Adoption Record Resources
How to Access Adoption Records
The Alberta Post Adoption Registry maintains the sealed adoption records for all granted adoptions completed in the province of Alberta. This program provides reunion services and information to adult adoptees, adoptive parents and birth family. There are no fees for registry services.
For adoptions granted PRIOR to January 1, 2005, birth parents and adult adoptees (18 years of age and older) may obtain identifying information about one another through the submission of a Request for Release of Adoption Information form. Individuals who wish their identifying information to remain confidential must file a Disclosure Veto form with Alberta’s Post Adoption Registry. This veto will prevent the release of identifying information on the birth registration or adoption information; however, non-identifying information is still released to the other party upon request.
For adoptions granted AFTER January 1, 2005, birth parents and adoptees can no longer file a disclosure veto. You may file a Contact Preference form. Identifying information about the adult adoptee and the biological parent will be released to these parties when the adoptee turns 18 years of age or older upon submission of a Request for Release of Adoption Information form.
Post Guardianship Services
What are Post Guardianship Services?
The Post Guardianship Services unit receives requests from individuals who were never adopted and who, as adults, are requesting information from their child intervention files regarding family background, developmental history, school history and medical history.
If an individual making the request has received child intervention services within the last two years, the request should be made to the most recent District Office who provided services. If a request is made regarding an active child intervention file, the request should be made to the current case manager.
You will receive documentation from your child welfare file under the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement legislation. Contact our office to request an application form. There is no cost for this request.
If you require further documentation you may submit a Request for Access to Information to The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) office at 780‑427‑2805. There is a cost to this request if the documentation exceeds 40 pages.
If you have any questions about Post Guardianship Services or would like to obtain an application form, please contact the Post Adoption Registry at 780‑427‑6387.
How to Access Adoption Records
Under the Adoption Act in B.C., birth parents and adults who were adopted as children can get identifying information about each other.
Original birth records for adopted children can be requested – information that identifies birth parents is removed from the record, unless they previously gave their consent to have the information be made available.
There are two ways to access information about an adoption record:
- As a Freedom of Information request
- Application for Service Pertaining to an Adopted Person – Once adoptees are 19, they or their birth parents can apply for a copy of the adoption order or original B.C. birth registrations
Freedom of Information Request
Under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, some information from adoption records for children adopted in B.C. is available by request.
Apply for access to an adoption record:
Request Official Birth & Adoption Documents
To apply for a copy of the birth registration and adoption order you must be:
- The birth parent of a child who is now an adult (19 years +)
- An adult (19 years +) who was adopted as a child
Born in B.C.: People born and adopted in B.C. can get a copy of the:
- Original birth registration in their birth name, including the names of any birth parents on record (unless a birth parent has filed a disclosure veto in which case the record is edited to obscure or remove information that the birth parent does not want disclosed)
- Adoption order
Birth parents of people born and adopted in B.C. can get a copy of the:
- Adopted person’s original birth registration, including any change of name after the adoption (unless the adoptee has filed a disclosure veto in which case the post adoption record is edited to obscure or remove information that the adoptee does not want disclosed). All information identifying the adoptive parents is deleted to protect their privacy)
- Adoption order (with information redacted if necessary to protect privacy)
Not born in B.C.: People not born in B.C. but adopted in the province can get a copy of the:
- Adoption order and any identification particulars of the adopted person
Birth parents of people not born in B.C.
How to Apply for an Adoption Record
Follow these steps to apply for an adoption record:
Step 1: Complete the application form.
Step 2: Attach a photocopy of your birth certificate as proof of identification.
Step 3: Include a cheque, money order or credit card payment for $50.
Step 4: Deliver the documents using one of the following methods:
Attn: Confidential Services
Vital Statistics Agency
PO BOX 9657 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, B.C. V8W 9P3
Any Service BC location
People who placed children for adoption or were adopted under the old Adoption Act were promised that their privacy would be protected. Birth parents and adopted people who wish to maintain their confidentiality may file a disclosure veto or no-contact declaration with the Vital Statistics Agency.
Disclosure veto: This legal document prohibits the Vital Statistics Agency from releasing any birth registration or adoption order information identifying the person who filed the veto. Vetoes are only available for adoptions completed prior to November 1996. If the person was adopted after 1996, they can file a no-contact declaration.
