Custom adoptions in Nunavut
are based on traditional Inuit custom where one family privately
places their child with another family in the community.
This type of adoption is by far the most common in Nunavut
as it's seen as a way to keep Inuit children in their communities
and maintain their sense of identity and traditions.
Families who come together for a custom adoption often know
each other or have connected with one another through word
of mouth in the community. The prospective adoptive parents
are not required to have a homestudy completed and social
workers and lawyers are generally not involved in custom
A Custom adoption is legal and finalized the moment the
physical transfer takes place. In cases where the child’s
name needs to be changed or, in more recent situations,
Revenue Canada requires a piece of documentation to prove
the adoption occurred, the adoptive family must meet with
a Custom Adoption Commissioner for a very informal meeting.
At this meeting, the family's community Custom Adoption
Commissioner will process documentation which then results
in the court recognizing the adoption. Once all the paperwork
is completed the papers are sent to Court for filing as
well as to the Director of Adoption. A new birth certificate
is then issued for the family.
For more information
about Aboriginal Custom Adoption in Nunavut, contact:
Deputy Director of Adoptions,
Heath and Social Services
Government of Nunavut
Box 1000, Stn. 1000
Iqaluit, Nunavut X0A 0H0