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Adult Adoption Restrictions in British Columbia

Age and residency restrictions unfairly limit adult-adoption in British Columbia. Rather than allowing a judge to decide whether or not an adoption order should be granted in specific circumstances, British Columbians do not have the same rights as Canadians in other provinces when it comes to legally recognizing family. The core of this issue is that consenting adults have the freedom to define their personal and familial relationships without unjustified exclusion by the state and its agents. All individuals have the right to enjoy the benefits derived from their selected form of family and government must not discriminate in the allocation of legal benefits based solely on familial structure or personal beliefs and practices. It is conceded that there are some reasons why adult-adoption should be limited to judicial approval; however, there are also very good arguments for adopting adult children. Any debate is effectively silenced in B.C. by overly simplistic restrictions in the Adoption Act. The current legislation prevents individuals from having their adoption application heard in certain instances. Furthermore, these provisions could affect a large portion of the population in B.C. and essentially limit or prevent consenting adults from choosing who they wish to recognize as family. This infringes on the autonomy rights of individuals and in specific cases seems contrary to basic human rights.