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B.C. Reg. 292/96
O.C. 1227/96
Deposited November 4, 1996
effective November 4, 1996
This consolidation is current to September 27, 2022.
Link to consolidated regulation (PDF)
Link to Point in Time

Adoption Act

Adoption Agency Regulation

[Last amended March 11, 2021 by B.C. Reg. 64/2021]

Contents
Part 1 — Interpretation
1Definitions
Part 2 — Licensing
2Application for a licence
3Application to renew a licence
4Criminal record check
5Conditions of a licence
6Suspension or cancellation of a licence
7Appeal from a decision of the Provincial director
8Provision of services when agency ceases operations
Part 3 — Standards of Operation
9Standards to be met by adoption agencies
10Information to be provided to clients by adoption agencies
11Surrender of records after adoption of a child
12Quarterly report to Provincial director
13Financial statement
14Advertising by an adoption agency
15Prohibition on the charging of fees and expenses
Schedule 1
Schedule 2

Part 1 — Interpretation

Definitions

1   In this regulation:

"Act" means the Adoption Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 5;

"adoption agency" means an adoption agency that

(a) is operated by a society,

(b) has directors who are persons other than the employees of the society, and

(c) has a valid licence;

"advisory committee" means a committee established under section 5 (4) consisting of persons other than the employees of the society;

"licence" means a licence issued or renewed under this regulation;

"record" includes books, documents, maps, drawings, photographs, letters, vouchers, papers and any other thing on which information is recorded or stored by graphic, electronic, mechanical or other means;

"society" has the same meaning as in the Societies Act.

[am. B.C. Reg. 211/2015, s. 1.]

Part 2 — Licensing

Application for a licence

2   (1) A society may, in the form and manner specified by the Provincial director, apply for a licence to operate an adoption agency, and the application must be accompanied by all of the following:

(a) a copy of the applicant's certificate of incorporation as a society;

(b) a copy of the applicant's constitution and bylaws;

(c) the municipal address, mailing address and a description of the premises from which the applicant proposes to operate the adoption agency;

(d) a statement confirming the services to be provided by the applicant;

(e) a business plan that includes, without limitation, all of the following:

(i) a statement or plan setting out the geographical area in British Columbia that the applicant proposes to serve;

(ii) if services are to be offered by the applicant to persons who live outside the geographical area where the proposed adoption agency will be located, a statement setting out how those services will be delivered;

(iii) a description of services other than adoption services, if any, that the applicant provides and the source of funding for those services;

(iv) how the services provided by, and the expenses of, the applicant will be funded;

(v) the proposed fee schedule for all services provided by the applicant, and whether the level of income of the prospective adoptive parents and adoptive parents will be used to determine the amount of those fees;

(vi) a general job description, including the qualifications and experience, for each position the applicant proposes for services, and whether those services will be delivered by employees of the applicant or through contractual arrangements;

(vii) the proposed personnel management practices of the adoption agency;

(viii) the proposed method of program evaluation;

(ix) a description of the applicant's file storage and security arrangements for the proposed adoption agency, and the method to be used to provide backup files in the event of loss;

(f) a statement as to whether the applicant proposes to provide interprovincial or intercountry adoption services and, if so, identification of the jurisdictions;

(g) evidence that the applicant has obtained general liability insurance satisfactory to the Provincial director covering the proposed adoption agency and its employees;

(h) a description of the past experience of the directors and the administrator of the applicant as that experience relates to the provision of adoption services;

(i) any other information or additional documentation referred to in paragraphs (a) to (h) that the Provincial director considers necessary to determine the ability of the applicant to provide the services and carry out the responsibilities of an adoption agency.

(2) A non-refundable fee of $200 payable to the minister responsible for the Financial Administration Act must accompany each application for a licence.

(3) When making a decision respecting the granting of a licence under this section, the Provincial director must consider all of the following:

(a) the information provided under subsection (1);

(b) the number of adoption agencies, if any, serving the geographic area in which the applicant proposes to locate;

(c) the financial viability of the applicant.

(4) A licence issued under this section may contain terms and conditions, consistent with the Act and this regulation, as specified on the licence by the Provincial director.

(5) A licence issued under this section is valid for an initial period of 2 years from the date of issue.

[am. B.C. Reg. 350/2005, Sch. 1, ss. 1 and 2.]

