In certain circumstances, a grandparent, other relative, or spouse of a child’s parent may adopt that child.  An unmarried partner of the child’s parent may also be eligible to adopt the child if they have been living together for at least three years.

Adoption that takes place within a family is known in Quebec law as “adoption by special consent.”

The consent of the child’s biological parents is required beforehand, unless one of the parents has been deprived of their parental authority by the court or if their name does not appear on the child’s birth certificate and they have failed to prove their status as a parent.

No child ten years of age or older may be adopted without their consent.  If a child between the age of ten and fourteen refuses to be adopted, the court may delay the adoption while analyzing the situation.  If a child is fourteen years of age or older, their refusal to an adoption would prohibit the adoption from being granted.

An adoption may only take place in the best interest of the child.

The adoption by special consent involves two procedural steps:

(1)   Placement order for the adoption, which is applied for by the person intending to adopt the child;

(2)  Judgment of adoption, which takes place six months after the placement order, or only three months later if the child has lived with the adopter for three months prior to the placement order.

Once a judgment of adoption takes effect, the adoptive parent has full parental authority and obligations to the child, including the duties of custody, supervision and education, as well as the financial support of that child.

The child’s birth certificate is then modified to indicate the new parent.

The above is intended to provide general information and is not to be taken as legal advice for a particular situation.  If you require a legal opinion, please contact an attorney.