Adoption of Aboriginal Children
There have been enough of these cases in the past, that long ago some legal parameters were established that would service aboriginal children's care responsibly while respecting their heritage. On the B.C. government's own website the fundamental understandings are unmistakably stated.
When Aboriginal children and teens are in need of care, the B.C. government's own standard states, Research and experience indicates that children who grow up connected to their culture do better. Aboriginal children and teens feel more at home when they live with a family that helps them stay in touch with their culture and community. (BC government's own page states this.)
The government urges competent compassionate caregivers to consider opening their homes to children in need and furthermore appeals to these people to consider adopting the children. One might ask whether there are any special provisos with respect to adoption of aboriginal children and youth? Yes there are and these too are unambiguously stated in the government's own guidelines.
With respect to this particular case of the little Métis girl named S.S. the government page makes provision for an Aboriginal Custom Adoption. Here is the government's own statement. "Aboriginal children in care need homes with Aboriginal families whenever possible – to help them stay connected with their extended family and community." The agreed upon system or policy established between the B.C. government and the Métis or aboriginal communities is as follows. "The custom adoption process makes it possible for Aboriginal families, organizations and communities to use a culturally appropriate way of planning for Aboriginal children; respects the customs and traditions of the First Nations and/or Aboriginal community of the child; ensures Aboriginal children maintain their cultural, linguistic and spiritual identity. It’s recommend that adoptive parents get a lawyer to help them in their application to have a custom adoption recognized by the Supreme Court."
Foster mom (Métis) and foster dad enjoyed S.S. in their home and family life for three years, unnecessarily long if MCFD intended ever to move her, and during that time, foster parents had in fact conducted an Aboriginal Custom Adoption with approval of the birth parents. They had also applied for formal recognition of this adoption, but MCFD rejected this by filing orders to remove her and move her to Ontario.