Whether by choice or because it's the only option, if you want to adopt a child, you will have to be patient!
Also, know that the steps are different depending on whether you choose to adopt in Quebec or abroad.
Adoption in Quebec
For the past ten years, approximately 300 Quebec children have been adopted annually. Adoptive parents can be married, in a civil union, de facto spouses or single. They can also be of the same sex (gay parenthood).
To adopt a child from Quebec, you must first apply to the Youth Center in your region. Visit the Association des centers jeunesse du Québec website for contact information.
You must then register with one of the two existing adoption banks, or both at the same time. The Youth Center in your region organizes information sessions that allow you to make an informed choice and to fully understand the difference between the two adoption banks.
The Regular Bank
This bank includes, in particular, children left for adoption by their parents from birth or at a young age, orphans and abandoned children who have been cared for by adirector of youth protection (DPJ). Depending on the region, the minimum wait time for this bank can be four to eight years due to the low number of children enrolled.
The mixed bank
It includes children taken from their parents by a director of youth protection (DYP) due to abuse, neglect, inability to care for them, high risk of abandonment, etc. Before having the possibility of adopting, the future parents must act as a foster family. Depending on the region, age and particularities of the child (origin, he alth condition, etc.), the waiting period for this bank can be from three months to four years.
Once registered, you must undergo an assessment of your personal, social and family situation. The purpose of this psychosocial assessment is to determine if you have the motivation and ability to parent and provide an environment that meets the needs of a child. In the case of the mixed bank, we also assess your ability to meet the special needs of children from a difficult family background.
If the results of your assessment are positive, then you are added to a waiting list as a potential adoptive parent.
Clarifications on the mixed bank
After a few months or years of waiting, you will be matched with a child who will live with you and for whom you will receive remuneration as a foster family. At this stage ofprocedures, the child usually retains contact with its biological parents and can be returned to their side. So you should be aware of this possibility.
If the child lives with you, the DYP will assess for about a year whether the child is adapting well. If so, the DYP will then undertake legal proceedings so that you can officially adopt him.
For the adoption to be granted, several conditions must be met. Among others:
- you must be at least 18 years old;
- Adoption must be in the best interests of the child;
- the child, if 14 years of age or older, must consent to adoption;
- biological parents must consent to the adoption of their child; however, their consent is not required if they have lost their parental authority or if they have not assumed the care, maintenance or education of their child for at least six months.
If all the conditions are met, the court will issue a placement order granting you parental authority over the child. In particular, you will be able to choose new first and last names for the child, unless he does not wish to change them. If all goes well, a request for adoption will be filed a few months later in order to complete the procedure.
Once the adoption judgment has been pronounced, you will be named as the parent on the child's birth certificate and you will become his or her parent in the eyes of the law. From now on,the biological parents of the child will no longer have any rights towards him.
There is no cost to adopt a child in Quebec, except for the cost of the court stamp required to file the application for adoption, which is a little over $100.
There are two ways to adopt a child from a foreign country.
You can use the services of an organization that works in international adoption and that is approved by the Ministry of He alth and Social Services. The organization then acts as an intermediary between the adoptive parents and the country where they wish to adopt. The organization sends the adoptive parents' file to the child's country of origin, ensures that the required requirements are met and follows up on the file with the various authorities.
You can also request permission from the International Adoption Secretariat to adopt without the help of an approved body. By doing so, you save some costs related to the services of an adoption agency, but you have to take care of all the steps personally, which involves certain risks. The Secretariat also favors the use of accredited bodies.
Criteria and costs
The International Adoption Secretariat maintains a list of criteria you must meet for each country where you can adopt a child. For example, some countries require adoptive parentsare married, have been living together for a number of years or provide a certificate of infertility. You should also know that several countries refuse adoption by a same-sex couple or by a single person.
As for the costs of international adoption, they vary from country to country and usually range between $15,000 and $50,000. In addition to the cost of travel to pick up the child, these amounts may cover the mandatory psychosocial assessment, legal proceedings, sending and processing of the file abroad, translation of documents as well as the costs of immigration and those required by the adoption agency. However, you can obtain a refundable tax credit of up to $10,000.
Once the adoption process is complete, a new parentage relationship between you and the child replaces the one the child had with his or her biological parents. This link gives you the same rights and the same obligations as filiation by blood.
To consult the list of countries where international adoption is permitted, visit www.adoption.gouv.qc.ca. You will thus be able to know the criteria and the costs.
From Early Childhood Practical Guide
By Protégez-Vous in partnership with Éducaloi
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