Canadian citizens or permanent residents who meet certain conditions can sponsor their adopted children to become permanent residents of Canada.
There are two processes to go through when adopting a child from another country: the adoption process and the immigration process.
The immigration process includes:
- Application for sponsorship.
- Application for permanent residence for the child.
After the child arrives in Canada as a permanent resident, sponsors can apply for citizenship on the child’s behalf. However, the adoption must be finalized before the child can be granted citizenship.
Requirements to Sponsor an Adopted Child
To sponsor a child from another country for adoption, sponsors must:
- Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident (if sponsors do not currently reside in Canada, they must do so when the adopted child becomes a permanent resident).
- Live in Canada.
- Be at least 18 years old.
Requirements for Permanent Resident Status
For an adopted child to be eligible for permanent resident status, the sponsor must be:
- A Canadian citizen applying on behalf of the adopted child who is under 18 years of age at the time of application.
- An adopted person who is 18 years of age or older at the time of application, and was adopted by a Canadian citizen.
- A legal guardian applying on behalf of an adopted child under 18 years of age at the time of application if the child had at least one Canadian parent at the time of adoption.
- A non-Canadian adoptive parent applying on behalf of an adopted child under 18 years of age at the time of application if the other parent is a Canadian citizen at the time of the adoption.
Requirements for Intercountry Adoption
Most intercountry adoptions will take place in the child’s home country, with different laws and procedures applying in each case.
If you are adopting a child who is related to you, different rules may apply.
The Canada immigration process allows two types of adoptions of children under 18. The adoption must either:
- Be completed outside Canada, or
- Be completed in Canada.
For immigration purposes, all intercountry adoptions must:
- Be legal in the child’s home country and in the province or territory where the sponsor lives.
- End the legal relationship between the adopted child and their biological parents.
- Create a genuine parent-child relationship between the sponsor and the child.
- Be in the best interests of the child.
- Not be primarily to gain permanent resident status for the child in Canada.
Children adopted outside Canada may be sponsored to come to Canada if:
- Informed consent has been given by both biological parents (if they are alive).
- The child has been legally adopted outside Canada.
- The requirements of the Hague Convention have been met, if they apply.