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How is the adoption process different for domestic and international adoptions?

The adoption process differs between domestic and international adoptions due to the varying legal frameworks, requirements, and considerations involved. Here are some key differences between domestic and international adoptions:

Legal Jurisdiction and Regulations

Domestic Adoption: In a domestic adoption, the process is governed by the laws and regulations of the country where the adoption takes place. In Canada, domestic adoptions are regulated by provincial and territorial legislation, along with guidelines from adoption agencies and the Children’s Aid Society (CAS).

International Adoption: International adoptions involve the adoption of a child from a foreign country. The process is subject to the laws and regulations of both the adoptive country (e.g., Canada) and the child’s country of origin. International adoption requires compliance with the adoption laws of both countries and often involves adhering to international treaties and conventions, such as the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.

Eligibility and Matching Process

Domestic Adoption: In domestic adoptions, eligibility criteria for prospective adoptive parents vary depending on the jurisdiction and the adoption agency or CAS requirements. Factors such as age, marital status, health, financial stability, and ability to provide a suitable home for a child are typically considered. The matching process involves evaluating compatibility between prospective adoptive parents and children available for adoption within the country.

International Adoption: International adoptions often have additional eligibility criteria established by the child’s country of origin. These criteria can include age limits, marital status requirements, and sometimes restrictions based on the adoptive parents’ religion, sexual orientation, or medical history. The matching process involves coordinating with adoption agencies or authorities in the child’s country of origin to find a suitable match between the child and prospective adoptive parents.

Home Study and Documentation

Domestic Adoption: In domestic adoptions, prospective adoptive parents typically undergo a home study assessment conducted by adoption agencies or CAS. This assessment evaluates their suitability to adopt, including home visits, interviews, background checks, and references. Prospective adoptive parents are required to provide various documents, such as financial statements, medical reports, and character references.

International Adoption: For international adoptions, prospective adoptive parents undergo a similar home study process as in domestic adoptions, but additional documentation is required. This includes specific forms, identification documents, criminal record checks, medical examinations, and financial statements. In addition, the adoption process often involves preparing and submitting documents for immigration and citizenship purposes.

Travel and Length of Stay

Domestic Adoption: In domestic adoptions, the adoptive parents typically reside in the same country as the child they are adopting. Travel may be required within the country for meetings, interviews, and visits with the child and birth parents. The length of stay varies but is generally shorter compared to international adoptions

International Adoption: International adoptions involve travel to the child’s country of origin to complete the adoption process. The length of stay in the child’s country varies significantly, ranging from a few weeks to several months, depending on the country’s requirements, legal processes, and specific circumstances. Adoptive parents may need to comply with the child’s country’s adoption procedures, attend court hearings, and complete any mandatory waiting periods before bringing the child to their home country.

Post-Adoption Requirements

Domestic Adoption: In domestic adoptions, post-adoption requirements may involve post-placement visits, follow-up assessments, or reports to ensure the child’s well-being and adjustment in the adoptive family. The specific requirements vary depending on the jurisdiction and the adoption agency or CAS.

International Adoption: International adoptions often have additional post-adoption requirements. These can include post-placement visits or reports from the adoptive parents, updates on the child’s progress, and compliance with the child’s country’s post-adoption reporting schedule as per Intercountry Adoption Act.