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Adopting in British Columbia

Important Adoption Issues

Who can adopt in Nunavut?

  • Applicants must be 19 years of age and be a resident of Nunavut
  • Applicants can be single, common law, married or a same sex couple

Do I need a homestudy to adopt in Nunavut?

Yes. All prospective adoptive parents with the exception of those involved in custom adoption, must complete a homestudy before adopting a child in Nunavut. You will meet with, and be interviewed by a licensed social worker several times to discuss a variety of topics including your relationship with spouse/partner, your family and childhood, your financial and employment situation, your health, lifestyle and home, your interests, your parenting styles and attitudes, as well as your understanding of open and closed adoptions. You'll also discuss your motivation for adopting as well as the characteristics of the child(ren) that would be the best match for your family.

Can an open adoption be arranged in Nunavut?

Yes. In Nunavut, an openness agreement can be made in order to ensure communication and relationships continue. The agreement must be made only after the consent is given and before the adoption order is granted and is an agreement between the adoptive parents and another party (birth parent(s), a relative of the child, guardian etc.,). An openness agreement must also include a process for resolving disputes related to the agreement and a child, if over the age of 12 years old, must consent to the openness agreement.

Who must give consent for an adoption in the Nunavut?

The consent of each of the following is required for a child’s adoption:

  • the birth mother
  • the birth father
  • any person appointed as the child's guardian
  • the child, if he/she is 12 years of age or older

Note: Where the child is in the continuous custody of Nunavut's Director of Adoption, the only consents required are the Director's consent and the child's consent (where he/she is 12 or more years of age).

What are the rights of birth fathers in Nunavut?

If the birth father is identified, his consent is required. If the birth mother does not identify a birth father, she must provide an Affidavit of paternity.

When can consents be given for an adoption?

A birth mother’s consent to the adoption of her child is valid only if the child is at least 10 days old when the consent is given.

Can adoption consents be withdrawn?

Yes. A person who has consented to a child's adoption may withdraw their consent no later than 30 days after the consent was given. This revocation must be in writing and received by Nunavut's Director of Adoption.

Can prospective adoptive parents advertise their desire to adopt in Nunavut?

No. Nunavut's Act states that no person shall publish in any form or any means an advertisement soliciting a child for adoption or for the purpose of finding adoptive parents for children.

Can a child be placed for adoption outside of Nunavut?

Children can be adopted from families living outside of the territory through private or custom adoptions. These types of adoptions are most often arranged through families and friends or by word of mouth.

Children who are in the care of Nunavut's Health and Social Services Department are rarely placed for adoption outside of the territory. According to Nunavut's Health and Social Services Department, it is their policy to find homes for children within Nunavut in order to preserve their unique heritage. Children can be placed with relatives living outside Nunavut or with a family outside the territory if there are no appropriate homes for the child in Nunavut.

Can an agency or adoptive family help with a birth parent’s expenses?

No. It is illegal to give or receive or even offer to give or receive payment to procure a child in Nunavut and Canada.


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