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How to adopt a child in canada?

5 Answer(s) Available
Answer # 1 #

Canada’s Adoption Authority

In Canada, various provinces and territories are responsible for setting and administering adoption policies and procedures. The following Canadian government office provides contact information for the provincial or territorial Central Authorities who can provide specific information on adoption in Canada:

Intercountry Adoption Services (IAS), Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Note: If any of the following occurred prior to April 1, 2008 (the date on which the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force with respect to the United States), the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption: 1) you filed a Form I-600A identifying Canada as the country where you intended to adopt; 2) you filed a Form I-600; or, 3) the adoption was completed. Under these circumstances, your adopted child’s visa application could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions.  For more information, read about Transition Cases.

The Process

Because Canada is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Canada must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention’s requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is given below. You must complete these steps in the following order to meet all necessary legal requirements. Adoptions completed out of order may result in the child not being eligible for an immigrant visa to the United States. 1.  Choose a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider 2.  Apply to USCIS to be found eligible to adopt 3.  Be matched with a child by authorities in Canada 4.  Apply to USCIS for the child to be found eligible for immigration to the United States and receive U.S. agreement to proceed with the adoption 5.  Adopt (or Obtain Legal Custody) of child in Canada 6.  Obtain a U.S. immigrant visa for your child and bring your child home

1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider

The recommended first step in adopting a child from Canada is to select an adoption service provider in the United States that has been accredited or approved to provide services to U.S. citizens in Convention cases. Only accredited or approved adoption services providers may act as the primary provider in your case. The primary adoption service provider is responsible for ensuring that all adoption services in the case are done in accordance with the Hague Adoption Convention and U.S. laws and regulations. Learn more about Agency Accreditation.

2.  Apply to USCIS to be Found Eligible to Adopt

After you choose an accredited or approved adoption service provider, you must apply to be found eligible to adopt by the responsible U.S. government agency, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), by submitting Form I-800A.  Read more about Eligibility Requirements.

Once USCIS determines that you are “eligible” and “suited” to adopt by approving the Form I-800A, your adoption service provider will provide your approval notice, home study, and any other required information to the Canadian province or territory you wish to adopt from as part of your adoption dossier. The provincial or territorial Central Authority in Canada will review your application to determine whether you are also eligible to adopt under Canada’s law.

3.  Be Matched with a Child in Canada

If both the United States and Canada determine that you are eligible to adopt, and the provincial or territorial Central Authority in Canada for Convention adoptions has determined that a child is available for adoption and that intercountry adoption is in that child’s best interests, that Central Authority may provide you with a referral for a child. The referral is a proposed match between you and a specific child based on a review of your dossier and the needs of a specific child in Canada. The provincial or territorial Central Authority in Canada will provide a background study and other information, if available, about the child to help you decide whether to accept the referral or not. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of and provide a permanent home for a particular child. If you accept the referral, your adoption service provider will communicate that to the adoption authority in Canada. Learn more about this critical decision.

4.  Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with the Adoption

After you accept a match with a child, you will apply to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for provisional approval for the child to immigrate to the United States (Form I-800). USCIS will make a provisional determination as to whether the child meets the definition of a Convention Adoptee and will be eligible to enter the United States and reside permanently as an immigrant.

After provisional approval of Form I-800, your adoption service provider or you will submit a visa application to the Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate General in Montreal that is responsible for issuing immigrant visas to children from Canada. A consular officer will review the Form I-800 and the visa application for possible visa ineligibilities and advise you of options for the waiver of any noted ineligibilities.

WARNING: The consular officer will send a letter (referred to as an “Article 5 Letter”) to the provincial or territorial Central Authority in Canada in any intercountry adoption involving U.S. citizen parents and a child from Canada where all Convention requirements are met and the consular officer determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States.  This letter will inform the provincial or territorial Central Authority in Canada that the parents are eligible and suited to adopt, that all indications are that the child may enter and reside permanently in the United States, and that the U.S. Central Authority agrees that the adoption may proceed.

Do not attempt to adopt or obtain custody of a child in Canada before a U.S. consular officer issues the Article 5 Letter in any adoption case.

Remember: The consular officer will make a final decision about a child’s eligibility for an immigrant visa later in the adoption process.

