Friday, January 13, 2012

It's a tricky one...

Just when you think that you have everything all planned out and have resigned yourself to the idea that the end result is the best you are going to be able to achieve despite your best efforts then someone comes along and gives a snippet of information that makes you think that maybe, just maybe your original plan is  possible.  Cryptic enough?

This is my little man H.  He is First Nations.  Due to a history of abuses of the First Nations people they as a culture are generally not in favour white folk adopting their kids.  H is legally free for permanence and has been since he was about a month old.  He is now four years old.  I brought H home from the hospital where he had been living with the intention of adopting him.  The social workers from the reserve where he is from were in favour.  Turns out they didn't know that they don't do adoptions....  What is considered an acceptable alternative is private guardianship.  You wouldn't think there was much difference between the two statuses but really there is.  Where we live when a child is adopted they are considered "as if as born to you" (unless of course for some reason you are in the media where the child will forever be the "adopted" son or daughter and the parent the "adoptive" parent.  Another story...another rant for another time!).  With private guardianship you assume all the rights and responsibilities that a legal guardian has but in the event a family member etc comes forward with changed circumstances and wants to apply for guardianship they can do that.  It doesn't mean they would win but when you are talking cross cultural relationships with very sensitive histories anything is possible.  It is also possible that should I die the guardianship order is null and void leaving the child in a potential hot pot of the reserve attempting to assume guardianship.  Again it would be assumed that arrangements would have been made by me in the event of my death but anything is up for grabs when there are possible other interested parties.  This could also effect things should H pass away before me.  With the guardianship order no longer in effect birth family could come forward looking to make all plans regarding his remains etc etc.

Back to my original point.  I was told by the top dog from the reserves social services that adoption is not and would not be an option.  I came to terms with that and have been moving through the private guardianship process.  Today I learned from no one connected to H or even his particular reserve that another family who was in the same situation, told for years that adoption was not a possibility, no way no how has now completed the adoption of their children.  It seems they went to the Chief.

I am usually a go straight to the top type gal.  If it is going to be the big kahuna that is going to make the decision about something I want then he/she might as well hear directly from me.  Due to the sensitive cultural issues at play here I have been way more guarded in my approach.  I have not considered going to the Chief as I worry if I stir the pot too much I will be shooting myself in the foot and have annoyed people that I have to work with and may end up with no degree of legal status of the boy.

It's a tricky one.

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