The Procedures:
International Adoption Process in Québec
Page 4

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  1.  The foreign judgment recognition or the order of placement
  2.  Judgment of adoption
  3.  Application for citizenship
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Progress diagram of an international adoption project

10. The foreign judgment recognition or the order of placement 1

    Your child has arrived in your family. All is fine. Yet, your adoptionproject is not completed. You have to finalize the legal steps that will make your child a Canadian citizen legally adopted.

Important Note: The "Record of Landing (IMM-1000)" that the child as obtain at his arrival in Québec is valid for one year. This document is necessary to complete the steps of this page (10 to 12). You have advantage, to avoid useless harassment, to start the procedures as soon as you get over the emotion of the child's arrival. Even if you don't like it, do it right away.

Thus, you must make the adoption official before Québec's Court. In fact, an adoption completed in a foreign country, whatever the country, has no effect in Québec unless it is recognize by a Québec court.

So, if a judgment as been pronounced in the country you chose, you must obtain a judgment recognition. If there was no judgment abroad, then you must obtain an order of placement (below) Those two possibilities depends on the country. You can find what happens in different countries in a table of the psychosocial assessment page of this site.

The recognition of judgment

If you have proceeded in all legality, the Court judgment that you have in your hands is perfectly legal in the birth country of your child. However, you absolutely must get its validity "recognized" in Québec.

To achieve that, you must present a "Motion for recognition of an adoption judgment delivered outside Québec". This motion is a document that you present to the Court of Québec - Youth Division so that the Court ratifys tha adotpion of your child.

Of course, you can ask for the help of a lawyer or notary to prepare your motion for you; note however that nobody else than these professionals can do it in your place without being prosecuted for illegal practice of the profession of lawyer or notary. But you can legally prepare the motion yourself, it is not extremely complicated. By the way, le Secrétariat à l'adoption internationale du Québec (SAI) can provide to you a typical model of the motion 2. Note however that the SAI never gives leagl advices or help.

There is also models of motion with which you can demand, at the same time, a modification of the leagl age of the child. In fact, sometimes the birth certificate of the child is erroneous. You then submit a request to the Court so that the Québec birth certificat indicate an other age, which is establish by a doctor in a written report, depending on his assessment of the development of the child. By the way, you can change the names of the child in the motion for recognition of judgment.

Documents annexed to a typical motion
originals or certified copies
  • birth certificats of the two parents;
  • marriage certificat, if applicable;
  • psychosocial assessment report;
  • birth certificat of the child;
  • judgment of declaration of abandonment or consent to adoption;
  • judgement of adoption rendered in the country of origin, if applicable;
  • support letters of the Secrétariat à l'adoption internationale
    (step 5 of the process);
  • the adoption law of the country of origin;
  • the immigrant visa and the Record of Landing that the child got at his arrival in Québec;
The steps required to present the motion for recognition of judgment are as follow:

  1. to obtain the name and the address of the Director of Youth Protection in your region from the association of Youth Centers of Québec 3;

  2. to get the name and address of the Clerk (Greffier) Court of the Court of Québec - Youth Division of your juridical district and to verify with the Clerk if the process in your district has some details different than those given here (there is always minor technicalities that vary);

  3. to write the motion while adapting the model to your personal situation and to gather all required documents;

  4. to obtain a certified copy of the judgment of adoption of the child and a certified copy of the adoption law fo the foreign country 4. Theses documents must be written in french or english (translated if necessary);

  5. to present, to the Clerk of the Court of Québec - Youth Division of your juridical district, your original motion and three photocopies so that the Court stamps the motion and the photocopies (writing down the date of the receipt of your motion) and that the Clerk gives you an audition date before the Court. Verify also if the Clerk office realize the two next steps or if you must do them yourself;

  6. have the original motion, previously stamped, signed by the Director of Youth Protection (Directeur de la Protection de la jeunesse, DPJ);

  7. bring back to the Clerk the motion and other documents with the proof that it has been "signified" to the DPJ. Which means that a responsible person pf the DPJ office will examine your motion and documents and will date and sign them;

  8. to verify with the Clerk and the DPJ if it is necessary to submit before the Court a report of the integration of the child in his new milieu; if affimative, ask the details of the preparation of this report.

Yes, it is tedious but, if are systematic, you will get through, like the rest of the adoption process. Afterwards, well, you wait for your audition before the Court where you will present your motion. This is the step 11 below in this page.