5.  Adopt (or Obtain Legal Custody) of Child in Canada

Remember: Before you adopt (or obtain legal custody of) a child in Canada, you must have completed the above four steps.  Only after completing these steps, can you proceed to finalize the adoption or grant of custody for the purposes of adoption in Canada.

The process for finalizing the adoption (or obtaining legal custody) in Canada varies by province. Prospective parents should contact the relevant provincial adoption authority for specific information. In some provinces you may be asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic. If so, the Department of State, Authentications office may be able to assist. Read more about Authenticating U.S. Documents.

6.  Obtain an Immigrant Visa for your Child and Bring Your Child Home

Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child for the purpose of adopting the child in the United States), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for three documents before your child can travel to the United States:

Birth Certificate If you have finalized the adoption in Canada, you will firstneed to apply for a birth certificate for your child so that you can later apply for a passport.

If you have been granted custody for the purpose of adopting the child in the United States, the birth certificate you obtain will, in most cases, not yet include your name.

How to obtain a new birth certificate for the child in Canada.

Canada Passport Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Canada.

How to obtain a Passport for the child in Canada.

U.S. Immigrant Visa

After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to finalize your application for a U.S. visa for your child from the U.S. Consulate General in Montreal.  After the adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, visit the U.S. Consulate General in Montreal for final review of the case, issuance of a U.S. Hague Adoption Certificate or Hague Custody Certificate, final approval of Form I-800, and to obtain your child’s immigrant visa. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. As part of this process, the consular officer must be provided the “Panel Physician’s” medical report on the child if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage. Read more about the Medical Examination.

Child Citizenship Act

Zhao Bybee
Answer # 2 #
  • Choose a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider.
  • Apply to USCIS to be found eligible to adopt.
  • Be matched with a child by authorities in Canada.
  • Apply to USCIS for the child to be found eligible for immigration to the United States and receive U.S. agreement to proceed with the adoption.
Ludo Schneer
Chief Product Officer
Answer # 3 #

Being able to provide a safe, loving home for a child is one of the most important criteria for becoming an adoptive parent.

When you are deciding whether you’re ready to start the process of adopting a child ask yourself:

If you answered yes to these questions, then you’re ready to learn more about adoption and your role as a potential adoptive parent. Contact the Centralized Adoption Intake Service to learn about adoption,  to decide if adoption is right for you and, if you wish, to get help in completing the adoption application for public adoption.

It takes time to match the child's needs with the right family. The adoption process is complex and can take at least a year and sometimes longer to complete.

Work is underway to build an adoption system that provides a more consistent, responsive adoption experience for children, youth and prospective adoptive families.

There are four main types of adoption: public, private, international and adoption of a stepchild or relative.

Learn about services and supports to help you through your adoption journey as a prospective adoptive parent. If you adopt through the public adoption process, prospective adoptive parents and adoptive parents can learn about:

For private or intercountry adoption, your adoption licensee and/or adoption practitioner may provide parent post-adoption resources and supports.

Adopted children and youth can learn about:

The Centralized Adoption Intake Service is the central point of information and support for people who are interested in adopting a child. Contact the information service to begin your adoption learning journey and, if you are interested in public adoption, get help with the public adoption process.

Children’s aid societies facilitate the adoption of a child or youth in their care. Contact your local society to learn about the children available for adoption and to begin the public adoption application process.

Learn more about private adoption licensees (licensed agencies and individuals) and licensed international adoption agencies in Ontario. Contact an adoption licensee to start the private adoption process.

Learn about adoption practitioners and contact an adoption practitioner to help you with the adoption process, including the homestudy and mandatory training.

We are reviewing the law about child, youth and family services.

The Child, Youth and Family Services Act came into force on April 30, 2018, to help children, youth and families thrive and reach their full potential. We are reviewing the legislation this year to make sure it continues to promote the best interests, protection and well-being of children, youth and families.

As part of the review, we would like to hear your feedback and about your experiences. Stay tuned to this page and @ChildrenON this spring for more details about how to participate. In the meantime, we encourage you to read about this legislation.

