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In Quebec, adoption services are managed by youth centres (centres jeunesse). People considering giving up a child for adoption can contact their local youth centre. Youth centre adoption service workers can provide information and support to parents or guardians wishing to take this step.

You can decide at any time during your pregnancy that adoption is the best option for you. However, this decision can only be made official after the birth. As soon as you give birth, you can start the process at your local youth centre.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When can I give my child up for adoption?

Although the decision to give a child up for adoption can be made during pregnancy, it's not until after the birth that the official process can begin. You can find out about the process from your local youth centre during your pregnancy. However, no documents will be completed or signed before the child is born.

Children can be given up for adoption as soon as they are born.

Who must consent to the adoption?

Generally speaking, the consent of both parents whose parentage is recognized on the birth certificate is required for the application to give the child up for adoption to be valid and legal.

If one of the parents is deceased, unable to express their wishes or has lost parental authority, the consent of the other parent is sufficient.

If the parenthood of the other parent is recognized, then the consent of both parents is required to complete the adoption. The second parent may refuse to allow the person who experienced the pregnancy to give the child up for adoption under the following conditions:

  • They are recognized on the birth certificate.
  • They have the desire, ability and skills to ensure the child's safety and look after the child during its development.

Can I go back on my decision?

The parent(s) may withdraw their consent to the adoption and regain custody of the child within a 30-day period. No justification is required.

After this 30-day period, legal action must be taken to restore custody of the child to the biological parent(s). Justification is required and will be assessed in the child's best interests. Once the court has issued a placement order, there is no legal recourse to regain custody.

Can I take part in choosing an adoptive family?

Birth parents may express their preference(s) (e.g., religion, age, geographical location, family composition, etc.), which may be taken into account when the youth centre selects adoptive parents.

Unfortunately, the choice of adoptive family cannot be taken directly by the biological parent(s), unless the child is placed for adoption within the family by special consent.

***If you’re a member of an aboriginal community, you may be able to adopt under aboriginal customary law.

Is it possible for me to maintain ties with the child and meet the adoptive family?

Although adoption breaks the ties of filiation and removes parental rights from the biological parent(s), it is possible to set up a communication agreement between the family of origin and the adoptive family at any time. This agreement may include an exchange of information or contact (e.g., visits, sending of photos, etc.), without the involvement of a court. The consent of both parties is required. What's more, the process is confidential (only the respective first names of the parties will be known) and must be carried out with the child's best interests in mind.