Relative Adoption

Families are often interested in adopting a child related to them. Many of the same provisions regarding step parent adoptions under the Adoption Act also apply to relative adoptions.

  • A child aged 7 to 12 years being adopted by a relative must be interviewed in private by an authorized person. This is to find out if the child understands the meaning of adoption and has any views on the proposed adoption. The report must be filed with the court.
  • In addition to being asked to consent to the adoption, any child 12 years or older must be asked for consent to any change of name resulting from the adoption.
  • Anyone with access rights to the child must be given notice of the adoption application.
  • The Ministry of Children and Family Development does not have a role in relative adoptions. However, the Court has the authority to order the ministry to conduct a review into any aspect of the application (ie., the absence of a biological father’s consent, the child’s views).
  • The Court must consider the child’s best interests when making a determination to grant an adoption order.

Interviewing child/children between 7 and 11 years of age

  • Under the Adoption Act, a younger child must be interviewed and his/her views on the proposed adoption and name change will be submitted to the Court.
  • A social worker from CHOICES can interview the child and submit a report to the Court. Please call the office to obtain more information about this, including the current fees.

Interviewing child/children 12 years of age or older

  • If your child is 12 years of age or older his/her consent to the adoption and name change must be obtained.
  • A child can revoke their consent to the adoption at any time before the adoption order is granted.

Registry for Birth Parents

The Registry for Birth Parents must be searched in all cases where birth parent(s) voluntarily request adoption placement for their child, and in direct placement situations. The court may require a search in adoptions by stepparent or relatives. A search form can be obtained from the Parents Registry by calling 250-387-3660.

The following persons may apply to request a search of the birth parents’ registry:

  • a social worker
  • an extra-provincial agency
  • a person entitled to practice law under the Legal Profession Act who represents a party to the adoption
  • a prospective adoptive parent in a direct placement who has given notice of intent to receive a child into his or her home under section 8(1) of the Act

Home studies are required by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to sponsor a related child from another country who is to be adopted by a British Columbia resident. The home study can be completed by CHOICES.