Friday, February 03, 2006

To adopt or not to adopt

Marc wants to officially adopt Jean-Alexandre. He's had me do some looking into how to go about doing this in the last two days. Jean-Alexandre already has his last name. But at school, Marc is only mentioned as his step-father. And anything official can only be done through me. So adoption would be a good thing.

A couple of years ago, when we were still in BC, we had thought of doing this and I was all for it, but we apparently needed to hire a lawyer to go through with it, because we had to have a lawyer exlpin to us all that this would entail. If we didn't, we couldn't go through with it. Which is weird if you ask me since we pretty much live as if Jean-Alexandre were Marc's. I mean, what could an adoption entail that having children together wouldn't? In terms of spousal support and custody and all the rest? Anyway, needless to say, we didn't go through with it, since hiring a lawyer would have cost a lot of money that we just didn't have.

But now, suddenly Marc wants to go through with it. True, we are in Québec now, and our friend S. is a lawyer. Probably he would help us for free, although I'd still want to offer him something. I looked up the ministry of Health and Social Services which sent me elsewhere, and apparently we would need Jean-Alexandre's permission for Marc to adopt him.

From The Guide to Government Programs and Services for families and children:

There are several situations in which the needs of a child may be met through adoption. The couple or single person without a child, the couple or single person who take care of a child that is not theirs or the person who wishes to establish a legal filiation with the children of his/her spouse may use adoption to bring a child into their family. Adoption confers the same rights and obligations as blood filiation. The new filiation of the adopted child fully substitutes his/her original filiation.

Exception: a father or mother who is the single parent of a minor child and gives his/her consent to the adoption of the child by his/her legal or common law spouse. Such an adoption does not break the filiation link that already exists between the parent and the child. A condition is however required for common law couples: the spouses must have lived in a common law relationship for at least three years.
I suppose in that last paragraph, that the filiation link that isn't being broken would be the one between Jean-Alexandre and me, and not the one between Jean-Alexandre and his biological father. His biological father is undeclared anyway, and has no claim, rights or authority where Jean-Alexandre is concerned. (Not to mention he lives in Paraguay and would be hard-pressed to claim anything anyway.)

The consent of the adopted child is necessary when this child is ten years old or older unless he/she is unable to show his/her will. However, when the child is younger than 14, the court may ignore the child’s opinion and grant the adoption even if the child refuses to consent.
I asked Jean-Alexandre if he wanted Papa to adopt him, because we need his permission, and he said, "Let me think..." So I wonder if he's joking or hesitating.

To be honest, although I think it is probably a good idea, I still feel a little hesitant myself, to let go. Even though in every way, I consider Marc to be his father. Silly of me I know... But not enough to actually abort the process... I still think it would be a good idea. And it won't change the fact that if Jean-Alexandre ever wants to meet his biological father someday, he could.