When thinking about adoption in Ontario, there are three main typical avenues that a person, couple, or family can pursue. They are Public, Private and International.
Each of these three ways has similar but distinct processes and procedures as well as a range of costs that are associated with them.
There is also a fourth route to adoption, which is the Relative adoption. This is the process of adopting a child who may be a step-child or a blood relative, as defined by the Child and Family Services Act, like a nephew or a grandchild. It does not, however, have to be a blood relation – it could be the child of your sister’s spouse (from a previous marriage), for example.
Anyone considering a relative adoption would certainly benefit from the expertise of a Family Law lawyer. Your lawyer can assist you as you navigate the complex legal processes and procedures properly. The relative adoption process is different from the three other types of adoptions mentioned above in many key ways. This option is the only avenue that the adoption can take place directly through the Ontario Family Court, as long as everyone involved lives in Ontario. The relative adoption is also the only avenue where the involvement of a private adoption practitioner or a Children’s Aid Society is not required. Relative adoptions is the only avenue in Ontario for which certification (including home study and adoption training) is not required. This certification is mandatory for all three other options.
To qualify for the relative adoption process, the adoptive parent must have one of the following relations to the child: step-parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, great-aunt, or great-uncle.
As a birth parent, you have many responsibilities when it comes to raising your child. If you feel that these responsibilities are going to be too great and wish to place your child up for adoption you can find out more information free of any obligation.
If you feel that you have been forced into a situation where you unwillingly have placed your child or have had your child placed for adoption, there are remedial steps that are also available.
It’s instructive to note that within the first 7 days after the child has been placed for adoption; the birth parents have the right to change their minds about signing the final adoption forms. After the documents have been signed, the birth parents also have 21 days to revoke the decision and start the procedure to have their child returned to their care. A lawyer can assist you with this process to ensure that the proper documents are completed and that the strict timelines are met.
If you have an adoption matter that requires the assistance of a lawyer, please call Gelman & Associates at (416) 736-0200 to book a private consultation.