Agency Adoption

There are two types of agency adoptions:

  1. Children in Care and Custody
    When it is determined through the court system that a birth family is unable to meet the needs of a child on a permanent basis, the child may be committed to the care and custody of an Agency or District Office of the Department of Community Services. The Agency or District office becomes the guardian and may place the child for adoption. We are seeking families who have the qualifications and strengths required to meet the individual needs of these children.

    The majority of these children would be described as having special needs. This means that the children may have learning, behavioral, emotional or physical challenges, including delays in physical development, long-term disabilities or a need for specialized medical attention. Some children need to be placed with siblings or be placed in homes which are compatible with their culture (See Mi'kmaw Adoption and African Nova Scotian and Bi-racial Heritage Adoption). Most children who have special needs are over two years of age and have developed relationships with other people. In some cases, continued contact with these people may be important to them.

    Finanacial subsidies may be available, based on the needs of the child at time of placement.
  2. Section 68 Agreement (Voluntary Placement of Child for Adoption)
    A birth mother may choose to place her child with a Child Placing Agency, Child Welfare Agency, or District Office of the Department of Community Services for the purpose of adoption. The birth father may also be involved in this decision. The child is placed with a family, in most cases, chosen by the birth parent(s) from the approved adoptive families waiting for a child. This type of adoption accounts for only a very small percentage of agency adoption.

    In some cases, the birth mother has chosen a family she would like to adopt her child. A home study must be completed before the family she has chosen may adopt her child. The prospective adoptive parents must apply to the local Agency or District Office to arrange to have a home study completed by an approved private practitioner for the Agency's  or District Office's approval.

    If an adoptive family becomes aware of a birth parent who wishes to place her expected child with them, the family should contact the Nova Scotia Adoption Information Line at 1-866-259-7780. The family will be directed to the appropriate Child Welfare Agency or District office.

    If a birth parent becomes aware of a family with whom she wishes to place her expected child, she should contact the local Child Welfare Agency or District Office.

Next steps

If you are interested in learning more about agency adoption, please contact the Nova Scotia Adoption Line at 1-866-259-7780.