Adoption Process and Requirements
We’re delighted you are interested in adopting a bird from The Gabriel Foundation! We have many wonderful birds that are just waiting to find their family and start a new life.
What is the adoption process?
There are a number of steps involved in making the adoption process a successful and positive experience for both you and your potential new bird companion(s):
- A completed adoption application
- We use this valuable information to help us find a bird that fits with your personality, lifestyle, experience and expectations.
- Completion of the Beyond Bird Basics class
- This is an online class that you can take at your own pace and you will continue to have access to these educational materials for reference in the future.
- Take a tour of our aviary and adoption center
- We ask that all potential adopters take a tour of our aviary and adoption center in Elizabeth, CO, where most of our birds are housed. This will allow you to see a variety of species of birds, see enrichment and housing options and get an idea how the birds are fed and cared for on a daily basis.
- Meet the birds!
- It may take awhile for you to “connect” with a bird, so it’s possible that multiple visits over time will be required. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t find your new companion right away, or if the bird you have your heart set on doesn’t seem interested. It can take time to earn trust and form a relationship with them.
- Home visit
- Once you have chosen the bird (or birds) that you wish to adopt, we will do a home visit to help you get everything ready for your new feathered companion. If you are not in our local area, we will be happy to work with you to find a suitable substitute for an in-person home visit.
- If you have birds already, a copy of their veterinary test results must be provided
- Every bird that comes into The Gabriel Foundation is screened for viruses and general health. We require birds in the home of the potential adopter to meet those same standards – for the health and safety of our birds as well as theirs. The medical requirements have been set up by TGF’s primary avian veterinary partners, Dr. Kris Ahlgrim and Dr. Jerry Labonde.
What are the fees for adopting a bird?
There is an initial application fee, which covers a 1-yr membership to The Gabriel Foundation (or a 1-yr extension if you are already a member), your choice of one of a group of selected educational avian books or DVDs (up to $25 value) and the Beyond Bird Basics online course materials and quizzes ($40 value).
The actual adoption fee varies from bird to bird and ranges from $50 to over $1000. Many factors are taken into account, including the species, age, health, and overall adopt-ability of the bird. Once you have chosen a specific bird (or birds) we can give you an exact fee. In general, you can expect to pay an adoption fee that is approximately 50% of what you would pay from a private party or retail operation.
Why do we charge an application fee on top of the adoption fee?
We occasionally get this question from potential adopters and thought it would be helpful to provide an explanation. First of all, we are committed to making every adoption a successful one, for both the bird and the adopter. This fee helps to cover the costs of our educational materials and provide you with the best possible start to a life with your new bird.
In addition, your decision to apply and pay the fee tells us that you are serious about adopting a bird from us and committed to the process. In the past, we had a significant number of people who would apply and spend time visiting with the birds, but never followed through on adopting. As a not-for-profit organization, we simply do not have the resources available to dedicate large amounts of time for this. It wasn’t fair to our staff or the birds.
How long does the adoption process take?
Generally, depending on how quickly you “connect” with a bird, you can expect the adoption process to take between 6-10 weeks for the bird to come to your home. There is a 90-day probationary adoption period initially during which time you will be asked to send regular reports to us on how the adjustment is going. At the end of the 90 days, assuming all is going well and you wish to make the bird a permanent member of your household, permanent adoption paperwork will be sent for you to complete.
It seems like The Gabriel Foundation makes the adoption process very difficult! Why is this?
It is not our intent to frustrate anyone or make it impossible to add a bird to your family. We take the responsibility for each bird in our care very seriously and we want them to be successful in their new home. We take time to make sure each adopter has all the tools needed for long term success. We are invested in the lifetime of each bird that comes through The Gabriel Foundation and we appreciate that you are taking the time to commit to that same level of care.
The combined years of experience we all bring to The Gabriel Foundation ranging from veterinary medicine, aviculture, companion parrot care and parrot welfare has helped us to develop this protocol that sets the birds (and you!) up for the best chance of success.
Why don’t you adopt out any Hyacinth macaws?
Read about our Hyacinth macaw adoption policy.