Citizenship for Adopted Children
Ottawa, May 15, 2006 — On this
International Day of Families, the Honourable Monte Solberg,
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, introduced a new bill
in the House of Commons to amend the Citizenship Act.
The proposed legislation will allow 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 of a Canadian parent will be minimized.
“We are supporting Canadian families who adopt foreign-born
children by helping them get citizenship without having to go
through the immigration process,” Minister Solberg said. “It
is fitting that the introduction of this important bill occurs
on the International Day of Families.”
In order for the adopted child to be granted citizenship,
the adoption must conform to the laws of the province or the
territory of residence of the adoptive parents. Adopted
children will be able to acquire Canadian citizenship as soon
as the adoption process is completed, providing that an
application for citizenship is submitted in their name.
“This is a major step forward for foreign-born adopted
children and their adoptive families,” said Sandra Scarth,
President of the Adoption Council of Canada.
“The Government of Canada is committed to working to
welcome these young new Canadians and enhance fairness,” said
For more information (media only):
Director of Communications
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Adoption Council of Canada
1 888 542-3678
Adoption Council of Ontario
Adoptive Families Association of BC
Bill C-14: An Act to amend the Citizenship Act (adoption)
Amendment to the Citizenship Act: Adoption
Introducing an amendment
The Government of Canada has introduced a bill to amend the
Citizenship Act. Should it receive Royal Assent, the
proposed legislation would update the current law, which dates
back to 1977.
Canada’s first citizenship legislation came into effect in
1947 and was replaced when a new law was enacted in 1977.
Since then, inconsistencies have become apparent.
The amendment is based on previous legislative proposals
and consultations: Bill C-63, introduced in Parliament in
Bill C-16, introduced in 1999; Bill C-18, introduced in 2002;
and Bill C-76, introduced in 2005. The amendment also responds
to the recommendations made by the Standing Committee on
Citizenship and Immigration in the previous Parliament.
Should the bill receive Royal Assent, it will come into
force on a date specified by the Governor in Council. This
will be coordinated with the completion of necessary
Citizenship through adoption
Under the proposed legislation, a child adopted abroad by a
Canadian citizen could be granted citizenship without any
permanent residence prerequisite. This provision is intended
to reduce the distinction between children born to and
children adopted by Canadian citizens outside Canada. The
adoption must be a legal adoption and in the best interests of
the child in order to be recognized for citizenship purposes.
These requirements are intended to help prevent child
trafficking or abduction. Under the current legislation, a
foreign child adopted by a Canadian must obtain permanent
residence before an application for citizenship is made in the
- The proposed legislation will eliminate the permanent
residence requirement for children adopted outside Canada by
a Canadian parent, unless the parent chooses to go through
the immigration process or the adoption is to take place in
- Adopted children, just like children born to Canadians
outside Canada, will not be subject to criminal or security
- Upon application, adopted children will be able to
obtain citizenship after the adoption is finalized.
- The proposed legislation will also allow for a grant of
citizenship to a person adopted as an adult (18 years of age
or older) provided a genuine parent-child relationship
existed at the time of the adoption and before the person
Adoption applications in process
Should this amendment receive parliamentary approval,
pending citizenship applications for children adopted outside
Canada by a Canadian parent will be finalized under the
current process. If the adopted child is found not to be
eligible for citizenship under the current provision, CIC will
then assess the application under the new provision.
If the legislation is passed, Canadian parents who adopt a
child abroad may apply for citizenship in the child’s name
under the new provision as soon as the legislation comes into
The CIC Call Centre can provide further information on the
proposed legislation and the impact of the changes on
Canadians. Please call 1 888 242-2100 (toll-free anywhere in