MONTREAL, June 13, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Ghislain Picard, Chief of the Assembly of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador, is pleased that the Government of Quebec has officially recognized the customary rules of adoption of the First Nations and Inuit. A Bill is tabled today at the National Assembly to modify the Quebec Civil Code in order to recognize the legality of Aboriginal customary adoption. "This is a very important step in Quebec's recognition of our status as Aboriginal people and of the specific laws of governance of the First Nations", stated Chief Picard.
The recognition of the customary rules of adoption set out in the Bill dealing with adoption and parental authority is a direct result of the "Report of the Working Group of Aboriginal Customary Adoption", tabled on April 16, 2012, which stated: "In the Aboriginal tradition, the historical actions of various authorities were hardly propitious to the development of customary adoption. However, its very survival demonstrates clearly the resilience of this practice. Furthermore, it is a real and contemporary expression of the uniqueness of Aboriginal cultures."
Consultations were held in Aboriginal communities in order to document the status of customary adoption and to clarify how this practice could be integrated into legislation. "This was remarkable work. This study made it possible to recognize, not only the reality of customary adoption, but also its relevance which is well established in the lifestyles of our people and communities. We are extremely happy that the Quebec Government is now able to adapt its laws in order to meet the needs and expectations of our populations", declared Chief Picard.
The Bill states specifically that "the conditions of any Aboriginal custom in Quebec which is in harmony with the principles of the interest of the child, of the respect of his or her rights and of the consent of the parties involved, may replace the conditions for adoption set out in the law". This legislative amendment will grant the right to families who have adopted a child under customary rules to exercise all parental authority just as any other parent who has adopted a child according to the legal regime.
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