Application to renew a licence

3   (1) A society that wishes to renew its licence must, in the form and manner specified by the Provincial director, at least 6 months before the expiry date of the licence or such shorter time as is acceptable to the Provincial director, apply to renew the licence, and the application must be accompanied by all of the following:

(a) a statement confirming that the information and documentation provided under section 2 (1) at the time of the application for a licence, or under this section at the time of the last licence renewal, has not changed or, if there has been any change in that information or documentation, a statement setting out the change or a copy of the documentation;

(b) any other information or additional documentation referred to in section 2 (1) that the Provincial director considers necessary to determine the ability of the adoption agency to continue to provide the services and carry out the responsibilities of an adoption agency.

(2) A non-refundable fee of $200 payable to the minister responsible for the Financial Administration Act must accompany each application for the renewal of a licence.

(3) When making a decision respecting the renewal of a licence under this section, the Provincial director must consider all of the following:

(a) whether the adoption agency has complied with the requirements of section 5 (1);

(b) the grounds under section 6 that apply to the suspension or cancellation of a licence;

(c) whether the licence was cancelled or suspended during its term.

(4) A licence renewed under this section may contain terms and conditions, consistent with the Act and this regulation, as specified on the licence by the Provincial director.

(5) A licence renewed under this section is valid for a period set by the Provincial director of at least 6 months but no more than 3 years from the date of expiry of the previously valid licence.

[am. B.C. Reg. 350/2005, Sch. 1, ss. 1 and 3.]

Criminal record check

4   (1) Subject to subsection (2), a society must, in respect of an adoption agency operated by it, ensure that the Consent to Criminal Record Check in Form 1 of Schedule 1 has been obtained for

(a) the administrator, and

(b) each person employed by, or under contract with, the society and who works with or has contact with children, pre-adoption parents or prospective adoptive parents.

(2) The society must not require a person to authorize a criminal record check unless the society has offered employment to, or entered into a contract with, that person.

(3) The society must retain the results of the criminal record check required by subsection (1) for as long as the subject of the criminal record check is employed by, or under contract with, the society.

[am. B.C. Reg. 351/2012, s. (a).]

Conditions of a licence

5   (1) A licence is subject to the following conditions:

(a) the board of directors of the society must include at least 3 persons who are knowledgeable about or experienced in adoptions;

(b) the administrator of the adoption agency must be qualified by training or experience to operate an adoption agency and to work in the field of adoptions;

(c) the adoption agency must, in addition to the services required by the Act, make available the services set out in Schedule 2;

(d) the adoption agency may

(i) provide any service that is ancillary to those services provided under the Act and the regulations, and

(ii) if authorized under section 54 of the Act by the Central Authority for British Columbia, provide services under the Convention;

(e) the Provincial director must be promptly notified in writing of any

(i) change in the services offered by the adoption agency,

(ii) change in the schedule of fees used by the adoption agency, or

(iii) material change in the business plan,

and the change is not valid until it has been approved in writing by the Provincial director;

(f) the society must, in respect of any administrator, employee or individual it contracts with during the term of its licence, comply with the requirements of section 4;

(g) if the Provincial director suspends or cancels the licence under section 6 or an adoption agency ceases operations voluntarily, the adoption agency must, when ordered to do so by the Provincial director, transfer to a director the care, custody and guardianship of any child of whom the administrator of the adoption agency has care, custody and guardianship.

(2) An adoption agency must not provide interprovincial or intercountry adoption services unless authorized by the Provincial director as a condition of its licence.

(3) Subsection (1) (c) and (d) does not restrict an adoption agency from providing other services unrelated to adoption.

(4) If the requirement of subsection (1) (a) cannot be met or maintained, the board of directors of the society must establish an advisory committee, consisting of at least 3 persons who are knowledgeable about or experienced in adoptions, to advise the board on matters of adoption.

[am. B.C. Reg. 350/2005, Sch. 1, ss. 1 and 4.]

Suspension or cancellation of a licence

6   (1) Subject to this section, the Provincial director may suspend or cancel a licence on any of the following grounds:

(a) the adoption agency is not, in the opinion of the Provincial director,

(i) giving paramount consideration to the best interests of the children who are being placed for adoption by the adoption agency,

(ii) operating in a manner that is in the best interests of the persons who are receiving the adoption services, or

(iii) operating in accordance with the requirements of the Act, the conditions of its licence, or the standards of operation for adoption agencies under this regulation;

(b) the society has made a material false statement in an application for a licence or the renewal of a licence;

(c) a change has occurred in the board of directors of the society or the employees or contractors of the adoption agency that would be grounds for refusing to issue a licence if the society were applying for a licence for the first time;

(d) a member of the board of directors of the society or an employee or contractor of the adoption agency has contravened the Act or the regulations, the constitution or bylaws of the society, or a condition of the licence issued to the society;

(e) any other circumstance that, in the opinion of the Provincial director, is a cause for concern respecting the operation of the adoption agency.