- Birth parents may file disclosure vetoes any time after their child is adopted
- People who were adopted in B.C. may file disclosure vetoes any time after their 18th birthday
No contact declaration: This document allows the Vital Statistics Agency to release birth registration and adoption order information in an identifying format, but personal contact with the person who filed the declaration is legally prohibited.
Birth parents choosing to file no-contact declarations can do so at any time, regardless of the age of the child they placed for adoption. Adopted persons may file no-contact declarations any time after their 18th birthday.
Explaining your decision: Like any decision around adoption, the choice to file a disclosure veto or a no-contact declaration will affect you and the other person on a deeply personal level. Recognizing this, as a parent you may believe that it is very important to explain your choice. You may also want to pass on key details of your family histories, including things such as health or medical information.
Anyone who files a disclosure veto or no-contact declaration may also file a written statement with the Vital Statistics Agency that explains his or her decision and provides information for the other person.
OPEN BIRTH RECORDS RELATED TO ADOPTION
APPLYING FOR ACCESS TO BIRTH RECORDS RELATED TO ADOPTION
**LEGISLATION CAME INTO EFFECT IN MANITOBA
ON JUNE 15, 2015**
Recent changes to The Adoption Act and The Vital Statistics Act allow for more openness with respect to birth records related to adoption.
Manitoba’s legislation allows adoptees and birth parents to apply for access to available identifying information. Adoptees and birth parents can apply to access these records through the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry. Application forms are available online.
Adoptees (18 years of age or older) can request pre-adoption birth registration information
- if they were born in Manitoba, and adopted in Manitoba or outside Manitoba
- if they were born outside Manitoba, but adopted in Manitoba
- unless a birth parent named on the pre-adoption birth registration filed a Disclosure Veto
A birth parent named on the pre-adoption birth registration can request the child’s pre-adoption birth registration information and the child’s substituted registration of birth (which does not include the names of adoptive parents)
- when the adoptee is 18 years of age or older
- unless the adoptee filed a Disclosure Veto
PROTECTING YOUR PRIVACY RELATED TO ADOPTION
Many adult adoptees want to find out about their biological origins and cultural heritage. Many birth parents wonder about what has become of their adopted children. Manitoba understands that in the past, individuals involved in adoptions were promised confidentiality.
Manitoba’s adoption legislation strives to ensure a balance between the needs and rights of all parties. It allows adoptees and birth parents to access available identifying information. It also allows them to maintain privacy if they wish. To maintain privacy, an adoptee or birth parent may file a Disclosure Veto or a Contact Preference.
- Your Disclosure Veto prohibits the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry from releasing any identifying information about you.
- You may provide a non-identifying letter with your Disclosure Veto to share personal, health, or family information.
- Existing Disclosure Vetoes filed with the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry will continue to be effective and respected.
- Disclosure Vetoes are no longer accepted for Manitoba adoptions granted on or after June 15, 2015.
- If the information has not already been released, Disclosure Vetoes can still be filed:
- for Manitoba adoptions granted before June 15, 2015 and
- for adoptions granted outside Manitoba before, on or after June 15, 2015.
- There is no fee to file a Disclosure Veto.
- Existing Contact Vetoes filed with the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry will continue to be effective and respected.
- Contact Vetoes are longer accepted. Instead, birth parents and adoptees (16 years of age or older) may file a Contact Preference.
- A Contact Preference specifies the type of contact, if any, between a birth parent and adoptee.
- You may provide a non-identifying letter with your Contact Preference to share personal, health, or family information.
- The fine for failure to comply with a Contact Veto or a Contact Preference is up to $50,000.
- There is no fee to file a Contact Preference.
For more details on protecting your information, please review the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry’s Frequently Asked Questions page.
APPLYING FOR ACCESS, FILING A DISCLOSURE VETO OR A CONTACT PREFERENCE
- *Download and print the required form:
- Follow the instructions on the form to complete it. Sign it in front of a witness.
If you have moved or changed your name, phone number or email address since your last contact with the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry, please notify us. Call our toll free number (1-855-837-5542) or complete and submit the Change of Information form.
If you do not have access to a printer, or want more information :
- Contact your local CFS agency, or
- Call the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry at 1-855-837-5542 (toll free in Canada and the US).
