Adoptions in British Columbia (BC) are governed by the provincial Adoption Act, [RSBC 1996] Chapter 5, which provides new and permanent family ties and gives paramount consideration to the child’s best interests.
Section 37 of the Adoption Act states that when an adoption order is made, the child becomes the child of the adoptive parent, the adoptive parent becomes the parent of the child and the parents cease to have any parental rights or obligations (including child support!) with respect to the child, except a parent who remains a parent jointly with the adoptive parent.
The potential adoptive parent (the applicant) would have to commence a family law proceeding in the British Columbia Supreme Court, by filing a petition.
Section 13 of the Adoption Act states that the consent of each of the following persons is required for a child’s adoption:
- The child, if 12 years of age or over;
- The child’s parents;
- The child’s guardians.
If the child is between 7 and 12 years of age, then the applicant must arrange for an authorized person to meet the child privately so that person can make a written report that indicates whether the child understands what the adoption means, if the child has any views on the proposed adoption, and if whether the child has any views on any proposed change of their name.
Before the Supreme Court of British Columbia grants an order for adoption, the applicant will have to file the following documents with the Supreme Court of British Columbia, in accordance to section 32 of the Adoption Act:
- All the required consents to the adoption, or orders dispensing with consent or an application to dispense with consent;
- The child’s birth registration or reasonable evidence of the facts relating to the child’s birth;
- If the child is at least 7 years old and less than 12 years old, a copy of the report of the child’s views or a reasonable explanation of why the report has not been prepared;
- The post-placement report from a director or adoption agency, if required; and
- Any additional information required by the regulations.
After considering the post-placement report and other evidence, the court may make an adoption order if it is satisfied that the child has resided with the applicant for at least 6 months immediately before the date of the adoption hearing and it is in the child’s best interest to be adopted by the applicant.
The best way to go about an adoption in British Columbia, is to consult with a family law lawyer who has handled adoption cases. The family law lawyers at Hart Legal have been trained on the Adoption Act and are able to provide you with legal advice with respect to the adoption of a child here in British Columbia. We offer free adoption consultations with anyone looking to adopt, or have their child adopted. Text us at 778-760-1717 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, to schedule your free adoption consultation with one of our best family law adoption lawyers.