For many people, a common goal is to want the idealistic family; husband, wife, kids and even a pet sometimes. In Canada, everyone has the right to pursue their goals and ideals in a lawful fashion. Not all women can conceive, and not all relationships consist of the traditional man and woman household. In these cases, individuals who are seeking that family unit have a few options, the most common of which is adoption.
Crown adoptions have long since been the more inexpensive option for many people. The system is designed to care for and place children who need permanent homes in loving and nurturing households. It caters to families who do not have children or who just wish to expand their families. In Ontario, adoption can be done through three main channels legally; private domestic, public or inter-country.
The rules surrounding the adoption vary according to the individuals involved. In some cases, the birth family is in open contact with the adoptive family after the adoption (open adoptions) and in other cases, there may be little to no information exchanged between the two families. Either way, it is a highly sensitive process, and the onus is on the parents to help the child adjust to the circumstances.
In the cases where an open adoption is in place, the birth family relies on the adoptive family to keep them abreast of the child’s progress and development. The guidelines are normally written and signed at the time of placement, but the onus is on the adoptive family to follow the rules as the “openness” clause after the adoption is not legally binding. If any issues arise, the adoption agency can be contacted to help come to a speedy resolution.
There have been cases where adoptive parents’ rights are challenged and hiring a competent family lawyer can go a long way towards helping you resolve the matter favourably.
It is every parent’s nightmare; their child being taken from their home in any manner. Just this past December, an Ontario mother claimed that she has been forced by the Crown to give up one of her adopted sons.
His name is Niko, now nine years old and he was adopted from Serbia five years ago by Nicole Desmarais, a family physician by profession. Niko’s back story is one of the many sad ones you may think about when you hear the term adoption. By the time he was four, he had been abandoned by more than one care giver, including his birth parents. He was not nurtured and loved in any manner that would promote any semblance of normalcy. His trials unfortunately did not stop there; they arguably got worse when he was shipped to an orphanage, followed by a mental health facility.
Niko has since developed disturbing patterns and behaviours, all connected to violence in his new home in Canada. His psychiatrist has reported that he has cut open one of his sister’s faces, killed a rabbit and molested a two year old boy. He has made numerous death threats to several people and been physically violent to both adults and children.
The Ministry of Child and Youth Services has deemed Niko a danger to himself and others. The Children’s Aid Society had given Nicole a deadline of December 5th to surrender her son to them. The options afforded to her were either to facilitate all the costs associated with his treatment on her own and retain custody or sign away her rights and allow the Crown to care for him in one of their facilities.
His adoptive mother Nicole believes that he can be afforded the best care with her and a family. She does not want to give up on him and believes that surrendering him to the Crown would be yet another form of abandonment which will do more harm than good to him.
In June of last year she filed a ten million dollar suit against the Ministry of Child and Youth Services to facilitate the treatment for Niko as well as to construct a future plan for his care indefinitely or until necessary.
Her battle will be a lengthy and arduous one. Remanding the services of a knowledgeable and professional family attorney is a key element in fighting for your child’s rights. Call us at Zeidman Law and allow us to help you through this trying period in your life.