MANITOBA | SEARCH AND REUNION SERVICES
The Post-Adoption Registry allows for search and reunion services for eligible family members who were involved in an adoption that was granted in Manitoba. Registry services are provided by the Department of Family Services.
Searches can be done on behalf of anyone entitled to register, subject to any disclosure or contact vetoes and/or contact preferences on file. Searches for any person under 18 years of age are not permitted.
The Registry does not facilitate contact without the consent of all concerned. If a family member decides not to share information, refuses contact or files a veto, their wishes will be recorded with the Registry and the person seeking the information will be informed.
Support services are available to Manitoba clients through their local child and family services agency. These services can help individuals prepare for a reunion or understand why a reunion may not be possible.
Adopted adults, birth parents and adult birth siblings can register at any time. Adoptive parents may register on behalf of an adopted child. As a best practice, signed consent from an adopted child age 12 and older must accompany the adoptive parents’ registration form.
However, once the child turns 18, the adoptee may either register on his or her own, or request that the adoptive parents’ registration remains active by sending the Registry a signed consent. If the adoptee is an adult, adoptive parents may register only with the adoptee’s signed consent.
In the event that the adoptee is deceased, the adoptive parents and any adult adoptive siblings may register on behalf of their deceased child or sibling. Children of deceased adoptees and parents of deceased birth parents, with confirmation of death, may register for contact with birth family members.
In order to register you must complete a registration form and have your signature witnessed by a lawyer, Commissioner for Oaths, Notary Public, or registered professional.
If you live in Manitoba and would like more information about the Registry, or would like to obtain a registration form, contact your local child and family services agency. If you live outside of Manitoba, contact the Registry, toll-free at 1-855-837-5542.
Established as a means for people separated by adoptions that took place in New Brunswick to obtain information and/or be put in contact with each other.
To access these services you must be 19 years or over and the adoption must have taken place in New Brunswick.
The service maintains a Post Adoption Disclosure Register for adult adoptees (those age 19 or over), birth parents and adult birth siblings who want to contact each other. Contact can be facilitated when adoptees and birth relatives are matched with each other because both have placed their names on the register. Both adoptees and birth relatives can also request searches for the person they are seeking.
In addition, the service provides non-identifying information about each other to adoptees, adoptive parents and birth relatives.
For further information on eligibility and what services you are able to apply for:
Please contact the Department of Social Development’s Post Adoption Disclosure Services
Phone: 1-844-851-0999 (toll-free in Canada and the U.S.)
What you’ll get:
Information on adoption topics such as custom adoption, families wanting to adopt, information for birth parents and post adoption services.
Who delivers it:
Health & Social Services
Who it is for:
Who to contact:
CFS Adoptions Practice Specialist Registrar
Phone: 867-767-9061 ext. 49170
How to get more info:
E-mail Fax In-Person PhoneWebsite
How to get the service:
Staff available in:
Behchoko, Fort Simpson, Fort Smith, Hay River, Inuvik, Norman Wells, Yellowknife
Nova Scotia’s Adoption Information Act establishes a balance between people’s right to privacy and the opportunity for contact between adopted person and their birth families.
The Adoption Information Act creates an active registry to help people search for members of their birth family. Identifying information will be exchanged only after both parties have consented.
Adoption information on file
The basic record for any adoption consists of legal documents and background information. In recent years there has been a general improvement in the type and amount of information recorded. In the past, records were not so complete and there may be little information available on a particular adoption.
Identifying and non-identifying information
Identifying information is information that will likely reveal the identity of another person involved in the adoption. Under the Act, identifying information includes a person’s name, birth date, residence or occupation. Non-identifying information may include medical history, physical description, interests and level of education.
Who can obtain non-identifying information?
You can obtain non-identifying information about an adoption you were involved in if you are:
- An adopted person 19 or older
- An adopted person under 19 with the written consent of your adoptive parents
- A birth parent
- A birth sibling or birth relative 19 or older with the written consent of the birth parent (some exceptions apply)
Who can obtain identifying information?
To obtain identifying information, both you and the person you are looking for need to be 19 years or older. You may request identifying information if you are an adopted person, a birth parent, or a birth sibling with the written consent of your birth parent (some exceptions apply). Adopted persons may also request information about siblings who were placed for adoption in other families.
