Complex citizenship laws anger adoptive parents

New rules suggest children adopted or born overseas may not have same rights as those born here


From Monday's Globe and Mail

January 26, 2009 at 4:41 AM EST

OTTAWA Parents who have adopted overseas say they are confused and angry after learning that their children may not have the same citizenship rights as those who are born in this country.

If Canadians give birth abroad or adopt from another country, they can pass along their citizenship to their children. But new federal regulations that take effect in April will prevent those foreign-born children of Canadians from bestowing that same citizenship on their own children should they, too, decide to adopt or give birth in another country.

"I am just getting flooded with e-mails and phone calls. It's crazy," said Sandra Forbes, executive director of Children's Bridge, a group of international adoption consultants based in Ottawa. "It produces what appears to be a two-tier citizenship status. Some people are saying clearly that this is discrimination."

The changes, which most adoptive parents learned about from news reports earlier this month, are actually part of an effort by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to fix anomalies in the system.

Among other things, the government was trying to prevent foreign-born nationals from coming to Canada, obtaining citizenship, then returning to their country of origin and passing along citizenship to generations of family members that have never set foot in this country.

"It is to protect the value of Canadian citizenship," said Douglas Kellam, a spokesman for the Immigration Department.

But the amendments to the Citizenship Act that were passed into law last spring, and subsequent regulations that were released late last year, did not take into account the ramifications for internationally adopted children and children born to Canadians overseas.

And they have proved so complicated that even the department has been unable to articulate exactly how they will work. Immigration officials admit that the explanation on their own website may mislead parents of children born or adopted overseas that their children will automatically fall under the new rules.

In fact, children born outside Canada who apply to become citizens after their Canadian parents sponsor them to come to this country as permanent residents are entitled to the same rights as children who are born here.

The new rules affect only those children whose Canadian parents, on the basis of their own citizenship, choose to have them declared citizens of Canada while they are still abroad. That is an option that has always been available to Canadians who give birth outside Canada and that was granted to adoptive parents in December, 2007, after years of intense lobbying.

Gerry Boychuk, a professor at the University of Waterloo, is the father of a two-year-old daughter adopted outside Canada, and is on the waiting list for a second international adoption. He is frustrated by the unclear website and by the new rules in general.

"I don't understand the insistence on creating tiers of citizenship and differentiating citizenship for this group of people," Dr. Boychuk said.

Ms. Forbes of Children's Bridge said parents who have adopted abroad are now confused about whether to have their children declared citizens while still in the foreign country, or to go through the naturalization process.

They are also concerned, she said, that their grandchildren could be left stateless if they are born in a country that does not automatically grant citizenship to everyone born on its soil.

Mr. Kellam said Canada cannot leave people stateless because it is a signatory to an international agreement saying it doesn't have rules that create such a situation.

And, he pointed out, if a Canadian born abroad has children in another country with a Canadian-born spouse, their children can obtain citizenship through the spouse.



Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre in the Globe and Mail



Ottawa Mens, from Ottawa Capital of Male Gender Apartheid, Canada wrote: Notice the adoptive group race to call themselves victims before the fog has cleared? Very obviously, the legislation is aimed at stopping abuses not depriving adopted children of citizen rights.

IF those children are MALE, its another story, Males in Canada are worse than stateless when it comes to rights of Canadian Citizens.
Take basic legal rights, they are instantly removed by vindictive family court judges like Justice Denis Power and Justice Allan Sheffield who have their decisions sanitized at the Court of Appeal by feminist Judge Justice Feldman.
These father's frequently end up at the end of virtual deportation orders or run the risk of being endlessly incarcerated and or criminally convicted without a trial, yes, no trial, no right of reply , all "strucK", by illegal decisions by the most notorious of the underbelly of Ontario's Judiciary.



The citizenship hoopla is a red herring, compared to the substantive issue of WHY people are choosing to adopt. Genuine adoptions are hetrosexual couples who simply can't conceive, or, highly motivated couples who simply prefer to adopt rather than breed their own.
Most countries that are the source of adoptive children "buy em", that's right buy em, mothers in third world countries facing bleak prospects simply collect cash and sign off at the local "agency", the paperwork is stamped locally, letter on file from mother signing off, and local government approval follows. Equally quickly, Canadian "Adoption Agencies" sign off with minimal examination of sole adoptive parents who fail to reveal their "partner" is going to be acting as a parent. Increasingly our family courts deter men from fathering children, any father runs a risk of being a child support payer forever "restrained" from having any relationship with the child. Canadian screening of prospective adoptive parents is abysmal, it encourages those whose personality disorders preclude or prevent them from a normal heterosexual relationship so, they choose to adopt, just throw in a few references and , a check for $20,000 and six month's later they fly out to "pick up the baby", recoup a chunk of the $20,000 in "maternity benefits" and yet another child becomes the victim an unsuitable parent with a serious personality disorder and or mental health problem.
Notice also that they "choose girls" to adopt? Male is simply the wrong gender and it makes you wonder how Canada became such a sick society. No wonder most men refuse point blank to "knowingly" be sperm donors. Increasingly, the sperm used to conceive is obtained by outright fraud.