Canadian law allows you to adopt a child from another country if you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Adopting a child from another country brings joy to thousands of Canadian parents every year. The process of adopting a child can only be simplified if proper procedures are followed. The entire process can be fairly lengthy as CIC ( Citizenship and Immigration Canada ) needs to ensure that to ensure the child's rights are protected.
You must note that not all countries allow adoptions. Before you apply to adopt a child from another country, you must contact the adoption authority in your province or territory if you are living in Canada, or the central adoption authority of the country where you live if you are living abroad to find out if adoption is allowed.
Intercountry adoption (also knows as international adoption) is a process that recognizes an individual or couple as the legal and permanent parent(s) of a child from another country. An intercountry adoption complies with the laws of both the sending and receiving countries.
For all intercountry adoptions, you must complete two separate processes:
- The adoption process; and
- The immigration or citizenship process.
The immigration or citizenship process cannot begin until the adoption has been finalized. In Canada, adoption comes under provincial or territorial jurisdiction. To be eligible to adopt a child, you must meet the adoption requirements of:
- the province/territory where you live if you are living in Canada, or the country where you live if you are living abroad
- the adoption authority of the country where the child lives
You would need to contact your provincial or territorial adoption authorities or the adoption authority of the country where you live if you are living abroad. They will:
- tell you if you need to contact a licensed adoption agency
- advise you on the adoption laws of the country from where you want to adopt
- explain the requirements of the Hague Intercountry Adoption Convention.
Choose a process - citizenship or immigration
Some adoptive parents are eligible to apply directly for citizenship for their adopted child, while some must first sponsor their adopted child for permanent residence. In both cases you would need to first complete the adoption process.
This article is intended to give you only a basic guide to the adopation process in Canada. As outlined above, you should contact the adoption authorities in your province/territory as they will advice you on the exact step to follow.