How the 2009 Citizenship Law Applies to Adopted Children

The Canadian government has passed a new citizenship law that resolves a variety of issues about Canadian citizenship (Bill C-37). Buried in that 法律作业代写 is a provision that has passed unnoticed, until now, which puts limitations on the Canadian citizenship rights of some internationally adopted children. Recent articles in the National Post, the Globe & Mail and the Ottawa Citizen have brought these provisions to the attention of the adoption community.

Although this new law will come into effect on April 17, 2009, I hope it is not too late for adopting parents to express their views (read Comments from adopting parents so far. Also read Complex Citizenship Laws Anger Adopting Parents). The provisions of the new law are complex, so I have set out a series of questions and answers at the end of this article, which I hope will clarify the finer points of the new rules.

A good way to begin understanding the issues is to read the newspaper articles “Critics Fear Two-Tier Citizenship” and “Citizenship Changes Could Create Inferior Citizens”. For the perspective of Robin Hilborn of Family Helper, see “Canadian law denies citizenship to children of foreign adoptees”

Essentially the legislation provides that the children of some internationally adopted children will not have a right to Canadian citizenship. In practice, this is likely to affect only a small proportion of all adopted children. What upsets adopting parents, however, is the notion that their children will have a lesser class of citizenship. In effect, the children are being discriminated against. Adopting parents do not want to feel that their children are second-class citizens.

Adopting parents in Canada are losing their tolerance for being discriminated against. Resentment at the inherent discrimination against adopting families built into the EI legislation has been simmering for the past decade (for a detailed description of the discrimination which adopting parents feel about this subject, see our earlier Spotlight, “Adoption in the Workplace”). Now a new law that discriminates against their children is going to have a galvanizing effect on the adoption community.

“The Citizenship Act, under which CIC grants citizenship to eligible newcomers, affirms that all Canadians have the same rights, privileges and responsibilities whether they are citizens by birth or naturalization.”

That will change as of April 17, 2009. In an attempt to solve the problem of Canadian citizenship being handed down generationally to people who don’t actually live in Canada, the government has reduced the citizenship rights of some internationally adopted children, and effectively created a lesser class of citizenship for them. Was this really necessary? It feels like a sledgehammer was used to kill a flea. Could not a more elegant solution have been found to actually deal with the perceived problem?

“Such a distinction would grant citizenship to a first generation born outside Canada while denying it to their children and subsequent generations were they to be born abroad. Such a provision strikes your Committee as arbitrary and unfair.”

I don’t think that is true. Adopting parents probably do understand the concerns that the government has about protecting the integrity of Canadian citizenship. It is the specific solution, which the government has come up with that they are protesting.

It is an insult to adopting parents to say that their children now have a lesser class of Canadian citizenship. The government needs to rethink these provisions and find a solution that does not put limitations on the rights of citizenship for internationally adopted children. The government should find a solution which fits the actual problem. This article is a call to action for adopting parents. Adopting parents who wish to make their views known to the government should do so immediately. Prior to doing so, however, please read the questions and answers set out below. The law is quite technical and there is already confusion about who the law would apply to. This is not helped by the government’s own website, which is not clear. If, after reading the article and the new rules, additional questions arise that should be asked in the list below, please send them to me and I will add them to the article.

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