International adoptions in Canada

Canadian law allows you to adopt a child from another country if you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Canadian citizens can, in most cases, apply for the child to gain Canadian citizenship while still overseas.

If you are a permanent resident and wish to bring your international adoptive child to Canada, you must sponsor the child for immigration. You can start sponsoring a child as soon as you decide to adopt, or you can wait until after you have found a child and have started the adoption process. There are two processes that you must go through when you adopt a child internationally: the adoption process and the immigration sponsorship process. You should understand both.

The International Adoption Process

Adoptions are the responsibility of the provinces in Canada. Before Citizen and Immigration Canada (CIC) can process your application, you will have to have a Home Study done, usually by your province.

You will have to comply with the adoption laws of the child's country of origin. You must also comply with the laws of your province. Make sure you are familiar with all of the legal requirements relevant to you before beginning the adoption process. workpermit.com can help you with this.

The Canadian Immigration Process

As of 23 December 2007, Canadian citizens adopting a child from abroad can lodge a citizenship application for the child immediately. Once the process is complete, an application process for a passport can begin to bring the child to Canada.

Previously, Canadian citizens had to apply to sponsor the child first for permanent residence in Canada. Since all adoption cases are unique, in some cases, such as guardianship rather than standard adoption, this may still be a requirement.