The decision to adopt a child is one of the most important decisions a person can make in their life.

Adopting a child and being united with her or him in Canada is a complicated process. CIC will only permit the sponsorship of a child who has been legally adopted in the child’s country of residence. This is usually straight-forward, except for children who live in countries where there is no legal adoption, only guardianship, like Morocco.

There, the process is a bit more complicated. After having selected an orphanage or adoption agency abroad, you must be approved as an adoptive parent in your province of residence. For this, you will undergo a home study so that the provincial government can rest assured that the adopted child is in good hands.

Once that is done, you will start the immigration process. Just like you have to sponsor your parents or spouse to bring them to Canada, you must sponsor your adoptive child. The first step involves you being approved as a sponsor. You will need to satisfy the numerous criteria that CIC imposes on Canadians and Permanent Resident who want to sponsor a family member. Thankfully, recent changes have made it possible to sponsor a child with a physical or mental disability, as well as sponsoring while being unemployed (but not on social assistance).

The second step involves having your adoptive child apply for permanent residence in her or his home country, at a Canadian visa office. There the child will apply as any other applicant, submitting forms and documents to the visa office. The child will also have to undergo a medical exam. When all is completed, the adoptive child will be issued a Permanent Resident visa in their passport, allowing them to come to Canada and live with her or his adoptive parents.