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Important Issues

Who can adopt in Nova Scotia?

  • Applicants must be 19 years of age and over and a resident of Nova Scotia
  • A Canadian citizen or Landed Immigrant status
  • Single persons or couples can adopt
  • Common-law and same sex couples

Do we need a home study to adopt in Nova Scotia?

Yes. A home study must be completed on each family to ensure that the family can meet the needs of an adopted child.

What is an Openness Agreement?

In Nova Scotia, an openness agreement may only be made if consent to the adoption is given by the parent or guardian who placed the child for adoption. It must also include a process to resolve disputes arising under the agreement. As well, a child who is 12 years of age or older, must have his/her views taken into account before the agreement is made. In the case of a child under the age of 12, his/her views must also be considered where appropriate. * An openness agreement does NOT affect the legal status of an adoption order.

Openness agreements are arranged by the adoptive parent(s) of a child and most often a birth parent, relative or birth sibling of the child. Other people who may be a part of an openness agreement would include a foster parent, a member of the child’s extended family, an adoptive parent of a birth sibling of the child and if the child is First Nations, a member of the child’s band or native community who will help the child preserve his/her cultural identity.

The purpose of an openness agreement is to keep in contact with important people in the child’s life. This could range from an exchange of cards, letters and photographs (either directly or through the agency) to visits with birth family members. An openness agreement may be made at any time before or after an adoption order is made.

When can consents be given for an adoption?

Adoption consents can be given 15 days after the birth of a child (not including the actual day the child is born).

Can adoption consents be withdrawn?

Birth parents can revoke their consent to an adoption until the notice of adoption has been filed.

What about the rights of birth fathers in Nova Scotia?

A birth father’s consent must be given for an adoption as long as the father in question meets the definition of a father as outlined in the province’s Child and Family Services Act.

Can the agency or adoptive family help with a birth parent’s expenses?

No. In Nova Scotia it is illegal for a birth parent or third party to receive payment for the adoption. It’s illegal for an adoptive parent to give, or offer to give payment to a birth parent or a non-licensed intermediary.


 



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