Canada/India: Custody or guardianship arrangements in the case of a breakdown in the adoption "contract" due to abuse in the home of the Canadian adoptive parents of an Indian-born minor; whether the child can be re-adopted by someone else after (s)he has been taken away from the Canadian adoptive parents; the quality and range of facilities and services that would be provided to a child in state custody in Punjab Province
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||8 November 2001|
|Citation / Document Symbol||ZZZ37914.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Canada/India: Custody or guardianship arrangements in the case of a breakdown in the adoption "contract" due to abuse in the home of the Canadian adoptive parents of an Indian-born minor; whether the child can be re-adopted by someone else after (s)he has been taken away from the Canadian adoptive parents; the quality and range of facilities and services that would be provided to a child in state custody in Punjab Province, 8 November 2001, ZZZ37914.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3df4bed74.html [accessed 21 May 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
According to a representative of the adoption unit of the Ministry of Children and Family Development in British Columbia whose area of speciality involves inter-country adoptions, in cases involving abuse, guardianship of the adoptive child would fall to the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development (30 Oct. 2001). Although some countries, such as Romania, would consider taking the child back, the Ministry representative felt that, in the case of India, this would be unlikely (ibid.). The country of origin, however, would be notified of the case and would be involved in the decision-making process (ibid.).
If an adoption breaks down for protection reasons in British Columbia and the child is taken into protective care, then the Ministry's legislation and policy requires that they look for members of the child's extended family who may have had a relationship with the child or someone who knows the child in order to place them (ibid. 7 Nov. 2001). If this fails and the Ministry is granted permanent custody and the child is under the age of 12, then, as is the case with any other adoptive child, re-adoption is a matter of policy (ibid. 7 Nov. 2001). For children over 12, re-adoption is not required but is encouraged (ibid.) In such cases, if it is determined that re-adoption is in the child's best interest, then it will be pursued (ibid.). If re-adoption is not an option, custody remains in the hands of the Ministry until the child reaches the age of majority and other care options such as foster care are presented (ibid.).
According to a representative of the Ontario Ministry of Community Service, Inter-country Adoptions, in Ontario, if an adopted child is removed from a family for protection reasons, including abuse, that child is placed in the care of the Children's Aid Society (ibid.). However, the adoption is not cancelled by virtue of the fact that the child has been removed from the home, and the couple remains on record as the adoptive parents (ibid.). If the removal from the home is permanent, the child remains a Ward of the Crown until 18 years of age or until (s)he has been re-adopted (ibid.). Re-adoption depends on several circumstances, including the child's age and the nature of the abuse suffered (ibid.). The child could also be placed in foster care (ibid.).
No reference could be found to the range and quality of services available to children in state custody in Punjab Province among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. Attempts to contact the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment in India were unsuccessful within the constraints of this response.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
British Columbia Ministry of Children and Family Development, Adoption Branch. Vancouver. 30 October 2001. Telephone interview with a representative.
_____. 7 November 2001. Follow-up telephone interview.
Ontario Ministry of Community Service. Toronto. 1 November 2001. Telephone interview with a representative.
Additional Sources Consulted
High Commission for the Republic of India was unable to provide information within the constraints of this response
Human Resources Development Canada, Child Family and Community, Inter-country Adoptions Desk, was unable to provide information
Internet sites including:
Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment
US Department of State, Inter-country adoptions
World News Connection