Victoria Harrison
Answer # 4 #

Public adoption involves adopting children who are in the care of a provincial child welfare authority. These are children whose parents have been unable to parent them, for a variety of reasons, and the courts have therefore turned over responsibility for their care to the province. These children can range in age from newborns to teenagers.

Since few parents give up their rights without a period of trying to parent, it can be months or years before these children are legally able to be adopted; this is why few are available for adoption as babies. Some, however, are adopted by families who have fostered them. If you are interested in pursuing public adoption, you should contact your local child welfare office and inquire about the process, which usually involves education and screening (a home study).

There are no fees for adopting through the public system and some financial support is available if the child requires ongoing services such as counselling. These children are usually considered "special needs" children, not necessarily because they have mental or physical handicaps (although this is sometimes the case), but because they may have experienced abuse, neglect or disruptions due to shuttling back and forth between birth and foster families before a permanent placement (adoption) is found. Adoptive parents must parent with these special circumstances in mind; a stable, loving, consistent family is an amazing gift for these children.

Christian families who wish to foster and adopt children from the public system need to be aware that spanking is not permitted. In fact, in some Canadian jurisdictions, telling a social worker that you would spank a child will result in the home study being turned down. Parents should consider other means of discipline to provide boundaries for their children.

Private adoptions are also governed by the provinces. This type of adoption involves children who are being placed by a birth family. Usually, though not always, these are infants who are relinquished for adoption at birth. Adoption agencies, licensed and accountable to their provincial government’s adoption division, facilitate these adoptions.

These agencies provide birth parents with free counselling, support and referrals if they choose to parent, and matching services if they choose adoption. There is no obligation for birth parents to continue with the adoption if they suddenly decide it is not what they wish, even though the agency may have provided considerable support. It is essential that birth parents make this choice of their own free will, without any feeling of obligation or coercion on the part of prospective adoptive parents or agency staff.

Private agencies also provide services to prospective adoptive parents – including adoption information, education and home assessments for those who apply to adopt – as well as support services before, during and after the adoption. There is no guarantee that adoptive families will be successful in adopting when they apply with an agency, but the great majority do succeed in adopting. Agencies will explore with applicants the likelihood of them being chosen by a birth mother, as well as everything involved in the process before recommending that they complete an application.

Adoptive parents are charged fees for the services provided by the agency. We recommend that you contact your local agencies for specific information about the fees, what they cover and when they are charged. It is also important to understand that in most cases, private adoptions are considered open adoptions.

Open adoption means that the birth parent(s) have the right to receive information about prospective adoptive families, to choose a family for their child and to meet the family at some point in the process. They may wish to negotiate some form of ongoing contact with the adoptive family. This prospect makes many families nervous about private adoption. Some common questions are:

If you choose this option, it is important to explore these issues thoroughly with an adoption worker early in the process. In general, families who are initially afraid of open adoption come to embrace it when it is understood and managed well. If you would like to discuss this at greater length, call us at 1.800.661.9800.

Canada has two agencies that are specifically run by evangelical Christians. Amaris Adoption Services works in Alberta and JFJ Hope Centre works in Ontario. In other provinces, contact your provincial child welfare ministry for information on licensed agencies. It never hurts to ask an agency if they have Christian social workers who can work with you on your home study. Some provinces also have services specifically designed for families who are Catholic or Mormon.

A third option for adoption in Canada is international (or "intercountry") adoption. Many children around the world are orphaned and in need of families. Since international adoption regulations vary between countries and change over time, your provincial adoption division is the best source of information on which countries currently have workable programs and what is required to adopt from those countries.

All these programs require a screening process, performed by a licensed agency in the adoptive parents’ province (as described above). This involves adoption education, a home study and approval from the provincial authority. Home studies, with other required supporting documentation (such as medical reports, financial statements, etc) are then sent to the child’s country, where a child will be selected and proposed to the family.

Once a family accepts a proposal, they are considered to be matched with that child and the legal process is initiated within the child’s country. Again, this process and the cost of the adoption, as well as the length of time it takes, varies from country to country. It may also vary depending on the circumstances within the country.

Countries that have had workable and successful intercountry programs with Canada include China, Haiti, Ethiopia, Russia, the USA, Vietnam, Thailand, Ukraine, Romania, Kazakhstan and Taiwan. Contact your provincial or local agency that works with international adoptions for current information on the status of these programs.

