Frequently Asked Questions
I’m a birth parent
1Who should I talk to if I'm pregnant (or if my partner is), and I am considering adoption and need counselling?
At CHOICES there are registered social workers who can help you to explore your options so that you can make the decision that is right for you. The staff will provide you with balanced, unbiased information in order for you to make a well informed decision, and you can depend on us for respectful and non-judgmental support.
2How much does it cost to get counselling from you?
Birth parents pay NO fees for counselling directly regarding adoption, regardless of whether or not you decide to make an adoption plan for your child.
3What options do I have as a birth parent if I can't keep the baby?
Please contact CHOICES and a social worker will guide you through the options. The child could be placed with a relative of yours, a non- relative but someone you know personally, or with an unknown family through an agency. Some people also consider short term foster care or abortion.
4Can I choose who I want to place my baby with?
Yes. If you want to place a child with a relative or someone you know, CHOICES will assist you and the adoptive family through this process. As far as placing with an unknown family, CHOICES will make an effort to find a family that matches you and your child’s needs. It is important to note that the adoptive family will also be given the option to make a decision as to whether or not they are a good match for you.
5If I choose an adoptive family that I don't previously know can I meet them before placing my child with them?
Yes. You will have a chance to meet with the adoptive family to see if it really is a good match for you.
6What information do I get on potential adoptive parents, to help with my decision?
You will be able to see their home study, which includes photos and information on their history, interests, family, goals in life etc. The adoptive parents will also write a letter where they introduce themselves more personally, and from that you will be able to get a better idea of what they are like.
7Do I have to choose a family or can someone else do it for me?
CHOICES always encourages you to make a decision. However, some birth parents prefer not to pick a family, in this case CHOICES will try to get as much information from you as possible, as far as what kind of family you would like your child to grow up in and what values are important for you.
8I would like to meet others in my situation. Would you help me to get connected with other birth parents?
Yes. For instance, there are birth mothers’ support groups who meet once a month.
9If I am under the age of majority and pregnant and come to you for counselling, would you tell my parents about it?
No. Legally, a birth mother under 19 is not required to inform her family about the pregnancy. We would provide you with counselling so that you could make a plan as to how to deal with the pregnancy.
10Am I required to name the birth father? If I name him, would you tell him about my pregnancy?
While we understand that it is not always possible to name the birth father, it is important for the child, as well as for the adoptive family, to know as much as possible about both birth parents’ medical and social history. However, you are not required by law to name the birth father. If the birth father is not named, CHOICES must request a search of the database that the Ministry of Children and Family Development have, to see if he has registered with them. If he has, he will be required to prove paternity in a court of law. If you name the birth father we would explore your options to inform the birth father of the pregnancy.
11What is 'open adoption' and how does it affect me?
You are the one who decides what kind of openness you want. Some people meet with the adoptive family a few times a year and over the years this may develop into a close relationship. There are also other options, such as semi-open adoptions, which usually involves an exchange of photos and letters. Others choose to have no openness at all.
12Do I have the right to keep in touch with the child in the future?
Yes. As an agency CHOICES encourages open adoptions, although every birth parent has the right to choose not to have an open adoption, or to have a semi-open relationship after the adoption has taken place. CHOICES will make an effort to find an adoptive family that is willing to accept your level of openness.
13Will the child know my name in the future even if I don't want him/ her to?
At the age of 19, your child will have the right to know, as he or she will be able to obtain a copy of the original birth certificate.
14If I decide to place, do I then later have the right to change my mind?
Although you may have made an adoption plan, you may change your mind to parent your child up until 30 days from the child’s date of birth. However, one of CHOICES Social Workers will go through all the options carefully with you so that you can feel secure and comfortable in your decision.
15Does CHOICES provide counselling for birth parents after the placement?
Yes, CHOICES provides referral and support for life. Call CHOICES for more information at our toll free number 1-888-479-9811, local number 250-479-9811, or our after hours/text number 250-213-7718.
If I was adopted…
I want to know who my birth parents are. Do I have the right to know that?
Yes. When you turn 19, you are able to obtain a copy of the original birth certificate. This can be obtained by calling BC Vital Stats at 866-828-9680.
How can I contact my birth family?
If you were adopted and wondering how to contact your birth family, contact BC’s Adoption Reunion Registry by calling 250-387-3660 or by visiting www.mcf.gov.bc.ca/adoption/reunion/.Parent Finders of Canada is another reunion agency that can help adoptees locate their birth family. Their website is www.parentfinders.org.