Canada Makes It Easier For Children Adopted Overseas To Become Canadian Citizens

Canada Makes it Easier for Children Adopted Overseas to Become Canadian Citizens

Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Dec 20, 2007 10:01 ET

OTTAWA, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – Dec. 20, 2007) – The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, today announced that Bill C-14, an amendment to Canada's citizenship laws passed earlier this year, will go into effect December 23, 2007. This means that within a week, Canadians who adopt children abroad will find it easier to have their newest family members become Canadian citizens.

The new legislation allows children adopted abroad by Canadian citizens to obtain Canadian citizenship without first having to become permanent residents. As a result, the difference in treatment between children adopted abroad and children born abroad to a Canadian parent is minimized.

“Canadian families open their hearts to adopt foreign-born children and we want to support them by making it easier for their adopted children to become Canadian citizens,” said Minister Finley. “Canadian families welcome foreign-born children into their homes and we want to welcome them into the country. The new citizenship process means that citizenship can be granted to adopted children after the adoption is complete.”

After December 23, 2007, citizenship may be granted to adopted children providing that an application for citizenship is submitted and the legislative requirements are met. These requirements aim to protect the best interests of the child and ensure that the adoption conforms with both the adoption laws of the province or the territory of residence of the adoptive parent and the country where the adoption took place.

Under the current system, a Canadian adopting a child born abroad must first apply to sponsor the child to come to Canada, then seek a permanent resident visa, then apply for citizenship. Now, Canadians will apply for their adopted child's citizenship abroad rather than submit sponsorship and permanent resident applications. Parents will save time and have less paperwork as the steps are merged into one. Once the child has Canadian citizenship, the parent will be able to apply for a Canadian passport through the appropriate Canadian government office outside Canada.

Each international adoption experience is different and some adopted children will still be required to go through the immigration process. This would be the case if the adoption is to be completed in Canada or is a guardianship arrangement rather than a full adoption.
More information on international adoptions and citizenship can be found on CIC's website at