Federal Court


Serious irregularity had allowed applicant to obtain adoption order in Ukraine

Applicant was citizen of Canada and Ukraine. Applicant worked as medical doctor and had home in Saskatchewan, and she also maintained home in Ukraine. Applicant was granted approval to adopt children from Ukraine through international adoption. However, applicant adopted two children in Ukraine through domestic private adoption approved by Ukrainian Court. Officer refused to grant citizenship to applicant’s adopted children under s. 5.1(1) of Citizenship Act (Can.). Officer was not satisfied that adoption was in accordance with Ukraine legislation. Officer was not satisfied that applicant disclosed full information respecting place of permanent residence and marital status to Ukrainian judge who made decision on adoption. Applicant applied for judicial review of officer’s decision. Application dismissed. Officer was obligated to find out and consider whether adoptions were in accordance with laws of place where they took place and laws of country of residence of adopting citizen. Officer discovered that applicant had not effected international adoption, but had secured domestic adoption in Ukraine. Officer was obligated to determine how Canadian citizen, who was resident in Saskatchewan at time of citizenship applications, was able to obtain domestic adoptions in Ukraine. Officer concluded that applicant secured domestic adoptions because she presented herself as Ukraine resident. Applicant did not reveal she was also resident of Canada and was married to non-Ukrainian resident of Canada who lived in Saskatchewan where applicant had medical practice. Officer had good reason to conclude that serious irregularity had allowed applicant to obtain adoption order in Ukraine. Adoption order would not have been obtained if applicant revealed she was Canadian citizen who had been living in Canada for number of years. Ukrainian court was not provided with fundamental information that was relevant to its jurisdiction to grant order. Officer was not biased, did not deny applicant procedural fairness and did not err in assessment of evidence. There were sufficient grounds for officer to disregard Ukrainian court order.

Cheshenchuk v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) (Jan. 13, 2014, F.C., James Russell J., File No. T-2217-12) 236 A.C.W.S. (3d) 825.

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