Foster care and adoption in British Columbia is governed by the B.C. Adoption Act. One couple who has been caring for a young girl in foster care has challenged the act in an effort to be able to keep the little girl with them. The girl is set to move to Ontario with an adoptive family that already has her two older sisters.
The issue at hand is that foster parents don’t have the right to adopt children who are placed in their care. One point that is interesting in this case is that the toddler is Metis, and so are the foster parents. The adoptive family is not Metis. The toddler’s birth parents are supportive of an adoption by the Metis foster family.
In the latest ruling, which was handed down unanimously by the B.C. Court of Appeal, the foster parents case was denied because the court noted that the foster parents didn’t identify any holes in the law would allow their adoption of the girl to move forward. An attorney for the couple says that they hope to appeal the decision to the next highest court, the Supreme Court of Canada.
The toddler’s birth parents have also challenged the issue with the B.C. Supreme Court, so it seems like this case is far from over. The birth parents have also applied to cancel the continuing custody order in provincial court. That order is what gives the province the right to decided what happens with the child.
Family law matters that are as complex as this one require a working knowledge of the laws. Understanding how the law applies to your case can help you to make decisions as the issue moves through the court system.
Source: CBC News, “B.C. foster parents lose Appeal Court battle for Métis toddler,” Jason Proctor, Sep. 13, 2016