People hoping to adopt a baby in Saskatchewan face a wait of as long as seven years, according to the province's Ministry of Social Services.

The latest figures available, to the end of March 2009, show that in the preceding 12 months only seven newborns were adopted in Saskatchewan.

"We are still backed up on a waiting list to around 2002," Janice Krumenacker, director of adoption services for the province, told CBC News, referring to the wait involved in seeking a child younger than one year old.

Krumenacker noted the lengthy wait applied to people expressing a preference for a Caucasian child, in good health.

Of the seven newborns adopted last year, Krumenacker said, four had special needs.

She said there are about 250 people waiting to adopt in Saskatchewan.

Last year, she said, 61 children were placed in new homes, including the seven infants.

Krumenacker said about 300 children are permanent wards of the province, and two-thirds of those are over 12 years of age and must consent to an adoption.

Krumenacker added that 70 per cent of children in the province's care of are of aboriginal descent.

She said that many First Nations communities have become more involved in helping those children find homes with extended family members and within their communities, and that could be contributing to the lower number of babies available for adoption.