In the Northwest Territories,
private adoptions are regulated under the NWT Adoption Act.
Prospective adoptive parents need to contact a lawyer to
arrange for a private adoption. The planning for a private
adoption often begins with a birth parent identifying a
family for her/their child. Or, in some cases, a potential
adoptive family may find a birth parent or couple who would
like to place a child for adoption. Regardless, the adoptive
family must provide notice to the Director of Adoption of
the proposed placement.
Adoptive parents who adopt
privately are responsible for all fees involved, including
the fee for a pre-placement report and the Family Union
report or any necessary report update.
The following information
outlines the typical process for adopting privately in the
Step 1 – Complete
an Application to Adopt form. Included with the
form must be all of the required documentation listed on
the application such as a birth certificate, criminal records
check, reference letters and medical examination. Include
the $500 fee for preparation of the Pre-placement report.
The fee is to be made payable to the GNWT.
Step 2 – After the Director
of Adoption processes the Application to Adopt, a social
worker will contact you to arrange appointments to complete
an Adoptions Family Assessment. The Adoptions Family Assessment
will lead to the preparation of the written Pre-placement
There are many areas to examine during the Adoptions Family
Assessment including obtaining information on your:
- family history;
- education and employment history;
- leisure time activities;
- financial situation;
- home and community; and relationships
With the social worker you will discuss your thoughts and
ideas about parenting as well as explore your feelings,
attitude, and expectations about adoption. The Adoption
Family Assessment process will lead the social worker to
make a decision whether to recommend you to be an
approved adoptive parent(s) or not.
Step 3 – Decision
of Director of Adoption: Once the Director of Adoption
has received the Pre-placement report, the Director decides
whether your home will be approved. If approved, your home
is considered ready to receive a child for adoption. The
Director advises you in writing, and provides you with a
copy of the Pre-placement report.
Step 4 – Placement:
In cases where the child is a newborn, the Director
of Adoption cannot provide written approval of the placement
of a specific child with an approved adoptive family, until
the child is at least 10 days old, and the birth parents
have provided written consent to the adoption.
Step 5 – Finalizing
the Adoption: Six months after the child has been
in your home, your lawyer will contact the Director of Adoption
requesting that the Family Union report be prepared. There
is a fee of $100 for preparation of this report. Once this
report has been prepared, your lawyer will apply to the
Court for an adoption order.
the North West Territories, no person shall publish in any
way an advertisement searching for a child for adoption
or to find adoptive parents for children. If found guilty
of such an offense, the penalty is $5,000 to imprisonment
for six months or both penalties.