Who can adopt in
Applicants must be 19 years of age
and over and a resident of Nova Scotia.
A Canadian citizen or Landed Immigrant
Single persons or couples can adopt
Common-law and same sex couples
Do we need a home study
to adopt in Nova Scotia?
Yes. A home study must be
completed on each family to ensure that the family can meet
the needs of an adopted child.
What is an Openness
In Nova Scotia, an openness
agreement may only be made if consent to the adoption is
given by the parent or guardian who placed the child for
adoption. It must also include a process to resolve disputes
arising under the agreement. As well, a child who is 12
years of age or older, must have his/her views taken into
account before the agreement is made. In the case of a child
under the age of 12, his/her views must also be considered
where appropriate. * An openness agreement does
NOT affect the legal status of an adoption order.
Openness agreements are arranged
by the adoptive parent(s) of a child and most often a birth
parent, relative or birth sibling of the child. Other people
who may be a part of an openness agreement would include
a foster parent, a member of the child's extended family,
an adoptive parent of a birth sibling of the child and if
the child is First Nations, a member of the child's band
or native community who will help the child preserve his/her
The purpose of an openness
agreement is to keep in contact with important people in
the child's life. This could range from an exchange of cards,
letters and photographs (either directly or through the
agency) to visits with birth family members. An openness
agreement may be made at any time before or after an adoption
order is made.
When can consents
be given for an adoption?
Adoption consents can be
given 15 days after the birth of a child (not including
the actual day the child is born).
Can adoption consents
Birth parents can revoke their consent to an adoption until
the notice of adoption has been filed.
What about the rights
of birth fathers in Nova Scotia?
A birth father's consent
must be given for an adoption as long as the father in question
meets the definition of a father as outlined in the province's
Child and Family Services Act.
the agency or adoptive family help with a birth parent’s
No. In Nova Scotia it is
illegal for a birth parent or third party to receive payment
for the adoption. It's illegal for an adoptive parent to
give, or offer to give payment to a birth parent or a non-licensed