Can I have contact with my child if CAS puts them for public adoption?

Apply for an openness order if you have access

If the (CAS) wants to place a child for adoption and there is an order in place, CAS must give a Notice of Intention to Place a Child for Adoption to:

  • every access holder – this is the person who has been given a right of access
  • every access recipient – this is the person who has access to the access holder

The child gets the CAS notice through the Office of the Children’s Lawyer and, if they have one, their private lawyer. If the child is 12 years or older, they also get the notice directly.

Only the access holder has the right to apply to the court for an . So it’s important to know who’s an access holder and who’s an access recipient.

If you want to have contact with your child, it’s important for you to ask the court to make you an access holder and for the child to be the access recipient. The court must say in an access order who is the access holder and who is the access recipient.

If you get a Notice of Intention to Place a Child for Adoption, you should contact a lawyer right away. This is because your access ends when your child is placed for adoption.

You need an openness order if you want to continue to have contact or communicate with your child. You only have 30 days from the date you get the Notice of Intention to Place a Child for Adoption to ask the court for an openness order.  

How the court decides

The court makes an openness order only if:

  • It is in the . The court must consider many things when deciding this, including the child’s views, if they can say how they feel.
  • It allows the child to continue to have a relationship with a person that is beneficial and meaningful for the child.
  • The child agrees to the order if they are 12 years or older.

The court also considers how the parents who may adopt the child feel about the contact or communication.

First Nations, Inuit, or Métis children

There are special rules for First Nations, Inuit, or Métis children. See the Step called Apply for an openness order for a child who is First Nations, Inuk, or Métis.

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