Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Canadian military couple fights for adopted child's right to citizenship

Not Canadian enough?

Sarah Currie and her husband Mike are an Ottawa-based couple looking forward to bringing a child in their lives: 23-month-old Smith, a boy currently living in a Haitian orphanage.

But what should be a joyful moment is clouded by the fact that the federal government has rejected the couple's application to pass down citizenship to their son, due to an obscure legal technicality that puts foreign-born Canadians at a disadvantage.

Sarah and Mike are thoroughly Canadian. Both are descended from multiple generations of Canadians. They live in Canada and pay their taxes. Their parents on both sides served in the Canadian Armed Forces, and Mike has done three tours in Afghanistan (his last name can’t be used because he’s still on active duty).

But here's the problem: Mike and Sarah were both born in Germany while their parents were working with the military. According to changes made to Bill C-37 in 2009, born-abroad Canadians can't transfer their citizenship to their children if those children weren’t born in Canada.

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