(2) The Provincial director must give written notice to the adoption agency of any proposed suspension or cancellation of the licence

(a) stating the reasons for the proposed suspension or cancellation,

(b) specifying a date, time and place for a hearing to be conducted by the Provincial director respecting the proposed suspension or cancellation, and

(c) advising that the adoption agency has the right to be heard and, if representatives of the adoption agency do not attend the hearing, the matter may be disposed of in their absence.

(3) The notice under subsection (2) must be given at least 14 days before the date of the hearing, delivered by personal service or sent by registered mail to the adoption agency at its last known address as determined from the Registrar of Companies.

(4) The Provincial director may order that

(a) the suspension is effective immediately on the giving of the notice under subsection (2), or

(b) the suspension or cancellation is effective subject to the results of the hearing.

(5) The adoption agency may appear with counsel at the hearing.

(6) The Provincial director must, as soon as practicable after giving the notice under subsection (2), hear and determine the matter set for hearing under this section and, within 14 days after the conclusion of the hearing, make an order, in writing and with reasons, to

(a) confirm the suspension of a licence already suspended for a period specified by the Provincial director in the order,

(b) suspend the licence for a period specified by the Provincial director in the order,

(c) reinstate the licence, with or without conditions, if it was suspended before the hearing, or

(d) cancel the licence.

(7) If the Provincial director confirms the suspension of a licence under subsection (6) (a) or suspends the licence under subsection (6) (b), the order may provide that the licence is reinstated after the period of suspension subject to such conditions as may be specified by the Provincial director in the order.

[am. B.C. Reg. 350/2005, Sch. 1, s. 1.]

Appeal from a decision of the Provincial director

7   (1) A society that has not been granted a licence by the Provincial director, or an adoption agency whose licence has not been renewed or has been suspended or cancelled by the Provincial director, may appeal the decision to the minister at any time within 30 days from the date of the decision.

(2) The appellant must give written notice of the appeal to the minister stating the grounds of the appeal, and the minister must set a day and place for the hearing of the appeal, notice of which must be given by the Provincial director to the appellant and to any interested persons as the minister may direct.

(3) At the time and place set for the hearing, the minister must hear in a summary manner the appeal, and may adjourn the hearing and defer judgement as the minister thinks advisable.

(4) The minister may make an order varying, confirming or reversing, either in whole or in part, the decision being appealed from.

(5) An order of the minister under this section is final.

(6) No costs of appeal will be allowed to any party.

[am. B.C. Regs. 350/2005, Sch. 1, s. 1; 64/2021, s. 2.]

Provision of services when agency ceases operations

8   (1) If the Provincial director suspends the licence of an adoption agency under section 6, the adoption agency must promptly turn over its active files and records for each client to a director or to another adoption agency as ordered by the Provincial director for the period of suspension.

(2) If the Provincial director cancels the licence of an adoption agency under section 6 or does not renew the licence of an adoption agency under section 3, the society must, within 10 days after receipt of the notice of cancellation or non-renewal of the licence, turn over all records to a director or to another adoption agency as ordered by the Provincial director.

(3) If an adoption agency ceases operations, it must

(a) advise the Provincial director in writing that it intends to cease operations,

(b) provide for the orderly transfer of client files and records to a director or another adoption agency as ordered by the Provincial director, and

(c) advise the Provincial director of any situation respecting a client which may require immediate attention and provide the Provincial director with information necessary to enable a director to make alternative arrangements for that client.

[en. B.C. Reg. 350/2005, Sch. 1, s. 5.]

Part 3 — Standards of Operation

Standards to be met by adoption agencies

9   An adoption agency must comply with the following standards:

(a) the primary objective of every placement must be the best interests of the child as set out in section 3 of the Act;

(b) support services provided to pre-adoption parents and adoption services provided to prospective adoptive parents and adoptive parents must be delivered in a manner that ensures independence of advice and avoids coercion;

(c) support services provided to pre-adoption parents must, until the end of the 30 day period referred to in section 19 (1) of the Act, be delivered by a social worker who is not the same person who provides adoption services to the prospective adoptive parents;

(d) the adoption agency must ensure that a child who is placed with a caregiver under section 25 (b) of the Act is placed with a caregiver who meets the standards for caregivers required by the ministry;

(e) the adoption agency must ensure that pre-adoption parents, before giving a consent to adoption, have been given an opportunity to be advised by independent legal counsel;

(f) the adoption agency must give particular attention to a child with identified health, emotional or other problems to ensure that the child is placed with adoptive parents who have been approved through the homestudy process and who have been recommended, because of their desire and capacity, for a child with the specific needs of the child for whom the adoption placement is sought.

