In Quebec, there are four (4) types of adoptions:
a) Local adoption;
b) Adoption of at-risk children who have been placed in foster care by the Director of Youth Protection;
c) International adoption;
d) Adoption by special consent.
In this article, we will be discussing adoption by special consent.
Article 555 of the Civil Code of Quebec provides that a consent to adoption may be general or special; Special consent may be given only in favour of: an ascendant of the child (a grandparent): a relative in the collateral line to the third degree (brother, sister, uncle or aunt) or the spouse of that ascendant or relative; or in favour of the spouse of the father or mother.
However, in the case of de facto spouses (that is, unmarried), they must have been cohabiting for at least three (3) years.
As an example, we have been consulted by Nancy, seeing that she has been taking care of her niece, with her husband, along with her husband, since the niece was 3 years old. Her niece is now 10 years old. We explained that they can legally adopt their niece by way of special consent.
A special consent adoption requires the consent of the biological parent. Consent of any child 10 years of age or older is required for their adoption to be completed.
The special consent for adoption provides that the biological parents have 30 days following the signature of the consent to withdraw the consent.
The next step following the signature of the special consent is performed after that 30-day delay expires, wherein the adoptive parents will present an application to the Court of Quebec, Youth Division, for placement.
Once the placement order in view of adoption is granted, the Court orders the placement in the adopted family for a period of 3 to 6 months.
Upon the expiration of the delay provided in the placement order, the adoptive parents can present their motion for adoption.
Once the motion for adoption is granted, the adoptive parents will have the same rights and obligations as biological parents, and they can also request the change of the minor child’s name within the adoption order.
Me Gianina Fuschini, Attorney-at-Law
Alepin Gauthier Avocats inc.