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In the refusal letter, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), ordered the then 16-year-old to return to Hungary.
“It was obvious that she was our daughter; we were effectively her parents but they just didn’t understand,” Laszlo Radi, a Canadian citizen, said adding it was upsetting that the government was ordering a child “who had nowhere to go” back to Hungary.
Andréa de Rocquigny, a lawyer at dRN Law who helped the family through their appeal process, said the teen could have left the country and come back but that’s not a risk the family was willing to take.
“From conversations with Immigration, they felt she could just get up and go and come back … Who wants to do that when her status was not concrete and whenever a person leaves Canada, unless you’re a citizen, you’re not guaranteed re-entry,” she said.
The couple had not formally adopted Toris, which would have taken years and been costly, but were her legal guardians, making the situation “difficult,” de Rocquigny said.
“Because she was not a true child (of the Radis), per se, they requested humanitarian and compassionate consideration to overcome the fact that she was not part of that definition of a child … And they were successful,” she said, adding the success rate of this particular consideration is only about five per cent.
De Rocquigny said Toris’ is a special case and these processes “aren’t normally this complicated,” adding the Canadian government should look to change their definitions for cases like this.