Adoption provides children who need permanent homes - from newborns to teenagers - with loving families. Without adoption, there are children in our communities who would not have the stability, support, nurturing and attention which are so crucial to their physical, social and emotional development.
When children in out-of-home care cannot be safely reunited with their birth families, adoption is often the most desirable goal. Adoption provides the most stable, legally binding relationship for these children and their adoptive parents.
Our foster parents often become adoptive parents to the children they foster should that child not be able to return home. It is our primary goal that should a child not be able to return to his/her birth family that the child be adopted by relatives. Given such is not always possible, we also must recruit potential adoptive families (residing both on and off First Nation communities) for specific children who are waiting for adoption.
Subsidized Adoption Program
The single most powerful tool by which the child welfare system can encourage adoption and also support our adoptive families is through adoption subsidies. Often, assistance is provided to encourage adoption of special needs children and remove any potential financial barriers to adoption for families.
Below is an outline of the adoption assistance rate in Nova Scotia:
Maintenance rates (Board) range from $14.64 to $21.02 per day for board and $500 to $1,088 for clothing based upon the age of the child and an income test with the adoptive parents.
NOTE: Maintenance rates are not provided in all cases. An income test is applied only when a need for such is identified. The majority of payments are the actual costs of services not covered by the adoptive parent’s personal medical plan or the provincial/federal medical systems.
Specialized rates are based on the extraordinary needs of the child, and/or the additional parenting skills needed to raise the child. The “Exceptional Needs Assessment Tool”, otherwise known as the ENAT, determines the exceptional care rate provided to a child. The rates for such are as follows:
- - LOW - $200 per month
- - MODERATE - $300 per month
- - HIGH - $425 per month
Training for Prospective Adoptive Parents
The purpose of the training is to help prospective adoptive parents decide if adoption of children in care is right for their family. The training provides opportunities to develop knowledge and awareness of adoption related issues, as well as, assess for themselves their commitment and readiness to proceed with adoption. In addition to the information and insight gained through the training experience, participants may begin to develop an informal support network with other prospective adoptive parents. The courses lay a foundation of knowledge that participants continue to build on as they welcome children into their lives through adoption.
Training for our prospective adoptive parents includes:
- - Info Session (3 hours)
- - Pre-Service (27 hours)
If you are residing on the mainland and you are interested in becoming a an adoptive parent through Mi’kmaw Family and Children’s Services, please call Ella Knockwood in our Indian Brook Office @ (902) 758-3553 or 1-800-263-8686 for more information and to register for training.
If you are residing in Unama’ki and you are interested in becoming an adoptive parent through Mikmaw Family and Children’s Services, please call Lydia Stevens or Dorothy Francis in our Eskasoni Office @ (902) 379-2433 or 1-800-263-8300.
Who May Adopt
Adoption applicants must be
- Over 19 years of age
- Residents of Nova Scotia
- Canadian citizens or have Permanent Resident status
- Singles or couples
- Common-law and same sex couples
One prospective adoption applicant within a couple must be status Mi'kmaw OA homestudy must be completed on each family to ensure that the family can meet the needs of an adopted child.
There are children beyond infancy who are waiting for placement. Such children are often described as having "special needs". This usually means that one or more of the following factors apply to their situation:
- They have suffered physical, sexual, or emotional abuse or neglect.
- They have a physical or learning disability.
- They have behavioral, emotional, or medical problems.
- They must be placed with siblings.
Families are needed who are willing to make a permanent commitment and are able to meet the challenges of raising these very special children.
If you are residing on the mainland and you are interested in becoming a foster parent or adoptive parent through Mi’kmaw Family and Children’s Services, please call Ella Knockwood in our Indian Brook Office @ (902) 758-3553 or 1-800-263-8686 for more information and to register for training.