Federal Court


Without adoption having occurred in Pakistan, there can be no adoption in this case

Canadian citizen residing in Pakistan obtained guardianship of two year old Pakistani girl who had been abandoned. Application for citizenship was made for child. Canadian citizen contended that her guardianship of child was equivalent of full adoption and therefore satisfied requirement of s. 5.1(1)(c) of Citizenship Act (Can.) (CA). Minister’s delegate concluded that guardianship declared in Pakistan did not create permanent relationship of parent and child and did not constitute adoption. Application was denied and applicants applied for judicial review. Application dismissed. Interpretation of word “adoption” in s. 5.1 of CA did not accord with guardianship order issued in Pakistan on basis of Guardians and Wards Act, 1890, which ostensibly was used in this case. Only condition under s. 5.1(1)(c) of CA is that there be adoption under laws of country of residence of both applicants, i.e. Pakistan. Not only is there uncontroverted evidence that adoption does not exist in Pakistan, but Act under which order was presented as equivalent to adoption does not allow even one hint that guardianship might be close substitute to adoption, as it is understood in our law. Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 provides for, at best, what we would call foster care. Pakistani Court order confirmed that no adoption could have taken place in Pakistan. Without adoption having occurred in Pakistan, there can be no adoption in this case.

Mashooqullah v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) (Oct. 16, 2014, F.C., Yvan Roy J., File No. T-1929-13) 246 A.C.W.S. (3d) 35.

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