Changes to Saskatchewan’s adoption laws have come into force.
Birth parents now have 21 days to revoke their consent to an adoption. This is an increase of seven days from the previous legislation and brings Saskatchewan in line with most jurisdictions in Canada.
Other changes include providing better guidelines on how a child’s voice is heard in court and establishing a mechanism to enable communication between an adopted child and their birth siblings.
Social Services Minister Paul Merriman said work on the changes started in 2012 and continues to be an ongoing process.
“The changes coming into force today (Dec. 1) will ensure that our practices and programs continue to meet the ever evolving needs of the vulnerable children and families we serve,” Merriman said in a statement.
“The amended legislation and regulations support our overall goals by increasing prevention and support for families, working with First Nations and Métis peoples and moving forward with a renewal of the child welfare system.”
In the event the adoptive parents pass away, the Minister of Social Services will be able to enter into assisted adoption agreements with their subsequent legal guardians, with benefits following the children.
Adoption requirements are also the same for all children being adopted by Saskatchewan residents, whether or not the child’s country of origin is a signatory to the Hague Convention.
The Hague Convention is a multilateral treaty which makes it easier to recover a child internationally abducted by a parent from a member country.
At the time the changes were proposed in May 2016, the government said they wanted to ensure they were not allowing, by default, adoption where money may be exchanged or trafficking is involved.
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