[am. B.C. Reg. 351/2012, s. (a).]

Information to be provided to clients by adoption agencies

10   An adoption agency must operate in accordance with the following requirements:

(a) the adoption agency must, before beginning a homestudy, advise the prospective adoptive parents of the purpose of the homestudy, the time involved, the structure of the interviews, the fees to be charged and the method of payment;

(b) the adoption agency must advise the prospective adoptive parents that

(i) the primary concern in completing a homestudy is the child's best interests, and

(ii) despite approval of the prospective adoptive parents following completion of a homestudy, a child may never be placed with them for adoption;

(c) the adoption agency must advise the birth parents or other guardian and the prospective adoptive parents about the adoption agency's arrangements for file storage and security of files, and the disposition of records following the granting of an adoption order;

(d) the schedule of fees charged by the adoption agency must be readily available for inspection by any person.

Surrender of records after adoption of a child

11   (1) Subject to subsection (2), a copy of the records of an adoption agency respecting a child placed for adoption by the adoption agency must be forwarded to the Provincial director within 6 months after the granting of the adoption order.

(2) If post-adoption services are being provided by the adoption agency after the adoption order is granted, the adoption agency may make a request to the Provincial director for an extension of time to comply with the requirements of subsection (1).

(3) If a record relates to an intercountry adoption which was completed in the country of the child's origin, a copy of the records of the adoption agency respecting that adoption must be forwarded to the Provincial director within 6 months after the adoption order is received by the adoption agency.

[am. B.C. Reg. 350/2005, Sch. 1, s. 1.]

Quarterly report to Provincial director

12   (1) An adoption agency must, within 30 days after the last day of March, June, September and December in each year, submit to the Provincial director, in the form and manner specified by the Provincial director, a report respecting the activities of the adoption agency during that 3 month period.

(2) The report required by subsection (1) may include information in any or all of the following categories:

(a) statistics with respect to domestic adoptions or proposed domestic adoptions during the quarter;

(b) statistics with respect to intercountry adoptions or proposed intercountry adoptions during the quarter;

(c) statistics respecting current activity in both proposed domestic and intercountry adoptions.

(3) At the request of the Provincial director, an adoption agency must submit to the Provincial director

(a) any statistical information and reports relating to the operation of the adoption agency, and

(b) copies of other records relating to any services provided under the Act and regulations.

[am. B.C. Reg. 350/2005, Sch. 1, s. 1.]

Financial statement

13   An adoption agency must, within 90 days after the end of the adoption agency's fiscal year, submit to the Provincial director a financial statement for that fiscal year prepared by a person who is a member, or a partnership whose partners are members, in good standing of Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada or the Organization of Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia.

[am. B.C. Regs. 350/2005, Sch. 1, s. 1; 173/2015.]

Advertising by an adoption agency

14   (1) An adoption agency advertising under the authority of the Act may only advertise in accordance with subsections (2) and (3).

(2) The advertising of services provided by an adoption agency and promotional material about an adoption agency must be truthful and accurate and not be misleading to the public.

(3) The advertising or promotional material referred to in subsection (2) must not

(a) identify any parties to an adoption or a proposed adoption,

(b) claim that a particular adoption agency can guarantee adoption placement of a child with approved applicants,

(c) claim that an adoption agency can assure an expeditious placement,

(d) claim that the services of one adoption agency are superior to those of another, or

(e) state statistical information respecting the number of placements made by the adoption agency.

(4) An adoption agency may, in exceptional situations, request approval of the Provincial director to advertise in an attempt to secure suitable adoptive parents for a specific child.

(5) The use of advertising or promotional material related to fund raising by an adoption agency must respect the dignity and sensitivity of those on whose behalf the fund raising is being conducted.

[am. B.C. Reg. 350/2005, Sch. 1, s. 1.]

Prohibition on the charging of fees and expenses

15   (1) An adoption agency must not charge pre-adoption parents a fee, or recover expenses from pre-adoption parents, for any of the following:

(a) pre-placement services;

(b) adoption planning and preparation of consents;

(c) completion of the child's family medical and social history;

(d) reasonable counselling or post-placement services given for up to 6 months after the placement of the child.

(2) An adoption agency must not solicit or accept voluntary contributions of money from prospective adoptive parents or adoptive parents

(a) at any time before the granting of an adoption order, or

(b) for 6 months after the granting of an adoption order.

[am. B.C. Reg. 351/2012, s. (a).]

Schedule 1

Form 1

Consent To Criminal Record Check

Please type or print clearly.

