Court says no to couple seeking citizenship for Pakistani child

The Federal Court of Canada has denied citizenship to the adopted Pakistani child of a Canadian couple, the latest in a string of cases that have angered many adopting parents.

In Asad v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), Justice James Russell sided with the government and denied citizenship to a Pakistani child who was being cared for by a Canadian couple.

Rahim Ahmed was born in Pakistan in 2008 and less than a year later, Owais Ahmed Asad and his wife, who are both Canadian, entered into a deed of adoption with his parents and were appointed his guardians.

In 2013, the Canadian government denied Ahmed’s application for citizenship. The government argued that no provision for adoption exists in Pakistan and thus Ahmed was not actually Asad’s child. This meant that he could not be granted automatic citizenship, which the adopted children of Canadian citizens are entitled to.

Russell denied the couple’s appeal and stated that they did not establish to the court that the adoption severed the legal relationship between the child and his biological parents…

Canada had accepted adoptions from Pakistan until last year when the Canadian High Commission for Pakistan recommended they stop. The High Commission raised concerns that adoption is not actually permissible under Pakistani law…