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. A relative adoption can often be completed directly through the Ontario Family Court without the involvement of either a private adoption practitioner or a Children’s Aid Society. To obtain an adoption order, the close family member can apply to the court. A relative adoption can be completed directly through the court, and the applicant does not require an adoption licensee (licensed adoption agency or licensed individual) to assist with the process.
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’. For the adoption order to be issued, the written consent of every parent (The parental consent cannot be provided within the first week of the child’s birth), the spouse of the person applying, and the child (seven years or older) is required. A previously provided consent can be withdrawn within 21 days. This period may be extended if the court finds it to be in the child’s best interests.
Adoption Process in Canada : Child Best interest evaluation
Another key factor that will be considered by the court in an adoption hearing is whether the best interest of the child has been met. To evaluate this concept, the court will take into consideration the emotional, physical, and mental needs of the child, the child’s wishes (if these can be ascertained). 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 understand how overwhelming the adoption process can be, and are determined to help you navigate the process. Our Ottawa adoption lawyers are experienced and dedicated to help you accomplish this goal. We provide services for all family law matters. Call us today to schedule a consultation.
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