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Adoption

Adoption is the legal process whereby a person or persons become a child’s legal parent or parents. The Adoption Services Program finds permanent homes for children available for adoption. Social workers match children relinquished for adoption or who are in the continuous custody of the Director of Child, Youth and Family Services with adoptive parents. The program also approves applications to adopt a child from other Canadian provinces and territories and foreign countries.

Making an Application for Adoption

Individual/couples who wish to apply to adopt a child should contact a social worker with the Adoption Services Program at the CYFS office in their region or call (709) 729-4394.

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Types of Adoptions

Domestic

Infant (age 0-24 months)

Applicants may apply to adopt a child under the age of three who is eligible for adoption in Newfoundland and Labrador. The provincial waiting period is approximately eight years depending on the number of infants available for adoption.

Older Child (over 24 months)

Applicants may apply to adopt a child over the age of three who is eligible for adoption in Newfoundland and Labrador. The provincial waiting period depends on the number of older children available for adoption. Older children available for adoption are usually in the continuous custody of a Director of Child, Youth and Family Services.

Interprovincial Adoptions

Applicants may apply to adopt a child who is identified as available for adoption by another province or territory of Canada. The Department of Child, Youth and Family Services will work with adoption authorities in the child’s province of birth to facilitate the adoption. Applicants must meet the requirements for adoption under the Adoption Act, 2013 in Newfoundland and Labrador and any requirements of the province/territory where the child is born.

Intercountry

Applicants may apply to adopt a child from a foreign country. Applicants must meet the requirements for adoption under the Adoption Act for Newfoundland and Labrador. They must also meet the requirement of the country from which they choose to adopt a child. Applicants typically use a private adoption agency licensed in Canada and the foreign country to help facilitate this complex process. Currently, there are no private agencies in Newfoundland and Labrador. Applicants usually avail of services of agencies located in other provinces.

Step-Parent/Relative/Person with Permanent Custody of a Child

Step-parents and relatives (parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, sibling or a first cousin of a birth parent or a child by birth or adoption) may apply to adopt a child using the Step-Parent, Relative or Person with Permanent Custody of a Child Self Help Kit.

Adult Adoptions

Persons interested in completing an adult adoption are able to use the services of a lawyer and proceed directly to the court.

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Services to Birth Parents

The Adoption Act, 2013 requires that birth parents be given information regarding adoption, the types of adoption and alternatives to adoption. Providing information about the alternatives to adoption is essential in order for the birth parents to make a fully informed decision about the permanent plan for a child.

Birth parents can contact a social worker at their local CYFS office to determine if they wish to make an adoption plan for the child.

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Access to Adoption Information/Post Adoption Services

The Adoption Act, 2013 provides for openness in the release of adoption information. Persons adopted under this Act or a former Act may, at age 19 years old, apply to Vital Statistics for copies of their original birth registration and adoption order.

When an adopted person has reached their 19th birthday, birth parents may apply to Vital Statistics for copies of:

  • the adopted person’s original birth registration;
  • the amended birth registration with the name following adoption; and,
  • the adoption order with the adoptive parent information removed to respect their right to privacy.

Adopted persons, at age 18 years, and birth parents who wish to maintain their confidentiality are provided with the opportunity to file a disclosure veto or no-contact declaration for adoptions finalized prior to April 30, 2003. The disclosure veto or no-contact declaration remains in effect until cancelled in writing or until one year after the death of the person who filed it.

An adopted person and adult relative may register with the Provincial Director to exchange identifying information providing no disclosure veto or no-contact declaration has been filed.

For further information, contact Post Adoption Services at 709-729-4394.

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