Officer erred in finding adoption entered into primarily for acquiring benefit of immigration or citizenship

Federal court | Citizenship

APPEAL

Officer erred in finding adoption entered into primarily for acquiring benefit of immigration or citizenship

Application for citizenship by child adopted by Canadian citizen. Adoptive mother was Canadian citizen who had applied to adopt five-year-old daughter of her cousin in St Vincent, who was single mother. Adoptive mother began adoption process in 2010 when child was baby. In 2010 court in St Vincent granted adoption of child to adoptive mother. In December 2013 adoptive mother submitted application for Canadian citizenship for child. Throughout interview both adoptive mother and biological mother gave same motivation/reasons for adoption i.e. comparatively superior medical care and schooling in Canada as opposed to St. Vincent. Adoptive mother wished to offer benefits of Canadian citizenship to child. Officer rejected application on ground adoptive mother  had failed to establish that adoption was in  best interests of child  and had not created  genuine parent child relationship as required by s. 5.1(1)(b) of Citizenship Act (Can.). Officer further concluded that adoption was entered into primarily for purpose of acquiring citizenship status for child. Adoptive mother applied for judicial review. Application granted. Legal relationship between biological mother and child was severed by St. Vincent court via grant of adoption. Fact that  adoptive and biological parent wished to give  child  better life in terms of access to medical care and schooling could not  support  finding that  primary intention of adoption was to evade immigration laws. Officer did not consider positive home study report, evidence that adoptive mother did not have children, was married with good income and wished to help others. Officer erred in making a finding that adoption was entered into primarily for acquiring benefit of immigration or citizenship and in finding that adoption was not in best interests of child. Officer also failed to consider steps adoptive mother would take, going forward, in order to establish genuine relationship with child, including fact that adoptive mother intended to take nine months maternity leave when child arrived in Canada.
Young v. Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration) (Mar. 13, 2015, F.C., Donald J. Rennie J., File No. T-1527-14) 252 A.C.W.S. (3d) 15.

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