Government of New Brunswick


Adoption provides a child with a permanent family where he/she can enjoy the conditions, experiences and opportunities for healthy growth and development when a child cannot remain with his/her birth parent(s) and establishes a legal parent-child relationship.


In New Brunswick, one must be over the age of 19 and a resident of the Province of New Brunswick. Applicants must meet the non-negotiable eligibility criteria before proceeding with the application and individuals who meet the non-negotiable eligibility criteria and wish to proceed with the adoption process must complete the Pride Pre-Service Training and any other approved training required by the Department.

Individuals will be required to submit the following documents;
- birth certificates
- for joint applicants, proof of a stable relationship for at least two years;
- medical check / criminal check / Department of Social Development record check;
- names of references;
- financial statement;
- any other document that be required

A home study will be completed and upon completion of the home study a decision is made on whether or not the family is approved to adopt a child. Applicants will be notified in writing the decision of the Case Approval Conference


The adoption of infants under the age of two who are in the care of the Minister.
The primary focus in all adoptions remains the best interests of the child. Persons have the right to apply to become adoptive parents but the decision on whether they are actually approved to adopt rests with the Department.

Some of the Departmental services performed within the Adoption Program

- Recruitment of adoptive families for the children in the care of the Minister
- Provide information and training sessions to prospective adoptive parents.
- Assess prospective adoptive families interested in adopting a child through the Minister.
- Assist approved adoptive parents through the decision making process regarding the placement of a child in their home.
- Determine whether a subsidized adoption is required to help adoptive parents defray the costs incurred when the applicant is adopting an older, special needs child or sibling group who has/have been in the care of the Minister.
- Provide support and follow up services for court purposes to adoptive parents once a child has been placed in the adoptive home.

If the birth parents choose to place their child for adoption through the Minister, the Department will find an approved adoptive family capable of meeting the child's needs. Birth parents are encouraged to take an active role in the placement of their child. Within the Ministerial infant adoption process, the birth parents are always involved in the selection of the family unless they have requested otherwise. The birth parent makes their choice based on family profiles. In the majority of situations, the birth parent(s) is able to meet the prospective adoptive parents if both parties are comfortable.

Many single birth parents now raise their own children, so there are few infants available for adoption either through the Ministries or privately. In New Brunswick there is a waiting list to adopt healthy infants through the Minister. Families can expect to wait a number of years before they will be considered. The wait time can vary, but typically the wait for an infant Ministerial adoption in New Brunswick is approximately eight years and the numbers of families wishing to adopt healthy infants (0-2 years) outnumber the infants available for adoption through the Minister.

In order to provide an equitable process, all infants placed for Ministerial adoption in New Brunswick are placed through the Infant Adoption Exchange. Applicants must register with their local regional office of Social Development in order to adopt an infant through the Minister.

Amendments proclaimed February 1, 2008 to the Family Services Act with respect to Adoptions, provide the Minister with the authority to mediate “openness agreements” allowing for various levels of contact agreed to by the birthparents and adoptive parents.

The Department has no fees associated with the services that the Department will provide but there may fees associated with the gathering of the documentation from other sources.