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Blocking adoptions by non-natives violates Charter, judge rules

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  • Don Bain
    ... From: RUSSELL DIABO To: Undisclosed-Recipient:; Sent: Saturday, January 01, 2005 11:52 AM Subject: Blocking adoptions by non-natives violates Charter,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 1, 2005
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: RUSSELL DIABO
      To: Undisclosed-Recipient:;
      Sent: Saturday, January 01, 2005 11:52 AM
      Subject: Blocking adoptions by non-natives violates Charter, judge rules


      SASK.CBC.CA News - Full Story :
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      Blocking adoptions by non-natives violates Charter, judge rules
      Last Updated: Dec 31 2004 03:52 PM CST
      SASKATOON - A Saskatchewan Queen's Bench judge has struck down the provincial government's policy on the adoption of First Nations children.

      Under the policy, the Saskatchewan Community Resources Department would not put First Nations children up for adoption without the consent of their band.

      In a recent case, the Surgeon Lake band had refused consent for the adoption of five children on the grounds it didn't want them adopted by non-aboriginal parents.

      The band was concerned the children would lose their connections to their culture and community.

      However, Prince Albert Justice Jacelyn Ann Ryan-Froslie ruled the existing policy left some children in foster care "limbo".

      It can result in children being shuffled through numerous foster homes with a "far-reaching and devastating" effect, she said.

      "There is no reason why children cannot have a permanent, stable and loving home through adoption and still be guaranteed a connection with their family," Ryan-Froslie wrote in her 50-page decision.

      The judge also said the current policy violates the children's constitutional rights to equality, liberty and security of the person.

      Debra Parker-Loewen, Saskatchewan's Children's Advocate, wouldn't comment directly on the court decision, but said it's time for a new approach on adoptions.

      "I don't think there's one answer for every child," she said. "I think there's many answers just like there are many different kinds of family constellations and many different ways of sorting out what's in the interests of children."

      Parker-Loewen said the current policy was a well-meaning attempt to help First Nations children keep their culture.

      However, she said, that can still be done even if they are adopted into non-native homes.


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