Adoption for LGBT+ Couples in BC

lgbt adoption in BC

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Our wonderful nation has been at the forefront of LGBT rights for some time now. In fact, Canada was the first country outside of Europe to federally legalize same-sex marriages under the Civil Marriage Act, on July 20th, 2005.

Still, the LGBT community faces obstacles and threats to their existence and legitimacy that cisgendered and heterosexual individuals don’t have to. It is heartbreaking, and it also creates confusion for many parents.

The attitudes of your community may not align with the written law, leading LGBT couples to question what they can and cannot legally do as a married couple.

Because of this, we’re going to answer some of the questions we commonly get about adoption for LGBT couples in British Columbia.

lgbt adoption in BC

Can Same-sex Parents Adopt in BC?

While adoption laws vary from province to province, we’re always happy to inform our clients that adoption for same-sex couples is federally legal, overriding any local laws or ordinances that may attempt to ban same-sex parents from adopting.

The Civil Marriage Act formally gave same-sex parents the same rights as heterosexual parents (though gay parents in Ontario were able to adopt since as early as 1995). 

Because of the Civil Marriage Act, LGBT parents can pursue any of the different ways to adopt, including infant adoption, adopting from foster care, adopting a stepchild or relative, and adopting from another country.

Sadly, if you are an LGBT parent looking to adopt from another country, Canada’s laws do not override the laws of the nation from which you are looking to adopt. Homophobia, transphobia, and bigotry still has a home in many nations, and you may be denied if you are seeking to adopt from such a nation.

Our adoption lawyers are here to help you if you are facing such issues. We’ll help you overcome whatever obstacles are stopping you from starting or growing your family.

What countries can LGBT couples adopt from?

As we’ve said, not every country will be open to the idea of an LGBT couple adopting one of their citizens. However, the list of countries that support same-sex parents is growing steadily. We love how long the list of these countries has gotten as of writing this (2022) and hope to see it continue to grow:

  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria 
  • Belgium 
  • Brazil 
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia 
  • Denmark
  • Greenland 
  • Faroe Islands
  • Finland 
  • France
  • Germany 
  • Iceland 
  • Ireland
  • Israel 
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands 
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • Northern Ireland 
  • United States
  • Uruguay 

You shouldn’t run into problems with adopting from these countries due to your sexual orientation – but if you run into other obstacles, we’re here to help.

lgbt adoption discrimination

What can I do if I was discriminated against during the adoption process?

If you encountered discrimination based on your sexual orientation or gender identity during the adoption process, contact our adoption lawyers as soon as possible. 

This should not happen, as dictated by the Civil Marriage Act. We’ll help you move past this obstacle and pursue legal action against the party that did so if necessary.

We wish you and your family the best of luck, and we’re always here to help families with their legal needs.

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