Community Legal Information Association of Prince Edward Island (CLIA PEI) - Legal Information for Youth

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Having a Baby

I don't want to have a baby

Having a baby



Adoption Services

Abortion Services

Women's Wellness Program (Prince County Hospital) – Summerside, PE

The Moncton Hospital – Moncton, NB

Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre: Halifax

More information

If you need more information on access to abortion, you can also contact Women's Network PEI





























































CLIA Family Law Information

Sometimes a woman becomes pregnant and does not want to have a child. If you are pregnant and do not want to have a baby, there are a couple of options.

Adoption

It is against the law for anyone to pressure you about, force you into, or pay you for adopting your child.

If you have decided to put your child up for adoption, you can get information from Adoption Services [see related info to the right]. They can give you information about your choices and next steps. You will not be pressured to choose adoption.

While you are still in hospital after the birth of your baby, you are the legal parent(s) of your child and you have the same rights as any other parents. The hospital staff cannot keep your baby from you, nor can they allow the possible adoptive parents to see your baby without your permission.

In all adoptions, the first consideration is the best interests of the child. If an individual or a couple has applied to adopt, they are carefully assessed to make sure they are capable and will make good parents for the child. Some birth parents play a part in selecting the family for the child. The baby is placed in an adoptive family for a period of time and an adoption social worker is involved during this time to make sure the child is well cared for and the new family relationships are positive. This trial period is called a "placement". After the placement, there is a court hearing to finalize the adoption and grant the Adoption Order. This usually takes place about six months after the baby moves in with the adoptive parents. After the Adoption Order is granted by the Court, there are no further checks on the new family. They are then treated as any other family in PEI.

The law says that you, as birth parents, must receive counselling before signing any forms allowing the adoption. The law also states that your decision must be made with:

  • clear information
  • full awareness of the implications (you must know what adoption means)
  • careful consideration
  • the benefit of knowledgeable guidance

The person who acts as your counsellor is a social worker trained in adoption. He or she must:

  • be certain that you are not being forced or pressured to choose adoption
  • be sure that you have looked at all the options and understand what adoption means
  • provide you with psychological support
  • witness the signing of the Consent to Placement or the Voluntary Temporary Care Agreement.

If you have made a plan of adoption through Health and Social Services, you sign a Voluntary Temporary Care Agreement in hospital after your baby is born. Fourteen days after the birth, you sign an Agreement for Permanent Custody and Guardianship for Purposes of Adoption. You can change your mind within 14 days after signing this Agreement.

If you have made a plan of adoption through a licensed adoption agent or through a permit issued by the Director of Child Protection, you must sign the Consent to Placement after the baby is born before the adoptive parents can receive the baby. With this form you give permission to place your baby in the home of potential adoptive parents. The Consent to Adoption forms give permission to adopt your baby and are signed 14 days after the birth of your baby. You can change your mind within 14 days of signing the Consent to Adoption.

Birth parents are encouraged to get legal advice before signing any of the forms.

If you are unsure about your decision or don't feel ready to sign papers, a waiting period can be requested. You can ask to have your baby placed in a temporary foster home while you give more thought to the issue and make a decision. You can also make private arrangements for your baby's care while you make up your mind. It is important to realize that these arrangements can become complicated if a clear plan is not made in a reasonable period of time. This issue needs to be discussed carefully with your social worker.

Efforts are made to ensure that both birth parents agree with the plan of adoption for their child. Sometimes it is possible to get the court to say that permission of both birth parents is not required, and this is granted in some circumstances. It is important to recognize that both birth parents have rights and may choose to exercise them, so counseling is provided and permission sought from both birth parents for the plan of adoption to proceed.

The law in PEI allows adoptions to be open or closed. In a closed adoption, there is no ongoing exchange of information or contact between the birth parents and the adoptive parents. In an open adoption, some degree of ongoing contact and exchange of information is agreed to by the birth parents and the adoptive parents. This can be a formal or informal agreement. If you wish to consider an agreement for open adoption, you need to discuss this with your social worker or licensed adoption agent. It is more complicated and everyone needs to be comfortable with the terms of the agreement.

Some adoptive parents are willing to agree to this, and some are not.

Abortion

No one is allowed to force you to have an abortion.

If you want an abortion, there are three options available to Island women: *

Women's Wellness Program (Prince County Hospital) – Summerside, PE

  • You must be no more than 12 weeks pregnant. Your pregnancy and dating will be confirmed by clinic staff through blood test and ultrasound. For abortions greater than 12 weeks, program staff can work with you to consider your options.
  • Call the Women’s Wellness Program at 1-844-365-8258 (toll-free) to speak with a staff member or to make an appointment.

The Moncton Hospital – Moncton, NB

  • You must be no more than 14 weeks pregnant. If you are considering this option, you should contact the Moncton Hospital, as early as possible.
  • Island women can call the Moncton Hospital at 1-844-806-9205 to set up an appointment. No referral is necessary.
  • You will be asked to present your valid PEI Health Card to obtain this service.

QEII – Halifax, NS

  • You must be no more than 16 weeks pregnant. If you are considering this option, you should seek a physician referral, as early as possible.
  • A referral must be obtained through a PEI physician. The Termination of Pregnancy Unit at the QEII can also help with a referral. They can be reached by calling (902) 473-7072.
  • Once your referral has been submitted, it will be approved within 48 hours by the Out-of-Province Coordinator.

* Information on abortion services taken from the PEI Government website: Health PEI: Abortion Services