Police Agency ...................................................................................................... File No................................................

Full Name of Applicant........................................................................................................................................................
 (Last Name)(Birth Last Name)(Given Names)

Birth Date ............../.............../............... Birthplace ................................................................................
                    YY            MM            DD 

Address...............................................................................................................................................................................

Postal Code ........................................................ Telephone ....................................................................

I am a person employed by or under contract to an adoption agency licensed under the Adoption Act and I am required by section 4 (1) of the Adoption Agency Regulation to disclose whether or not I have any convictions or have been charged under any Federal or Provincial enactment.

I understand that disclosure of a criminal record may not necessarily disqualify me from employment by an adoption agency.

I understand that if the adoption agency should decide that any conviction or charge disclosed might affect my employment, I will be given an opportunity to see and discuss that criminal record.

I authorize the .................................................. (Police Agency), on behalf of the ....................................................... (Adoption Agency), to inquire into and determine whether or not I have a criminal record, and make to the adoption agency a full and complete disclosure of any criminal record they may find.

  ..................................................  Date.............../................./..................
  Signature of applicant  YYMMDD

Authorization For Fingerprinting

If there is a requirement to verify that I do or do not have a criminal record, the police will require a copy of my fingerprints. Should they be required, I agree to voluntarily submit my fingerprints. I understand that the copy of my fingerprints will be returned to me after this check has been completed.

  ..................................................  Date.............../................./..................
  Signature of applicant  YYMMDD

Note To Police

The above-named applicant has consented to release information. Please check the applicant's record and indicate the results on this form. Please forward the completed form to:

.............................................................................. (Adoption Agency)

.............................................................................. (Address)

.............................................................................. (City, town)

.............................................................................. (Postal Code)

Attention: Administrator

Police Use Only - Results of Record Search

RESULT OF A RECORD SEARCH IS MERELY A RECORD OF OFFICIAL CONTACT, OR THE ABSENCE OF OFFICIAL CONTACT, WITH POLICE AGENCIES AND IS NOT AN AFFIRMATION OF GOOD CHARACTER.

A search of (check applicable category)the Criminal Repository for Criminal Records for Canada; or
 
 the Index of ..........................................
 (Police Agency Conducting Check)
in the above name and birth date shows:
(please check applicable results)
No record.
 A record exists on local index, and a copy, certified by the applicant, is attached.
 A Central Repository Record may exist, but cannot be disclosed unless verified by fingerprint comparison. Fingerprints have been obtained and submitted for verification. A copy of the Criminal Record will be forwarded to the adoption agency at the above address, on receipt at this office.
...........................................................................Date.............../................./..................
(Name and Signature)(Badge No.) YYMMDD

Schedule 2

[am. B.C. Reg. 351/2012, s. (a).]

(section 5 (1) (c))

Additional Services of Adoption Agencies

1   An adoption agency must make available to pre-adoption parents, before the granting of an adoption order, the following services:

(a) if requested, referrals to other agencies for counselling regarding the options available related to the pregnancy;

(b) if required, referrals to appropriate community resources for financial or other assistance;

(c) the organization of, or referral to, an appropriate support group;

(d) if required, placement of the child with a caregiver for a temporary period;

(e) information about the options available in relation to openness and openness agreements;

(f) if requested, assistance in negotiating an openness agreement;

(g) an explanation of the openness and disclosure provisions as provided under sections 60 to 66 of the Act;

(h) if requested, intermediary services with respect to the sharing of non-identifying information;

(i) if requested, counselling or mediation services respecting changes or disputes which may arise regarding the terms of an openness agreement.

2   An adoption agency must make available to prospective adoptive parents, before the granting of an adoption order, the following services:

(a) information on the options available in the adoption process;

(b) an explanation of the effects of adoption on all parties to the adoption;

(c) the organization of, or referral to, an appropriate support group;

(d) information about the options available in relation to openness;

(e) an explanation of the openness and disclosure provisions under sections 60 to 66 of the Act;

(f) counselling and assistance as needed before placement of a child and during the post-placement period;

(g) if requested, intermediary services with respect to an openness agreement and the sharing of non-identifying information;

(h) if requested, counselling and mediation services respecting changes or disputes which may arise regarding the terms of an openness agreement.

3   An adoption agency must make available to the adopted person, the pre-adoption parents and the adoptive parents, after the granting of an adoption order, the following services:

(a) if requested, post-adoption counselling;

(b) if requested, mediation services respecting disputes which may arise regarding the terms of an openness agreement.

[Provisions relevant to the enactment of this regulation: Adoption Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 5, ss. 91 to 93.]