B.C. woman says adopted son’s citizenship not being processed, stuck in Africa for a month
A B.C. woman says she has been stuck in Africa for a month with her newly adopted son as she waits for his Canadian citizenship documents to be finalized in a process she says should only have taken a week.
In early August, Kimberlee Moran and her husband travelled to Ibadan, Nigeria to adopt their two-year-old son Ayo. The Abbotsford, B.C. mother said they used a “reputable adoption agency” and ensured all of their documents were in order before they submitted the second portion of his citizenship application.
“We spent seven weeks there completing his adoption and bonding with him and completing all the necessary paperwork that we would need in order to bring him back to Canada,” Kimberlee explained in a video posted on Facebook on Thursday.
Because there isn’t a Canadian immigration office in Nigeria, the couple travelled to Accra, Ghana to drop off Ayo’s citizenship application.
Kimberlee said they expected it to be a “fairly simple” process and they heard from other adoptive families this final step would take up to a week to process.
“It’s as simple as them [Canadian immigration officials] opening an envelope, checking to make sure the adoption was completed properly and ethically, and then giving a visa so we could return back to Canada while we await his [Ayo’s] citizenship certificate,” she said.
Clark Moran, Kimberlee’s husband, was forced to return home to B.C. four weeks ago because of work obligations. He said he never expected to be apart from his family for so long.
“It’s hard,” he told CTV Vancouver on Friday. “Everything has been completed. We’ve submitted a file and it’s been sitting in some proverbial queue. It’s yet to be processed.”
Kimberlee said they’re not looking for “special treatment” or to bypass the necessary review process. She said they just want to know when their application will be opened so it can be processed.
The couple has contacted consular services, their local MP, and the Canadian High Commission in Accra looking for answers.
“We don’t know what to do next. We don’t know how long we’re going to be here,” Kimberlee said. “It’s been really hard.”
To make matters worse, Kimberlee has multiple sclerosis and has missed several follow-up appointments to a treatment she received for the disease last year because she has been in Africa with her son.
“We’re at the point now where our strength is… we’re just about out of it,” Clark said. “We pictured Thanksgiving at home. Our family was going to come. That didn’t happen. My wife’s birthday was back on the 2nd of October and it was just the two of them there so that was hard.”
CTV News reached out to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, but did not receive any information regarding the Morans’ case, including how much longer they will have to wait for their paperwork to be processed.
The couple is pleading for assistance from anyone who will listen. Kimberlee said they just want to be reunited and bring their son back to Canada.
“We’re just asking for help. We’re asking for our immigration minister to pay attention, for our prime minister to pay attention, somebody that can help us get the answers we need to be able to come back to Canada,” she said.
“We’re ready to come home.”
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Scott Hurst