Intercountry adoption, also called international adoption, is a process that recognizes an individual or couple as the legal and permanent parent(s) of a child from another country.
Not all countries allow intercountry adoptions. Before you consider adopting a child, you should contact the adoption central authority in your province or territory or the embassy of the country where you are interested in adopting in Canada to find out whether adoption is permitted there.
There are two components to the international adoption process:
- the adoption process
- the immigration or citizenship process
You must complete both processes before you can bring the child to live with you in Canada.
The adoption process
To adopt a child from a foreign country, you must meet the adoption requirements of the province or territory where you live and the adoption requirements in the child’s home country.
First, contact your provincial or territorial government adoption authority, which will:
- inform you of the adoption laws in the country where you would like to adopt
- explain the country’s process and requirements related to intercountry adoptions and suggest agencies licensed to facilitate adoptions in that country
- tell you whether you need to contact a licensed adoption agency
The immigration or citizenship process
Some adoptive parents are eligible to apply for citizenship for their adopted child, while others must first sponsor the child for permanent residence. For more information, visit Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada's Adopt a child from abroad page.
The adopted child must have a grant of Canadian citizenship or a permanent resident visa issued by the Canadian embassy or consulate in the country where he or she was adopted, and the necessary travel documents, before he or she can be brought back to Canada.
Canadian officials abroad can help you by:
- liaising with local and Canadian authorities, such as law enforcement agencies, social services, non-governmental organizations and central authorities responsible for the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption
- advising Canadian citizens wishing to adopt a child while abroad to contact the relevant authorities, including local social service agencies, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and provincial and territorial adoption authorities in Canada
- issuing a letter of no objection to adoptive parents living abroad, indicating that Canada approves the adoption and that the child will be permitted entry into Canada
- processing a citizenship application for your adoptive child
- Adopt a child from abroad Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
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