Lost password

HomeSponsoring Family

Sponsorship of parents, children, spouses (common-law, conjugal, same sex), refugees.

Sponsoring my nephew and niece 

Posts: 539

Posted On: 3/17/2023
Posts: 539
I am a Canadian citizen and want to adopt my nephew and niece who are now in state custody in my country. My brother lost custody of the kids and none of my family members can take care of them... I can raise them but do I have to adopt them there in my country before sponsoring them? How do I bring them to Canada... Please tell me where can I go for help thanks.
Posts: 4057

Posted On: 4/4/2023
Posts: 4057
Hi there,

Thank you for your question.

Please note the following answer is based upon the assumption that the children in question are residents of a Hague Convention country. The Hague Convention reinforces the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and seeks to ensure that intercountry adoptions are in the child’s best interests. It seeks to uphold the child’s fundamental human rights and prevent the abduction, sale, or trafficking of children. You can find the list of Hague Convention countries here:

Further, the information provided here is relevant for individuals residing in the Ontario province.

Intercountry, or international adoption, requires two separate processes; the adoption process and the immigration or citizenship process.

The Adoption Process
The rules and processes for adopting a child under 18 are the same whether the child is a family member. The same rules and processes apply even if you are a citizen or resident of the same country as the children if you wish to bring them to Canada.

To be eligible to adopt a child internationally, you must meet the adoption requirements in the country where you live (i.e., Canada) and the adoption authority of the country where the child lives. To begin this process, you can contact the Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services in Ontario (the “Ministry”), which will provide more information based on your circumstances. You can find the contact information for the Ministry here:

After you contact the Ministry and clarify that you can meet the adoption requirements for your particular circumstances, you can begin the adoption process. International adoptions, including for relatives, must likely be facilitated through an international adoption agency licensed by the province of Ontario. You can find a list of the licensed agencies and individuals for private international adoptions here:

A licensed international adoption agency will help you facilitate and complete the adoption process. These necessary services typically cost between $20,000-$70,000. One of these agencies will help you complete several requirements that must be met before you leave Ontario to visit the child’s home country to complete the adoption process. The Ministry or one of the licensed international adoption agencies listed above can further explain the details of these requirements. For your reference, they are the following steps;
  • 1) Work directly with a provincially accredited adoption practitioner;
  • 2) Work directly with an adoption agency that is licensed to facilitate adoptions in the country where you are seeking to adopt the child from;
  • 3) Complete an adoption homestudy assessment conducted by a provincially-approved adoption practitioner involving a mandatory parent training program, Parent Resources for Information Development and Education (PRIDE);
  • 4) Obtain approval from the Ministry confirming your preliminary eligibility to adopt based on your adoption homestudy; and
  • 5) Obtain final approval from the Ministry once the adoption in the child’s home country has been completed.
The Immigration or Citizenship Process
Once the adoption has been finalized in the child’s home country, the local Canadian Embassy will be able to issue a decision about the child’s status in Canada. You must wait for this decision until the child can travel to Canada.
Several other requirements are involved in this stage of the process, the most notable of which is the parent-child relationship. In cases where a minor is adopted, the adoption must create a genuine parent-child relationship. In determining whether this genuine relationship has been established, officers will look at the following factors;

  • “Whether the adoption completely severs the adopted child’s former legal ties with their biological parents and creates a new legal parent-child relationship;
  • The authenticity of the parent-child relationship, the establishment of which is the primary purpose of an adoption (an adoption must not be a means for the child to gain admission to Canada); and
  • Whether the adoption is in accordance with the laws of the place where the adoption took place and the laws of the place of residence of the adoptive parents.”
Finally, you will be required to initiate the immigration or citizenship process for the child. Which process you choose will depend on whichever is best for your situation after completing the homestudy. Only licensed individuals, lawyers or RCIC consultants can assist with the citizenship or immigration process. The professional you choose to help you with this step of the process will be best able to provide recommendations based on your particular circumstances.

You can contact the Ministry at +1 (416) 325-5225 for any further clarification.

Please see a list of resources on international adoption requirements and processes in Ontario:

The Ministry of Children, Community, and Social Services

The Government of Canada

Centralized Adoption Intake: Ontario’s Adoption Information Services

We hope that the information we provided was helpful to you. Please let us know if you have any further questions.


Your Settlement.Org team

This document does not contain legal advice. This document was prepared with the assistance of PBSC University of Toronto law student volunteers. PBSC volunteers are not lawyers and they are not authorized to provide legal advice. This document contains general discussion of certain legal and related issues only. If you require legal advice, please consult with a lawyer.