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  Alberta photolisting site one year old
Family Helper editor
(Feb. 10, 2004) Alberta's Ministry of Children's Services celebrated on Feb. 10, 2004 the first anniversary of its photolisting web site, It gives photos and descriptions of children in government care which Alberta families may adopt. Exceptionally, the ministry may consider families in other provinces. Would-be parents can search by age and sex of child, and whether the children have siblings.

The site's goal was to move more children from foster care into adoptive homes. (MCS statistics say that only 116 of Alberta's 4,700 permanent wards were adopted in 2002.)

Minister Iris Evans called the site a success. "We've got even more adoptions in 10 months than we had all of last year," she said. "We're ahead, we've got 232 placements, 80 of which we believe are directly attributable to the children who were right on the website." In the previous fiscal year, 231 children were adopted. "We've had 3.5 million hits on a web site that usually has less than 100,000 hits."

When the site was first opened there were complaints it had too much personal information about the children. Children's Services changed the site to increase their privacy. Evans says the only information available to visitors is a brief description of the children. "Password protection is something that happens in some of the American adoption sites, but we have found that these children are absolutely protected," Evans said. "They have to go back through to Children's Services to find out more detailed information."

Writing in the March 2004 ACC Newsletter, Anne Scully, Manager of Adoption Services, listed the web site's achievements:
-- 80 children on the site have been matched or placed in adoptive homes. 65 children not featured on the site have been matched with parents who first responded to children on the site.
-- Alberta has increased its adoptions by 15% over the past year.
-- In the ten months following the site launch, 510 adoptive applicants across Alberta registered for adoption, a 97% increase over the same period last year.
-- A three-month review of the site concluded that it appeared to be the most powerful media recruitment tool ever used in Alberta and that the Ministry's procedures to address children's privacy were effective.

CBC News in Edmonton reported Feb. 10, 2004 that about 5,200 children in Alberta are permanent wards of the government (

For more, see Adoption Council of Canada,

Canada's only national photolisting web site is the Adoption Council of Canada's "Canada's Waiting Children", at It shows photos and profiles of children in the care of Canadian child welfare agencies and waiting for permanent adoptive families.

For more on photolisting web sites, see "Adoption Resource Central - Photolisting":

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