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Adopting a Child in Ottawa?

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adopting a child in Ottawa Ontario Canada

Adopting a child in Ottawa is a significant decision. What is considered a “family” is rapidly changing in our modern world. People are increasingly choosing less traditional means to establish their families, with options like adoption, fertility treatments, and surrogacy. Despite their growing popularity, these routes can be daunting and intricate. Deciding to adopt is often the easiest step; the real challenge lies in navigating the adoption process. At RPB Family Law, our experienced lawyers can guide you through the complexities. Contact our team today!

Adopting a Child in Ottawa

If you are adopting a child in Ottawa Ontario and you are a resident of Canada. Adoptive parents can be a couple or a single person. There are no limitations or discriminations concerning your racial background, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation in the adoption process. However, your financial situation, age, and health can be contributing factors for your approval.

When a child is adopted, the “adoptive parent” takes over all legal rights and responsibilities to parent that child. Likewise, the adopted child will gain all legal rights a biological child would have including estate rights. Adoption can also be used to manage co-parenting and support. As an example, you can utilize the adoption process to include your partner in the life of your child from another relationship.

Types of Adoption in Canada

There are four types of adoptions in Canada:

  • Public Adoption
  • Private Adoption
  • Intercountry/International Adoption
  • Relative/Stepparent Adoption.

What Type of Adoption is Right For You

It is crucial to identify which type of adoption is the most suitable for you and your family. The type of adoption you choose will impact many aspects of your adoption journey. For instance, international or private adoptions cost more than public or family adoptions.

Adoption Specific Procedures

Additionally, each adoption type follows its own specific procedures. For example, if you choose a public, private, or international adoption, you’ll need a parent training course and a home study. In contrast, if you are adopting a child in Ottawa who is living in Ontario from a family member or through a stepparent adoption, you usually do not need to satisfy these required trainings and assessments.

If you are certain that adoption is a path you wish to take, you must also decide which type of adoption is more suitable for you. Having a clear understanding of each adoption type and the pros and cons of each category will facilitate your decision-making process.

Public Adoption Procedure

  • A Public Adoption is the adoption of a child or youth who is in extended society care. Ontario Children’s Aid Society (CAS) is responsible for facilitating the public adoptions. The goal in a public adoption is to provide children with a permanent home and the sense of security that comes with having a stable home. Children needing permanent families through this type of adoption are often older and have experienced trauma throughout their lives. They may require special care or additional medical assistance.

Private Adoption Procedure

  • Private Adoption is mostly referred to the adoption of a newborn. Either a private adoption practitioner or a licensed private adoption agency will facilitate this type of adoption.

International Adoption Procedure

  • International Adoption is the adoption of a child or youth outside of Canadian boarders. Applicants must work with an international adoption agency, as they will facilitate this avenue of adoption.

Relative Adoption Procedure

Relative Adoption is a unique type of adoption where a close family member adopts a relative such as a niece or a grand child. This process is distinct from other types of adoption. Often, you can complete a relative adoption directly through the Ontario Family Court without involving a private adoption practitioner or a Children’s Aid Society. A close family member can apply to the court for an adoption order. You can complete a relative adoption directly through the court without needing an adoption licensee (licensed adoption agency or individual) to assist.

Step-Parent Adoption Procedure

A Step-Parent Adoption is a process under the Child and Family Services Actthat enables the spouse of the child’s parent to bring an adoption application through either the Ontario Court of Justice or the Family Court of the Superior Court of Justice for an order for adoption. The Application can be brought individually or jointly with the child’s parent. Based on the Human Rights Code, “spouse” includes married partners and partners living in a conjugal relationship whether of the same-sex or opposite sex.

The Adoption Process

To obtain the adoption order, parties must attend a court hearing in the county or district that the applicant or child resides. During the adoption hearing, the court will consider whether the required ‘consent’ was provided and whether the adoption would be in the ‘best interest of the child’.  To issue the adoption order, every parent must give written consent (but not within the child’s first week of birth), the applicant’s spouse, and the child (if seven years or older) must also consent. Anyone can withdraw their consent within 21 days. The court can extend this period if it benefits the child.

Adoption Process in Canada : Child Best interest evaluation

In an adoption hearing, the best interests of the child are a key factor. The court evaluates this based on the child’s emotional, physical, and mental needs and the child’s wishes, if discernible. The child’s religious and cultural background is also an important factor that the court will consider before making a decision considering an adoption. This element is significantly important when the child identifies as a member of the First Nation, Inuit, or Métis community. The court has discretion to dispense with consent where it is in the best interest of the child to do so, even if all the parties involved have provided their consent.  

Ronan Blake is the Founder of RPB Family Law. He practices in the areas of Adoption, divorce, child custody, and child protection law

Our Ottawa family lawyers recognize the overwhelming nature of the adoption process. We and committed to guiding you through it. Our Ottawa adoption lawyers have the experience and dedication to help you achieve this goal. We provide services for all family law matters. Call us today to schedule a consultation.

Talk to an Ottawa Divorce Lawyer Today

RPB Family Law, an Ottawa-based family law firm, is dedicated to helping families find the best solutions to their problems. From divorce cases to child custody agreements, we approach every case with compassion and an open mind because we know that every family is different.

Our attorneys are highly experienced in all areas of Family Law in Ottawa and are willing to help you through any process. Contact us today at (613) 216-5044 to schedule a consultation with an experienced Ottawa Divorce Lawyer to discuss your case.

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