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Digest of the Week | Adoption Outside Province

Adoption Outside Province

A.A.A.M. v. Director of Adoption | 2017 BCCA 409 | British Columbia Court of Appeal

Adoption -- Miscellaneous

Director of Adoption placed child with adoptive parents in another province, who had adopted mother’s first child previously -- Father’s paternity was confirmed and he was declared to be joint guardian of child -- Chambers judge granted father’s petition for judicial review of Director’s decision to place child with adoptive parents outside of BC -- Judge held that by reason of s. 5(2) of Adoption Act, Director could only place children with prospective adoptive parents who resided in BC and that child’s placement was ultra vires Director’s authority -- Judge issued order prohibiting Director from consenting to child’s adoption outside province -- Director appealed -- Appeal allowed -- Adoption Act was amended by coming into force of Adoption Amendment Act, 2017, and by reason of these amendments, judge’s order could no longer stand -- Amendments repealed s. 5(2) of Adoption Act, amended s. 6(2) of Adoption Act to make it clear that child could be placed with prospective adoptive parents who resided in or outside of BC, and added s. 102, which retroactively validated all out-of-province placements made prior to amendments -- Legislative Assembly had authority to pass retroactive legislation -- It was not open to court to refuse to apply amendments -- No constitutional challenge was raised -- In light of amendments, Director must now be taken to have acted within her authority in placing child with adoptive parents outside of BC.
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