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Adopting in the Yukon

Private Adoption

In the Yukon, all adoptions in the territory are the responsibility of the Health and Social Services Department. At present, there are no licensed private adoption agencies in the territory but private adoptions can still be arranged. Birth and adoptive families will require the services of a lawyer as well as Yukon's Health and Social Services Department.

Families that are interested in private adoption in the Yukon are required to have a homestudy and be approved by the Health and Social Services Department. In many private adoptions, adoptive and birth families already know each other or they've been connected by a family doctor or lawyer. A step parent adoption would fall under the category of private adoption.

Steps for a Private Adoption in the Yukon

* Note * This describes the private adoption process if a match for birth and adoptive families has been made through their own connections. Many families are connected through family doctors, lawyers, friends and family or word of mouth.

STEP 1: Contact the Yukon Health and Social Services Department for information on having a homestudy completed. You will also be required to have the following checks complete: police, medical and references.

STEP 2: Homestudy Report. A licensed social worker from Yukon's Health and Social Services Department will meet with you at least 6 to 10 times, most likely in your home, and together you'll discuss a variety of topics. These will include your childhood, relationships with family and friends, your marriage (if applicable), thoughts about parenting. You'll also explore parenting an adopted child and issues in adoption. More information about the homestudy process ...

Once the interviews have been completed, your social worker will take all of the information he/she has gathered and write a report. This homestudy report will recommend whether or not you should adopt and the age and characteristics of the child appropriate for your family. You are entitled to read your homestudy.

STEP 3: Wait! At this stage, your family will most likely be waiting for your child to be born. This will be a very exciting and nerve racking time for both you and the birth parents. Some birth mothers allow the adoptive parents to attend doctor's appointments and even more exciting, the labour and delivery! During this time, the topic of openness and your future relationship with the birth parent(s) will arise and should be agreed upon prior to the birth. All families are different; some parties agree to complete openness where the birth parents become extended family and see each other often. Others, choose to communicate through letters and sharing photos several times a year. There are also some situations where there is no contact.

STEP 4: Welcome your new son or daughter home! In the Yukon, the birth parent(s) sign the consents for adoption once the child is 7 days old. Before that, the child may go home with the adoptive family if custody and guardianship have been established prior to discharge. Birth parents have 21 days after they've consented to adoption to change their mind and reverse the decision.

STEP 5: Probation and Finalization! Once the 21 days have passed, and no consents are withdrawn, your adoption placement can move forward. All adoptive families are on a six month probation or supervisory period that will be monitored by Health and Social Services. During this time, your social worker will visit with you and your child to ensure the placement is going well and that the child is attaching and thriving in your family. Your social worker will then submit a report to the Supreme Court and the Department will apply to the Court for an Order of Adoption. Once an Order of Adoption is granted (this means finalized), your child is considered legally your child just as if he/she were born to you.


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