COLUMN: Giving a child a good home

The decision to adopt, and the more difficult decision to give a child up for adoption, are filled with emotions...

The decision to adopt, and the more difficult decision to give a child up for adoption, are filled with emotions. In situations where one member of the family is adopting the child of another family member, this can be an even more stressful and emotional situation, because the parties all know each other and are very close to each other. Fortunately, the legal process for these “familial” adoptions is relatively straightforward, and with the help of an experienced adoption lawyer, finalizing the adoption can go smoothly.

Let’s take the hypothetical case of Mr. and Mrs. Blue. The Blues have wanted a child of their own for years, but are not able to have children of their own.

Mrs. Blue’s younger sister is Ms. Brown.  Ms. Brown recently found out that she is pregnant with a girl. It was unplanned. She is young and single, and does not feel she can adequately provide for her child.  Ms. Brown has decided her child would have a better life if she put her up for adoption after she is born, and thus advised her sister.

The Blues discussed the option of adopting Ms. Brown’s unborn baby.  Before approaching her to discuss their wishes, the Blues made the decision to contact a local adoption lawyer.  The Blues met with their lawyer and learned that familial adoptions happen quite often in situations such as theirs, and that with the birth parents’ consent, the adoption process could be quite simple. They were told that adopting parents have an obligation to use their best efforts to locate the birth parents in order to obtain their consent. If they are unable to locate one of the parents after making a reasonable attempt to do so, they could apply to a court for an order dispensing with consent.

The Blues now felt ready to speak with Ms. Brown about the potential for adoption.

After much consideration, Ms. Brown agreed to consent to the adoption of her baby to the Blues, whom she knew would give her a loving home.  Ms. Brown provided the Blues with the name and address of the baby’s father, so they could get his consent too. The Blues went back to their lawyer, who began the necessary preparation of documents that they were then able to provide to both parents for their signature, consenting to the adoption.

Shortly thereafter Ms. Brown gave birth to a healthy baby girl. The Blues decided to name her “Hope.”

Only a few short months later, after the necessary child care reports were completed, the Blues received the call they had been waiting for; the Adoption Order had been granted and they were now the legal guardians of baby Hope.

If you are adopting, or considering giving a child up for adoption, it is important to seek the advice and guidance of an adoption lawyer who can guide you through this very important and life-changing decision.


Sheri is an associate lawyer with RDM Lawyers LLP in Abbotsford.  She practices in the areas of wills and estates law, business law, real estate law, and adoptions.  Questions or comments about this article can be sent to