Nunavut are overseen by the territory's Department
of Health and Social Services. There are three
main types of adoption in Nunavut - public or
'department' adoption, aboriginal custom adoption
and international adoption.
Aboriginal Custom Adoption is by far the most
common type of adoption in Nunavut. Aboriginal
Custom Adoption takes place usually between
two families that 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
in this kind of adoption and social workers
and lawyers are generally not involved in custom
adoptions. An Aboriginal Custom Adoption is
often preferred in Native communities because
it's seen as a way to keep Inuit or Native children
in their communities and maintain their sense
of identity and traditions.
Public or 'department'
adoptions in Nunavut are arranged through the
Department of Health and Social Services. Most
children available for adoption have special
needs; these needs may be that they are part
of a sibling group that must stay together,
they are between the ages of 8 and 18 years
of age, and/or may have medical, physical, developmental,
learning and emotional problems. The majority
of the children are Aboriginal and it's the
Department's goal to place Aboriginal children
in culturally appropriate homes. If an Aboriginal
home cannot be found, the Department will place
an Aboriginal child with a non-Aboriginal family.
adoptions can be arranged for Nunavut families
although they must employ the services of a
licensed international adoption agency outside
of the territory as there are none in Nunavut.
The Department of Health and Social Services
does conduct homestudies for international adoptions
and oversees the placement once the child is