Citizenship for Adopted Children
On April 3, 2009, Canada’s Citizenship Act was finally amended to allow children adopted abroad to become Canadian citizens without having to apply for permanent residence and becoming a permanent resident first. The amendment was finally brought in as a response to the 1999 decision of Federal Court of Appeal in McKenna v. AG (Canada)  1 F.C. 401 wherein the Federal Court of Appeal addressed the discrimination against adopted children who, unlike biological children, must first undergo the immigration process before being able to apply for citizenship. The amendments of April 2009 have now eliminated the distinction between children born to and children adopted by Canadian citizens abroad. Children adopted by Canadian citizens abroad can now directly apply for Canadian citizenship without first having to go through the immigration process and becoming a permanent resident.
There are no criminal, security or background checks just as there are none for children born to Canadian parents abroad. Children over and above the age of 18 who are adopted will also benefit from the new legislative amendments so long s they are able to demonstrate the existence of a genuine parent-child relationship at the time of the adoption and before the child turned 18. In order to prevent child trafficking and abduction of children, the amendments require that the adoption must be demonstrably legal and in the best interest of the child.