Five B.C. families mired in red tape say they are finally able to bring their adopted babies home from Japan.
The families received news on Saturday that their paperwork has been approved by the Canadian government, meaning their adopted children can come back to Canada.
The parents were stuck in limbo for two months after the Canadian government temporarily blocked the adoptions when the U.S. government was informed that under Japanese law, Japan’s courts have to authorize inter-country adoptions.
WATCH: Japan adoption family is finally home
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) said it was seeking clarity on whether the change affects Canadians as well, although this wasn’t previously part of the process for Canadian families adopting children in Japan.
That led to delays for five B.C. families filed who already had their adoptions approved after filing the appropriate paperwork.
Ryan Hoag — one of the local parents embroiled in the battle — said his family hadn’t been getting clear answers from the government about why the visa issuance was being stalled, but he is grateful to have finally received confirmation that his family can come home.
WATCH: B.C. families caught up in adoption red tape in Japan
“I felt quite numb; it felt like a battle had just ended,” he said. “It took a few minutes to get my feet back on the ground to think about next steps, which is getting my wife and baby back to Canada.”
— With files from Neetu Garcha and Tanya Beja