Manitoba Needs to Update the Adoption Act

I am a firm believer that if you want something, you need to go out and get it.  This means doing the work, breaking barriers and forging the path if need be.  It is the way I have tackled every goal in my life, and so far it has worked for me.

So what do you do when a goal such as becoming a parent is essentially out of your control?  It is an interesting conundrum. On this adoption journey we have checked the boxes, completed all the legal requirements, have done the work and removed whatever barriers we can in the hopes of becoming parents. So now what?  Essentially we wait for a call from our adoption agency.80da0487481094a6c47eac631caca886

If we lived in another province such as Ontario or BC, we would have more options that would enable us to actively find our birth parent match.

In those provinces you can do things such as create on line adoption profiles that expand your reach and essentially market you to the masses. Beyond the benefits to adoptive parents, on line profiles  allow birth parents exploring options to have the ability to review profiles and such in the privacy and comfort of their home. This would give birth parents access to options and make the best decisions possible. Once both parties connect, they would still have to follow the legal process and engage an agency, lawyers etc. An example of such a website is Canada Adopts.  If we had a profile here, prospective birth parents would contact us and we would direct them to Adoption Options.

In Manitoba, the legislation regarding adoption has not evolved to this point and allow for options that embrace today’s technology and reality. In fact, as mentioned in a prior blog post, the legislation strictly prohibits actions perceived as “advertising”. The Adoption Act in Manitoba has a provision in section 125 sub 1 which states:


125(1)      A person shall not publish or cause to be published in any form or by any means an advertisement dealing with the placement or adoption of a child.

Currently this single entry in the Adoption Act is being interpreted to extend to websites which allow you to create an online Adoption Profile. I understand the need for inclusion of such a provision in the Adoption Act, however, I think it needs to be reevaluated as to whether is is concise enough.  I believe that there should be a distinction between advertisement (craigslist etc) and on-line adoption profiles. Ontario addressed it by simply focusing on the following.

No payments for adoption
175. No person, whether before or after a child’s birth, shall give, receive or agree to give or receive a payment or reward of any kind in connection with,
(a) the child’s adoption or placement for adoption;
(b) a consent under section 137 to the child’s adoption; or
(c) negotiations or arrangements with a view to the child’s adoption,
except for,
(d) the prescribed expenses of a licensee, or such greater expenses as are approved by a Director;
(e) proper legal fees and disbursements.

So while I feel like our hands are tied at this point other than our ability to network with friends and learning of potential birth parents, perhaps I should consider speaking with my MLA regarding changes to the Adoption Act.

That would be something that I could attempt to do in order to broaden our possibilities.


Posted by

Two Dads journey to raise two amazing kids, without losing our minds!

3 thoughts on “Manitoba Needs to Update the Adoption Act

  1. Hi Michael,

    I’m an associate producer at CBC Manitoba and I’m actually working on a story about Manitoba’s adoption regulations around prospective adoptive parents posting online. I spoke to one woman waiting to adopt who has said the same things you wrote in this post. I just spoke to someone from the MB government and she said prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) are allowed to post an online profile as long as it is approved by the director of the Child and Family Services offices and doesn’t include any mention of a payment or inducement to the birth parents or the economic status of the PAPs.
    Would you be wiling to have a phone call about all of this? It seems this regulation is causing problems for a few Manitoba families.

    Thank you,
    Danelle Cloutier
    CBC Manitoba

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s