Under most circumstances identifying information will not be released without the consent of the person being identified.
What if we can’t locate my birth family member?
The Adoption Disclosure Services Program staff have been successful in locating more than 95% of the people being sought. If the Adoption Disclosure Services Program staff cannot locate the person you are seeking, you will be advised of the steps that were taken. If we can not locate them, identifying information cannot be released.
What happens to the Passive Adoption Register?
The Department of Community Services will continue to maintain the Passive Adoption Register. The Register contains the names of all the people who registered before the Adoption Information Act as well as those who registered after January 1, 1997.
If I am already on the Passive Registry do I have to register again?
If you want the Adoption Disclosure Unit to conduct a search, you need to apply again. Searches will be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis. Priority will be given to medical emergencies and in cases where the birth parents are over 65 years of age. If you only wish to remain on the Passive Adoption Register, there is no need to reapply.
The first step in obtaining information is to register with the Passive Adoption Register (see How to Register, below). This will record you as someone who wants contact with another person involved in the adoption. Registering will also provide you with all non-identifying information that is available from your record.
Once you have registered, the Adoption Disclosure Services Program staff will check for a match. If both of you have registered as wanting contact, a social worker can help you to arrange contact.
If the other person has not registered, the staff will search for him or her on your behalf. The search is carried out in the strictest confidence to protect the privacy of the person you are seeking.
If the person is located, he or she will be asked if he or she consents to contact. If the person objects to contact for any reason, identifying information will not be released. He or she will be asked to provide updated non-identifying information for you.
If the person you are seeking has died, identifying information will be released.
If you do not want to be contacted
If you do not want to be contacted, you can formally register your wish by writing the Adoption Disclosure Services Program.
How to register
To register write:
Adoption Disclosure Services Program
Halifax District Office- Child Welfare
103 Garland Avenue
Dartmouth, NS B3B 0K5
Phone (902) 424-2755
Searching for adoption records in Ontario
Ontario’s adoption records are open.
If you were adopted in Ontario — or if your child was placed for adoption — you can receive information from your birth and adoption records through ServiceOntario.
In the past this information was not available. But in May 2008, the Ontario legislature passed a new adoption information disclosure law called the Access to Adoption Records Act, 2008.
This new law gives adopted adults and birth parents more rights to information and privacy.
Adopted adults and birth parents can apply for information from birth and adoption records, if the adoption was registered in Ontario.
This information is called post-adoption birth information. It may include identifying information, like the original name of an adopted adult or the name of a birth parent.
With post-adoption birth information, adopted adults may be able to find out what their original names were, as well as the names of their birth parents. Birth parents may learn the name their child was given after he or she was adopted.
Protecting your privacy
Adopted adults and birth parents also have the option to protect the privacy of their post-adoption birth information. Adopted adults and birth parents can:
- file a notice of contact preference to specify how they would like to be contacted
- file a no contact notice if they do not want to be contacted, but are willing to have their identifying information released
- file a disclosure veto if the adoption was finalized before September 1, 2008. This will prevent identifying post-adoption birth information from being released.
Other types of information
Adopted persons, descendants of an adopted person, birth parents, adoptive parents and members of the birth family may also be eligible for other information and services, like:
- non-identifying information
- severe medical searches
- placing a name on the adoption disclosure register
- copies of adoption orders.
The Children’s Aid Society of Toronto will provide non-identifying information from our records to adult adopted persons, adoptive parents, birth parents, birth grandparents, birth siblings, birth aunts/uncles and to former Crown Wards.
Adopted people and their birth relatives, click here for an application form for non-identifying information.
Former crown wards, click here for an application form for non-identifying information.
Please be advised that there is a lengthy waiting list for these services.
For more information, please call 416-924-4646 ext. 2590 or email your_roots@TorontoCAS.ca
A reunion support group meets at the agency once a month and is open to anyone involved in a reunion. For more information, please call 416-924-4646 ext. 2590 or email your_roots@TorontoCAS.ca.
Adult adopted persons wishing to obtain a copy of their original birth registration and/or their final adoption order, and birth parents wishing to obtain access to information from their child’s birth records and adoption orders can contact the Ministry of Community and Social Services at Service Ontario or call Service Ontario at 416-325-8305 or toll free at 1-800-461-2156.
