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Important Adoption Issues

Who can adopt in Québec?

  • Applicants must be at least 25 years of age and have Canadian citizenship or landed immigrant status.
  • Applicants can be single, married, in a civil union or a common law relationship (same sex couples are permitted)

Do I need a home study to adopt in Québec?

Yes. All prospective adoptive parents, whether they choose local adoption or international, must have a ‘psychosocial evaluation’ (home study) completed in QuĂ©bec. The psychosocial evaluation requires families to meet with a licensed worker several times. Topics of discussion will include the personal history of each person in the family, the marital relationship (if applicable), financial status, views on parenting and adoption as well as the type of child that will fit well within the family.

Can an open adoption be arranged in Québec?

Yes, but open adoptions are not legally authorized in Québec. Adoptions are to be confidential in Québec but this is not always possible especially in the case of a foster situation where the foster parents often meet with the birth family for them to have visits with the child. There are also some cases where informal agreements are made between birth parents and the adoptive or foster parents so that the child can stay connected in some form with his/her biological family.

Who must give consent for an adoption in Québec?

Normally, both biological parents must consent to an adoption in Québec unless their parental rights have been terminated by the Court. However, the consent of only one biological parent will suffice in the following circumstances:

  • Only the one parent’s name appears on the ‘act of birth’.
  • The other parent is deceased.
  • The other parent is unable to express his/her will.
  • The other parent is totally deprived by the superior court of his/her parental authority.

Consents must be given in writing before two witnesses. Also, a child, if between the ages of 10 to 13, must be consulted about the adoption but their consent is not mandatory. A child 14 years and older must provide his/her consent in Québec.

Can adoption consents be withdrawn?

Yes. A person who has consented to a child’s adoption may withdraw their consent no later than 30 days after the consent was given. This revocation must be in writing and it must be signed by two witnesses. The child must then be returned to the person withdrawing his/her consent.

What about the rights of birth fathers in Québec?

In QuĂ©bec, a birth father is required to give consent to an adoption. However, when a father is not named on the ‘act of birth’, the Director of Youth Protection (DYP) is required to investigate this further with the birth mother. If the birth father is identified, the DYP must attempt to contact him in order to verify the child’s paternity and acquire his consent to the adoption.

Can prospective adoptive parents advertise their desire to adopt in Québec?

No. The Québecois are not allowed to publish advertisements seeking a birth mother in their own province. Prospective adoptive parents who live in Québec can advertise outside of the province.

Can an agency or adoptive family help with a birth parent’s expenses?

No. It is illegal to give or receive or even offer to give or receive payment to procure a child in Canada.


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