Adoption is a legal process in which a child, that is not yours by birth, becomes yours, by law. In the Province of Manitoba, there are a number of types of adoption. These include agency, private, de facto, step-parent, extended family and international adoptions. Peguis Child and Family Services adoption program is available to all members of Peguis First Nation.
The ability to love unconditionally, accept without prejudice and understand without judgment, are all a part of the adoption experience.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ADOPTION AND LEGAL GUARDIANSHIP?
Basically, adoption gives adoptive parents the right to change the child’s name, birth registration information, status number and/or first nation affiliation. The birth identity of the child, identity of the adoptive or birth parents and contact by birth parents is also protected by law. When a judge grants an order of adoption, the child is legally the child of the adoptive parents, as if the child was born to them. Legal guardianship is a procedure in which the child does not change his or her legal status. Should the child’s birth parents wish to have contact or be involved in the child’s life, this may be allowed. Legal guardianship may or may not be a permanent arrangement.
WHO CAN ADOPT?
In Manitoba married or common-law couples, single persons and same sex couples may legally adopt a child. The only other legal requirement is that you must live in Manitoba and be 18 years old. Everything else is flexible, depending on circumstances, the decision of the agency and what you are looking for in wanting to adopt a child.
WHAT IS THE ADOPTION PROCESS?
The adoption process is a series of interviews by an adoption worker. These interviews help to determine the age, gender,
need and number of children best suited for you. This process will also determine the commitment you have made to being a parent and may help you to realize the commitment needed to parent this child to adulthood. From the time the adoption process is initiated, to its completion is approximately 12 months. The agency handles all of the legal work required to register the adoption with the authorities. No two children are alike and it is the same with an adoption. It is best to consult with your local child and family services agency or a lawyer before proceeding.
MAY I STATE A PREFERENCE OF A BOY OR GIRL?
Yes. However, this may affect the time required to place a child with you. Once you and your family have been approved as an adoptive family, placement of a child is based on your willingness to accept the children that are available. Should your preference be to a newborn, a child without special needs or a child that is of a certain age or sex, this increases the time you will have to wait for a child.
IF I DECIDE TO ADOPT A CHILD WITH SPECIAL NEEDS WILL I RECEIVE SPECIAL HELP?
Under the new Child and Family Services Adoption Act, the province of Manitoba has made provisions to financially assist adoptive families with special needs children. The amount of assistance is based on the need of the child and the income of the adoptive parents.
ARE RACE, LANGUAGE AND OTHER CULTURAL FACTORS CONSIDERED?
Yes. By law, the best interest of the child includes these factors. Although multi-racial adoptions sometimes occur, Native children are seldom placed in non-Native homes in Manitoba. Native children that are in foster care may be adopted to non-Native applicants, as long as the heritage and cultural aspect of the child’s life is assured in the adoption plan.
DOES THE ADOPTION PROCESS END WHEN THE ADOPTION ORDER IS SIGNED?
Not necessarily. Families are advised to treat adoption as a continuing process. Issues do arise and this is all apart of the adoption process. This is entirely normal, so if problems arise, let the agency know! The adoption worker will assist you.
ARE THERE COSTS INVOLVED IN ADOPTION?
There may be some costs and this will be discussed with you at the time of your application.
WHERE DO I APPLY TO BECOME AN ADOPTION APPLICANT?
Peguis Residents Contact:
The Adoption Worker
Box 610, Peguis, Manitoba, R0C 3J0
Phone: (204) 645-2101/2049
Fax: (204) 645-2558
The Adoption Worker
Unit 6 – 350 Keewatin Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R2X 2R9
Phone: (204) 632-5404