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Canada's Littlest Immigrants

Every year, thousands of babies are being adopted into Canada from foreign countries such as China, Russia, Romania...  These babies are Canada's little immigrants. 

Record low birth rate for Canada and foreign baby adoptions

Canada's crude birth rate (the number of live births for every 1,000 people in the population) edged downward to another record low in 2004 — despite a second straight increase in the number of live births.
Rate for 2002 and earlier  10.7 per 1000 population
Rate for 2003                 10.6 per 1000 population
Rate for 2004                 10.5 per 1000 population

More and more women are either delaying motherhood to a later age, or choosing not to give birth at all.  To satisfy the mother instinct, families are looking to foreign countries for baby adoption.

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Comparative Age of Mothers

Age 2004 1979
under 24 20.6% 40.7%
25-34 62.1% 54.7%
35 and up 17.3% 4.6%

Not all women who adopt children are infertile.  Some women who have worked hard for their education and career are opting adoption as a way to build their families instead of taking the time off for pregnancy.  Some are adopting children as a humanitarian cause, giving love and homes to unwanted children in poor countries.

Whatever the reason, the Canadian government has provisions to welcome the little immigrants into our country either by way of the citizenship process or immigration process.

Choosing the citizenship process or the immigration process

As of December 23, 2007, anyone adopted by a Canadian citizen after February 14, 1977 can apply for a grant of Canadian citizenship without first becoming a permanent resident. Some new adoptions will need to use the immigration process. The information below will help you understand both processes and decide which to use.

The Citizenship Process

You can apply for citizenship for an adopted person if:

  • at least one adoptive parent is, or was, a Canadian citizen when the adoption took place
  • the adoption severs (or severed) all ties with the adopted person’s legal parents
  • the adoption was or will be completed outside Canada (except for Quebec).

The adopted person does not meet the requirements for the citizenship process if:

  • neither parent was a Canadian citizen when the adoption took place
  • the adoption took place before February 15, 1977
  • the adoption did not fully sever all ties with the child’s legal parents
  • the adoption will be completed in Canada, or
  • a probationary period is to be completed in Canada before a final adoption order is issued from the child’s birth country.

The Immigration Process

You can use the immigration process to apply for permanent resident status for the adopted child if:

  • the adopted child is going to Canada to live right after the adoption takes place, or
  • one or both parents are Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

The adopted person does not meet the requirements for the immigration process if:


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