Parent Finders – https://parentfindersottawa.ca/
We are a volunteer non-profit organization, part of the Parent Finders of Canada network with contacts across the country, the United States and Internationally. We provide information and support to help reunite family members separated by adoption.
Over the last 37 years, we have facilitated more than 1800 reunions. Check out our new FACEBOOK page under the heading of Parent Finders Ottawa! We hope you find the information on our website adds value to your search.
We have many resources which can assist you. We also offer services such as matching your search information with our database, helping you contact a birth relative and educating you on your legal rights.
How to go about searching for a parent or child
You will need to submit a written request to the Youth Centre (Centre Jeunesse, or formerly the C.S.S.) in the region where the child was born. For a complete list of the Youth Centres, click here. (Pdf)
It is essential that you follow this procedure. There are two things you should request.
Ask to be sent non-identifying information about your birth parent or your child.
If you are an adoptee looking for your birth mother, you should address your request to the Youth Centre in the region where you were adopted. This document is a synopsis with no information that would allow you to identify the person you are looking for.
If you are a birth mother looking for your child, you should address your request to the Youth Centre in the region where the child was given up for adoption. This document is a synopsis with no information that would allow you to identify the adoptive family.
If you are an orphan, you should address your request to the Youth Centre in the last region in which you were living before you reached adult age or to the Youth Centre in the region where you were born.
Ask to be added to the post-adoption registry so that your name can be forwarded to other people looking for you.
The Québec Youth Centres are the only places where the adoption records are kept. As a result, they are the only people who know the identity of the people concerned. The original names and the names given at baptism are often fictitious, and thus of no use. The Youth Centres give priority to the following cases:
- children whose mother is older than 70
- serious illness
- social distress (psychological disorders)
Since October 1, 2007, all services for the post-adoption sector in the Youth Centers are free of charge. So, the three steps (search, contact and reunion) are free of charge. No extra fees are required to open your file, send your non-identifying information, or any other application in this sector.
II – Registration with Mouvement Retrouvailles
If you register with Mouvement Retrouvailles before, you have the chance of finding a match if both parties are already Mouvement Retrouvailles members.
If you are a Mouvement Retrouvailles member and have a request with the Youth Center, you can ask to be accompanied by Mouvement Retrouvailles during the third stage of the process, i.e. the reunion. We offer this service free of charge to our members. We have helpers who will be happy to provide you with guidance and support during this period.
Do not hesitate to request this service. People are there, waiting to help you, in a completely non-judgmental setting. Remember, we are all going through the same situation, some are just more affected than others. If you would like us to mail you a membership form or further information on our organization, please contact us.
Mouvement Retrouvailles – Head-office
Casier postal 47002
Caroline Fortin, Présidente et coordonnatrice
Téléphone : 418 903 9960
Téléphone : 1 888 646 1060 (sans frais)
Télécopie : 418 834 9627
SASKATCHEWAN | POST-ADOPTION SERVICES
- adult adoptees;
- birth parents of adoptees;
- adult children of a deceased adult adoptee; and
- adult children of a deceased birth parent whose child was placed for adoption.
Before the changes come into effect, adult adoptees and birth parents can:
- place a veto under the new process that will prevent the release of their identifying information. This only applies to adoptions granted before January 1, 2017; or
- file a contact preference that will place limits on contact from the other person but will not prevent release of their identifying information.
After January 1, 2017 the release of identifying information will be subject to any vetoes or contact preferences placed by a birth parent or adult adoptee.
Adoption Services provide pre-and post-adoption services to children and families.
The Child and Family Services Act is in effect as of April 30, 2010 and includes significant changes to how the Department of Health and Social Services deals with adoption disclosures.
The legislation allows for more openness around adoption-related records, making it easier for birth parents and people who were adopted to find each other. However, in situations where they do not wish to be contacted, birth parents and children involved in previous adoptions can maintain confidentiality by filing a no-contact declaration.
For adoptions finalized under the previous Children’s Act, individuals who wish to maintain confidentiality must file a disclosure veto to prevent identifying information from being released through the birth registration or adoption.
As of April 30, 2010, adopted people aged 19 or over and birth parents can access their individual information if there is no disclosure veto in place.