Saturday, January 18, 2014

Inuit Customary Adoption

The Inuktuitut word describing adoption means, "the one we took" or "my adopted," Inuit do not use words such as "give up" or "give away" to describe adoption. Rather, the word describes the practice from the perspective of the adoptive parent-choosing and wanting the child.

In Inuit society, there is no stigma attached to being adopted. It is a practice that is open and flexible, in which a child knows his or her birth parents and family members. If an adopted child lives in the same community as her or his biological parents and family, the child will know them and visit with them.

Customary adoption is legally recognized. 

The Aboriginal Custom Adoption Recognition Act sets out the procedure within the community by which an Aboriginal customary adoption is legally recognized by the Courts. Under the Act, an "Aboriginal custom adoption commissioner" is appointed for each community. The community councils are responsible for nominating up to four individuals for this position.   Other than specifying that "Adoption Commissioners must know their community's customs and traditions about Aboriginal customary adoptions," the guidelines leave much of the discretion regarding criteria for the position to each community. 

The regulations governing customary adoption and the forms required can be found here:

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