption can change literally overnight.

International Adoption Options for Canadians (in the province of Ontario):

* The province of Ontario will only allow a child under the age of 3 years old to be adopted internationally, unless you seek out and receive special permission. So for this reason, the countries mentioned will be ones where it’s possible to adopt a child under 3 years of age. I’m also not including any countries where the adoption costs $40,000 or greater. As a result, this excludes countries such as Korea, Vietnam, and US adoption of a newborn. Edited to add: seeing as the wait for an adoption of a child under 3 years of age from Ethiopia has reached an estimated 5+ years, I’ve not included Ethiopia in this post.

Albania: $28,500 plus travel. Two trips of 11-15 days or one long trips of 5-6 weeks. Youngest child is 18 months. Wait time from when dossier arrives in country: 2 years.

Bulgaria: $30-$36,000 including travel. Must make 2 trips of 5-6 days per trip (after meeting child, must wait 3 months to come back to finalize and bring child home). Youngest child is 2 years old. Children are mostly of Roma decent. Wait time: 2-4 years.

Columbia: $18-$27,000 including travel (plan for closer to $27,000). One trip of 4-6 weeks. For a child under 3 years of age, the waiting period is 3-4 years.

Haiti: $36,000 plus travel (keeping in mind that travel would be cheaper from Canada to Haiti than to a European or Asian country). Must make two trips to complete adoption. Youngest child is 6 months of age. Appears to be the only country where there seems to be an equal amount of girls and boys available (most countries have many more boys available for international adoption than girls). Wait time: 3 years.

Thailand: $31-$33,000. Only one trip is required of 2-3 weeks duration. Children are between the ages of 12-24 months. 3 year wait for a boy, 4+ wait for a girl (it’s not recommended to request a girl due to the very long wait). MUST HAVE INFERTILITY DIAGNOSIS TO ADOPT FROM THAILAND.

There are other countries open to international adoption that aren’t listed here. Some have been excluded from the list as they require residency prior to adoption (3 months + living in country). There are many countries that do not offer the possibility to adopt a “healthy” child under 3 years of age but for those interested in adopting a child with special needs, they can do so. Examples of this would be the Ukraine, Poland, and China (only have to make 1 trip to complete the adoption for China special needs program). Of all of the 5 countries mentioned above, only one gives you the option of deciding which adoption agency to work with (Bulgaria). The others only have one adoption agency working with that particular country.

If a person shares a heritage with the country they wish to adopt from, that seems to give them an edge. For example, a Colombian national living in Canada will be able to bump the line so to speak and adopt quicker. For many countries, there seems to be a preference given to couples with no children or only one child. Families with two or more children aren’t able to adopt  from certain countries or will face much longer wait times than the estimations given. Exceptions to this seem to be made for special needs adoptions.

I hope that this information is helpful to some Canuck researching international adoption options. While it’s certainly not easy to adopt internationally in 2014, it’s still possible as of 10:20am on July 10th, 2014 (when this post was published!).

5 thoughts on “International Adoption Options for Canadians in 2014”

    1. It is interesting. I guess they conducted a study several years ago and found that international adoptions of children under 3 years old were much less likely to break down. Therefore, they want the child to be under 3 years old when they arrive in Ontario. This was to cut down on the # of children that were adopted abroad and then surrendered by the adoptive parents to the foster care system.

  1. I should add South Africa to this list. You can adopt a child under 3 years of age, it’s $31,000 plus travel, about 5 weeks stay in-country (one trip), and about a 3 year wait. This country is the only one that I’ve listed here that’s national language is English. For Canadians who speak French, Haiti’s national language is French.

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