Order of placement

In the cases where adoption is done abroad an other way than with a judgment of adoption (administrative process, by notary, etc.) or else if the country requires so, you must proceed with a motion for Order of placement.

As if you adopt a child in Québec, you ask the Court of Québec - Youth Division to "place" the child under your custody and, six months later you submit a motion for judgment of adoption. So there is two steps to accomplish in the case of an Order of placement.

The procedures and documents required are essentially the same as in the case of the recognition of judment. By the way, you can change the names of the child in the motion for Order of placement. You can obtain models of the motion from the SAI 2.

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11. Judgment of adoption

    Eventually, the day will come when you will present your motion to the Court of Québec - Youth Division. This is a nice day, even if you will be nervous and impressed by the decorum of the Court, except if you are used to it. Basically, the unfolding of the hearing of your motion consists of a verification by the Court of the different declaration of the motion and of the authenticity of the documents annexed.

The judge may then ask you some questions about your motion. It is better to have carefully read the motion to refresh your memory. He (She) may want for example to verify certain aspects of your psychosocial assessment, ascertain that it is in accordance with Québec laws requirements. He may ask you to tell about the main steps of your adoption in order to verify that you proceeded legally. He will verify the various documents annexed to the motion.

A representative of the Director of Youth Protection will probably be present to attest tha the process you followed in your adoption project seems in accordance with the law in his opinion. Finally, the judge will pronounced the judgment and, if all goes well, you will get out relieved, with the feeling that at last your child is really "yours".

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12. Application for citizenship 5

    According to the Canadian law, the adopted children do not automatically become Canadian citizens at their arrival in Canada. In order for a child, that has obtained his permanent residence status, to obtain his citizenship, you must make a request on his behalf.

Required documents for the application for citizenship
  • the birth certificat of the child (big format) 6 or Order of placement, establishing the names of the adoptive parents and the change of name, if applicable;
  • a proof of the citizenship of one of the parents;
  • a proof of the permanent residence status of the child (IMM-1000 form), the immigrant visa and the Record of Landing;
  • two identity papers of the child ( such as school records, school reports, helth insurance card, immunization certificate, letter of a doctor, library card);
  • the form called "Application for citizenship in the name of a minor child, filled out by the applicant (you);
  • two photographs with passport size (35 mm x 53 mm; 1 3/8 in x 2 1/16 in). Children over fourteen years old must must sign the photos.

To obtain an application form, you can call a "telecenter" of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). A form will be posted to you (Montréal: (514) 496-1010 other regions: 1 (888) 242-2100.

One of the parents, who must be Canadian citizen, can fill the application in the name of the child. You must fill out a form for each of your children and submit the documents mentioned in the opposite table.

For the citizenship to be approved, the child must be permanent resident of Canada but he does not have to be in Canada since three years as other immigrants. If the child has less than 18 years, you can present an application for citizenship in his name as soon as he obtains the permanent resident status. Lastly, the child is not subjected to a linguistic and knowledge test but he must make a citizenship oath if he has more than fourteen years old.

The cost of the file processing, for a child under eighteen, is 100 $, since their is no cost for the rigth to be citizen in the case of children. You can expect eight to twelve months for the processing of the application. An officer of the telecenter can tell you what will be the waiting period in your case.


  1. If you are not well aware of the Québec laws, you can read our overview of the legislation (in french). The text of the current page has been written with the help of the following document: "Démarche à suivre concernant la requête en reconnaissance de jugement d'adoption rendu hors du Québec, Secrétariat à l'adoption internationale du Québec, non daté.

  2. There is also models of motion and lists of required documents in the book: «Adoption québécoise et internationale: guide pratique», par Viviane Primeau et Marie Riendeau, avocates, Wilson et Lafleur ltée, 1997, 298 pages. Note that this book covers only the legal process.

  3. There is 17 Youth Centers and you can get their contact information from their provincial association (in french).

  4. Sometimes, the Clerk of the Court of your district can lend you a copy of the law of the birth country for the audition in Court; ask him. If not, for most countries, you can get a copy of the law by asking to Me Germain Paiement, Direction des Affaires juridiques, ministère des Transports, 730 boul. Charest est, 5e étage, Québec, Québec, G1K 3J7 (418) 643-6937

  5. In the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Web site, you can see a reference guide about the way to become Canadian citizen.

  6. You will find how to get a Quebec birth certificat (more precisely a "civil record certificat") in our page on the "non legal steps" (in french) to do when the child has arrived in Québec (health insurance card, family allowances, birth certificat).

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