Area of Law: Family Law
Answer # 126
Adoption recordsRegion: Ontario Answer # 126
Ontario adoption records were opened effective June 1, 2009, pursuant to the new law called, Access to Adoption Records Act. This means adopted adults and birth parents are both given access to ‘identifying information’ from birth records and adoption orders. This new law gives adopted adults and birth parents more rights to information as well as privacy.
If you were adopted in Ontario, or your child was placed for adoption, information from the birth and adoption records can be found using ServiceOntario.
If the adoption was registered in Ontario, both adopted adults and birth parents can apply for information from birth and adoption records.
This information is referred to as post-adoption birth information. It includes identifying information, such as the original name of an adopted adult or the name of a birth parent.
With post-adoption birth information, an adopted adult may be able to find out their original name. They may also find out the names of their birth parents. As well, birth parents may learn the name their child was given after he or she was adopted.
Protecting your privacy
Adopted adults and birth parents may also choose to protect the privacy of their post-adoption birth information. Adopted adults and birth parents can do the following:
- File a ‘notice of contact preference’ to state how they would like to be contacted,
- File a ‘no contact notice,’ if they do not want to be contacted, but are still willing to have their identifying information released, and
- File a ‘disclosure veto’ if they want to prevent their identifying post-adoption birth information from being released. However, a ‘disclosure veto’ can only be filed if the adoption was finalized before September 1, 2008.
For more information about adoption records, visit ServiceOntario, or the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services.
Getting the legal help you need
Adopting a child is a complex process. It is advisable to get the legal help that’s right for you. If you are considering representing yourself in a family law matter, you may wish to get help from The Family Law Coach. Their experienced family law lawyers can provide information, legal assistance, advice and practical tips to help you prepare your case and improve your outcome. They provide specific services for fixed prices, and you only pay for the services you want. If you are considering hiring a lawyer to represent you, for legal advice and assistance regarding adoption and other family law matters, contact a family law lawyer.
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