Adopting a child can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. However, the legal requirements of the adoption process can seem overwhelming and complicated.
Since adoption is not recognized by common law, adoption procedures in each Province are regulated by their own statutes. Adoption statutes prescribe the conditions, manners, means, and consequences of adoption.
People considering adoption have a range of options. They may adopt using an agency: through a local public agency (Department of Social Services). Unfortunately, the "waiting list" is years. They may also make an independent adoption. Since adoption laws in the province where you live govern your options, it is essential that you know what type of placements are allowed, or not allowed, by your province's laws.
Who May Adopt
Families of all kinds adopt children: from newborns to teenagers, of every ethnic background, and from many countries around the world.
To be entitled to adopt a child, an individual must meet the qualifications under the laws of the province of Saskatchewan, as the province has the sole power to determine who may become an adoptive parent.
Adoptive parents may be married or single, childless or already parenting other children. Having a disability, being divorced, or having a history of marital or personal counselling does not automatically disqualify you from adopting a child. You are not required to own your own home or to have a high income in order to give children what they need - love, permanence, stability, a lifetime commitment, and a chance to be part of a family. Children do not need "perfect" parents - they need caring and committed individuals willing to meet their needs and prepared to incorporate them into a nurturing and loving family environment.
The two most common types of adoption are independent adoption and step-parent adoption.
An independent adoption is when the child is placed for adoption by a birth parent. To initiate an independent adoption, you must first locate a birth mother interested in relinquishing her child. One of the most common ways to locate a birth mother is to send an introductory letter, photo, and resume describing your family life, home, job, hobbies and interests. Some families have even been able to locate prospective birth mothers willing to give their child up for adoption on the Internet.
Locating a birth mother is only the first step. You also need to know about the birth father. Provinces have recognized the rights of birth fathers, in certain circumstances, to be involved in decisions about their children, including adoptions.
Step Parent Adoption
Step-parent adoption is when a resident of Saskatchewan, with the consent of his or her spouse, applies to the Court to adopt a child of the spouse. The laws and policies in the field of adoption vary from province to province. In Saskatchewan, there are many forms and procedures to follow in both independent and step-parent adoptions. You must fulfill the legal requirements before the Court will grant an Order for Adoption.
Things to Consider
There are many things to consider when adopting. For example there is an increasing number of "open" adoptions which means that birth mothers continue to have some degree of contact with the child. You will have to come to some mutual agreement on how much contact you would like between families. It could range from a regular exchange of pictures and letters to full openness - frequent visits between your family and the birth parents.
Consulting your Lawyer
If you would like to become an adoptive parent, one of our lawyers would be happy to provide you with legal advice, to offer a full explanation of the adoption process, and to assist you in preparing all documents necessary to obtain an Order for Adoption.