Edmonton couple plead with Canada immigration for their adopted baby

Published:  22 Jul at 6 PM
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Canada’s Immigration and Citizenship bureau is busy racking up the country’s attraction for migrants, but seems to be ignoring the essential humanity that should be a part of their job.

An Edmonton couple who adopted a Congolese child in August 2012 are still unable to bring the 18-month old baby to live with them in their home country. Cindy Nichol and her husband wanted to adopt for humanitarian reasons, but also because their two children had been born at great risk to their mother, who had been advised not to attempt another pregnancy.

They were told that the only paperwork needed was a visa from Citizenship and Immigration and an exit authorisation from the Congolese local authority. Almost 15 months later, they still do not have permission to bring their adopted son to live with them, and are having to make do with visits to Kishasha where he’s being cared for.

The problem, as usual, is heartless bureaucracy, with the Canadian immigration authority saying they cannot issue a visa without the Congolese exit permit, and the Congolese authority saying they can’t issue a permit without the visa. Around 300 similar adoptions are being delayed for the same reason, leaving babies and young children in one of the world’s most dangerous countries even although their adoption papers have been completed.

When asked about the scandal, immigration minister Chris Alexander replied that he wasn’t up to date on the matter. A number of parents caught in the trap report that they appealed to the minister in 2013, but have received no reply to date, and requests for him to be interviewed on the story have been refused.

The Nichols’ Edmonton immigration lawyer, Scott Bell, told the media that the standoff is one of the most hard-hitting he’s ever had to deal with. The immigration authority, however, is blaming the issue on the Congolese government’s concern that some adopted children were later re-adopted after they arrived in Canada.
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