B.C. woman, newly adopted son still stuck in Ghana due to paperwork holdup
A Canadian woman and her newly adopted son have been stuck in Africa for more than three months because of a paperwork holdup.
Kim and Clark Moran recently adopted a young boy named Ayo from Nigeria. The couple then travelled to Ghana to complete the adoption process.
The last step before bringing their two-and-a-half-year-old son home to Abbotsford, B.C., was submitting the second part of a citizenship application, which must be approved by the Canadian government.
“Since we submitted that part of the application it’s been more than seven weeks,” Kim told CTV’s Your Morning on Monday.
“They’re giving us no explanation for why, we’ve just been stuck here waiting for them to process paperwork. It’s very unsatisfying. ”
Clark left the west African country in September, not thinking he'd be away from his family for very long, but Kim and Ayo have been in Ghana even since.
Kim is battling multiple sclerosis and has missed doctor’s appointments as a result of the delay. Ayo also needs specialist medical attention in Canada.
“As a parent it’s extremely frustrating watching your kid sick and knowing that there is help available but you can’t get to it,” she said.
The Morans believe they filled out everything correctly and were told the last phase of the adoption process would take no more than a week.
In a Facebook post last Monday, Kim said she received a response from the office of Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen saying it "gives priority treatment to applications for adopted children," but that the ministry could not give her a timeline for when she and Ayo would be able to go back to Canada.
"So, the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) gives priority treatment to applications for adopted children, but my application is still in queue for review more than six weeks after it was submitted," Kim wrote.
"Canada, I just want to come home."
Clark said he's spoken with a federal immigration spokesperson who told him this is a fairly typical case and adoptions can take time because of the many of checks and balances involved.
Clark had an emotional reunion with Ayo in Ghana earlier this month, the first time he had seen his son in more than six weeks.
The couple’s MP Ed Fast has raised their case in Parliament.
“After months of silence the minister finally responded by saying he couldn’t even give a timeframe for completion of this process,” the Conservative MP said.
“How callous, it appears this Liberal government doesn’t care about the Moran family or their adopted boy.”
Parliamentary secretary for immigration, Matt DeCourcey, said the health and well-being of the child was the top priority.
“International adoptions are governed by strict rules and we must comply with the rules of both the sending and the receiving country,” DeCourcey told Parliament.
With a report from CTV Vancouver