Legally Speaking – Intercountry Adoption – How Can I Adopt a Child?

Legally Speaking – Intercountry Adoption – How Can I Adopt a Child?


Here is the eighth in a series of legal columns by Quebec law firm  Joli-Cœur Lacasse Avocats.

Article aussi disponible en français.

By Me Albina Mulaomerovic and Me Sophia Claude

In Quebec, the main principles governing the adoption process of children abroad are based on the Hague Convention hereinafter “the Convention”.

Depending on whether the country of origin of the child is a signatory of the Convention or not, the process to make an adoption effective in Quebec varies. However, some steps remain the same, whether the country of origin is a signatory of the Convention or not. Generally, the adopters must first select an agency approved by the Minister of Health and Social Services according to a list published by the Secretariat of International Adoption. T

he selected agency then opens an adoption file, notifies the adopter of the need to undergo a psychosocial assessment and ensures that the adopter meets the selecting criteria of the foreign authorities (i.e.: age of the adoptive parents, age difference between the adopter and the adoptee, marital status, etc.). When the agency considers that all formalities have been completed successfully, it will open a file in the country chosen by the adopter.

If this file is found to comply by the foreign country, the authorities will propose an adoptive child to the adopter who must within a certain delay, indicate his/her intentions to either go ahead or not with the adoption of the child.

Finally, S.A.I. will look at the information of the adopter and will issue a letter not objecting to the adoption as long as all the formalities have been completed and that all necessary consents to the adoption have been given.

A foreign state has the option to pronounce the decision to adopt or delegate that decision to the host country of the child. When the country is not subject to the Convention and assigns Quebec prerogative to make the decision on adoption, the adoption process has to complete two stages. The first step is that the Quebec Court will render an order of placement for the child, entrusting the adopted to the adopter. Thereafter, the adopter may apply for adoption. If the foreign state is not subject to the Convention the right to grant the adoption is reserved, the adoptive parent must ask the Quebec Court to have the judgment recognized in Quebec.

In cases where the Convention is in force in the country of origin of the child, the process varies slightly. If the adoption order needs to be pronounced in Quebec, it is necessary to go through the two steps previously described, meaning the order of placement followed by the adoption order. In cases where the foreign country is a signatory to the Convention and reserves itself the right of taking the decision on the adoption, application for recognition of the adoption decision will not be necessary.

Once the adoption process is completed, the adoptive parent must make sure to provide the country of origin of the child with reports on his/her progress as per the regulations of the foreign authority.
There is no doubt that the adoption process has several characteristics and that legal counsel will be a valuable ally who will guide you throughout the process, while informing you on the particularities of each country to make the formalities much easier.

Me Sophia Claude and Me Albina Mulaomerovic Joli-Cœur Lacasse Avocats
Me Sophia Claude and Me Albina Mulaomerovic – Joli-Cœur Lacasse Avocates


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Categories: Opinion

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Jolicoeur Lacasse Avocats

Notre cabinet qui regroupe une centaine d'avocats présents à Québec, Trois-Rivières et Montréal, est reconnu pour offrir, à des coûts avantageux, des services juridiques efficaces et efficients. Nos professionnels sont compétents, imaginatifs et désireux de vous permettre d’atteindre vos objectifs dans un environnement de partenariat et de convivialité. Ils sont en mesure d’identifier et d’anticiper vos besoins et, le moment venu, ils sauront agir de manière proactive et entamer des démarches novatrices et sécurisantes, afin de vous offrir un service adapté à votre réalité.

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