Once the legal paperwork is completed, arrangements are made for the family to receive their child, usually by travelling to the country to pick the child up, but occasionally children can/need to be escorted to Canada. Travel forms a significant percentage of the fees involved in international adoption, which range from about $15,000 to $40,000 Cdn.

It is important to consider the cultural and racial differences that your child will experience. While parents often feel that culture or race is "not an issue" for them, the child who grows up outside of their culture and/or race may feel alienated, displaced or uncomfortable in situations parents may not have anticipated. It is essential that parents carefully consider how they will help to preserve culture, offer opportunities for their child to interact with others of their race and help their child feel comfortable "in their own skin." Agencies will assist in the process of educating parents and heightening awareness of the challenges of intercountry adoption.

If one or more of these options interests you, we recommend that you take a look at our Waiting to Belong website, which offers a wealth of adoption-related information.

Yoshiyuki Flint
Pantomime Dame
Answer # 5 #

Adopting children happens for different reasons; regardless of your reason, there are steps to take if you are planning on blending and growing your family.

You must be a resident of Ontario, and you must be able to meet the child’s needs. This means things like your age, health and financial situation will be considered before you are approved.

You cannot be denied because of your:

There are four types of adoption in Ontario. You should review the different types of adoption that are available to you and choose which option is best for your family.

The adoption of a child in the permanent care of a Children’s Aid Society (CAS) is called a public adoption.

According to the Government of Ontario, most children in the care of CAS are not infants. They are often school-age children, and some may have siblings who are also in care and want to stay together. Children become eligible for public adoption because:

If you are considering a public adoption, you can contact your local Children’s Aid Society (CAS) and ask about information sessions. There is no cost to go through the public adoption process with a Children's Aid Society.

To be eligible for adoption you have to complete an application, a homestudy and mandatory training. Once these steps are complete you will be notified if you are approved for adoption. Once you are approved for adoption, it can take anywhere from six months to over two years to be matched with a child.

The adoption of a child (usually a baby) using a private adoption agency rather than CAS is called a private adoption. Sometimes it is also referred to as a "domestic adoption". Agencies that take care of private adoptions charge fees for their services. Services include all the paperwork, finding and matching of families and children. The fees can be generally $15,000-$30,000. There are additional fees for a homestudy assessment and parent training programs required by the Government of Ontario. And if the child is born somewhere else in Canada you will have to budget for travel costs and check with the provincial or territory requirements.

The adoption of a child that lives outside Canada, including relatives, is called international adoption. Children from international adoptions can be infants, toddlers or school-age and can have siblings too. Most of these children have spent time in an orphanage or state care.

To adopt a child from outside Canada can be expensive. You will need to find a licensed agency and budget for their fees, as well as the required Ontario homestudy assessment, mandatory parent training program and your travel and accommodation costs when you go to meet and bring your child back to Ontario. You will also have to submit an application to Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to get permission for your adopted child to move and reside permanently in Canada.

Be sure you work with a recognized and licensed agency - there are international laws that must be followed in order to legally adopt a child from outside of Canada. It is important to know that not all countries allow international adoption; IRCC maintains a list of countries with suspensions or restrictions on international adoption.

The adoption of a family member from within Canada, such as a stepchild or other relative, is called family adoption. If the child lives in Ontario the process looks a bit different than the other types of adoption. Family adoption is sometimes called kinship adoption.

If the child you are adopting lives in Ontario you may not have to do the training program or complete a home study assessment.

Adopting a relative from outside Canada follows the same process as international adoption.

Ontario’s adoption records are open. This means you can make a request for information about adoption that was finalized in Ontario that you were involved in. It’s free. Your child may be eligible to apply for information about their adoption. Your child can ask for:

If you were adopted as a child or gave a child up for adoption you can also apply to the Registrar General for post-adoption birth information under the Vital Statistics Act. You can also register for the Adoption Disclosure Register, a voluntary registry that helps connect adult adoptees and certain birth relatives. There is no fee to access adoption records.

Each province and territory have a different process; check with your birth region before registering.

Sadhu Vashisht