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Briefing Note
Adoption: Long Term Implications of Adopting Families

Sarah Murphy

Adoption: Long Term Implications of Adopting Families
Prepared For:  
Issue:   It is accepted practice to first try to find homes for First Nation’s children within their extended family and in their Band/Nation.   First Nations children are less likely to be adopted out to non-First Nations families.
Prior to the 1920’s adoptions were handled by privately through churches and not through regulations by the government (Ontariogenweb, 1997).
Around the 1950’s if a child was neglected or abused only then would the government intervene (Office of the Auditor General of Canada, 2008).
After the era of residential schools Child Welfare was expanded to include First Nation Reservations.   Alcohol and physical abuse as well as the breakdown of family structures were an after effect of residential schools, leaving many families unable to care for their own (Dolha, L., 2009).
1960’s the 60’s scoop forcibly removed First Nation’s children from their homes and adopted by non-First Nations families (British Columbia, n.d.).   It was thought that First Nation’s were incapable of caring for their children.
In the 1980’s First Nations took it into their own hands to develop proposals and policies of their own that would work for them as well as to help with their negotiations with the government (British Columbia, n.d.).
1982 amendments to the Canadian Constitution were put in place to protect the rights of aboriginals (British Columbia, n.d.).
1982 research indicated that there had been “no attempt to secure aboriginal homes for aboriginal children” (Dolha, L., 2009).
Approximately 10,000 Status Indian children were adopted out to non-First Nations homes between 1960-1990, this is not including First Nation’s children that did not have their status (Dolha, L., 2009).
First Nations tribal councils started to develop culturally appropriate approaches to...