More adoption information available soon
Changes to the Adoption Act will provide adult adoptees and birth parents access to more information and offer the option for privacy upon request.
Any adoption that is finalized after January 31, 2020 will be considered open. For adult adoptees, 18 years of age or older, this means information contained on their original birth registration, including name at birth and the identity of their birth parent(s), will be made available upon request. For birth parents, it means being able to find out the adopted name given to the child at the time of adoption.
“The adoption process is extremely personal and sensitive for those involved. These changes will allow for more openness with respect to birth records related to adoption but at the same time, they offer balance for those individuals who were promised confidentiality at the time of the adoption.” - Hon. Ernie Hudson, Minister of Social Development and Housing
Adult adoptees and birth parents involved in adoptions finalized before January 31, 2020 can choose whether they want their information shared. This is the way it is done in other Canadian jurisdictions that have open adoption records.
Between January 31, 2020 and January 30, 2021, adult adoptees and birth parents can submit a disclosure veto if they do not want their identifying information to be released. For this reason, adoption records for adoptions finalized before January 31, 2020 will not be opened until January 31, 2021. A disclosure veto may still be placed at any time after January 31, 2021, as long as the identifying information has not already been released.
All adult adoptees and birth parents have the option to file a contact preference which allows them to indicate how they would like to be contacted if the other party is looking for them. Options may include contact by email or phone, in-person visits, or no contact at all. A contact preference does not prevent the release of identifying information; it only specifies the type of contact a person would prefer.
After January 31, 2021, Government may release identifying information upon request subject to the terms of the contact preference. The person requesting the information must agree to abide by the terms before they receive the information or could face penalties.
A disclosure veto or contact preference can be modified or removed at any time by the person who placed it and it expires one year after their death.
Department of Social Development and Housing