An Aboriginal Custom Adoption
is a privately arranged adoption between two aboriginal
families. No social workers or lawyers are involved in a
Aboriginal Custom Adoption
was officially recognized in 1961in the Northwest Territories.
On September 30th, 1995, separate adoption legislation,
called the Aboriginal Custom Adoption Recognition Act (ACARA),
was passed and since then, custom adoptions have been processed
by Adoption Commissioners in the various Northern communities.
Adoption certificates are completed by Adoption Commissioners
and forwarded to the Supreme Court of the NWT where
they are certified, stamped and filed by the Supreme Court
Custom adoption has long
existed in native communities; most reserves have a child
welfare committee that works with Elders and the community
to provide care for a child when a birth parent or their
extended family members cannot. There is often a traditional
ceremony that recognizes and finalizes a custom adoption.