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How long will the adoption process take?

Adopting a child in another country takes time. Depending on the child’s country of origin, the process may take two years or longer.

Adoption cases are processed on a priority basis. That is true whether parents are applying for permanent residence or citizenship for their adopted child. There are no significant differences in processing times between the two processes. Find out more about processing times.

Long waits can seem unreasonable when you are anxious to welcome a new family member. However, to protect the child’s rights, international adoption must be a rigorous process. Both your provincial or territorial government in Canada, and the government of the country where the child lives, must approve the adoption.

To ensure the child’s rights are protected, visa officers must be satisfied that:

  • adoptions are made in the best interests of child;
  • adopted children have not been sold, trafficked or abducted from their parents; and
  • documentation for the child is valid.

While not common, in countries where there is evidence of fraud or trafficking, investigations may be required. These investigations may take time.

See also Checking Processing Times questions.

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