December 10, 2007
The Government of Ontario's new adoption information disclosure legislation would, if passed, allow for more openness in adoption records while allowing those involved with past adoptions to protect their privacy.
The proposed legislation amends the Vital Statistics Act and the Child and Family Services Act to allow:
Adult adoptees and birth parents will also be able to continue to place no-contact notices and contact preferences on their files.
If passed, the new legislation will allow adoptees and birth parents to place a disclosure veto on their file if their adoption order is made in Ontario before September 1, 2008. If a disclosure veto has been placed on a file, copies of adoption orders or birth registrations will not be released.
If a disclosure veto has been placed on a file, adoptees and birth parents can still apply for non-identifying information in their adoption records. If there are concerns about a severe medical condition, adoptees and birth parents may also be eligible for a severe medical search to obtain or share information about their family medical history, for example, information needed for an organ transplant.
The legislation, if passed, would ask anyone who registers a disclosure veto on their file to voluntarily provide information about their family and medical history. This information can help a birth relative who needs to know about potential inherited medical conditions to make informed health care choices.
The government has made an immediate regulatory change to restore the province's ability to give adult adoptees and adoptive parents copies of their adoption orders. Identifying information about birth parents will be removed from these documents. An adoptee may require a copy of their adoption order to obtain certain documents including a passport or travel visa.
The province's ability to release these important documents has not been available since the recent Superior Court of Ontario decision regarding the Adoption Information Disclosure Act, 2005.
The new legislation will apply to all adoptions registered in Ontario.
Members of the general public may call: 416-325-5666 or toll free at 1-888-789-4199.
Communications and Marketing Branch
Statement to the Legislature : Introduction of the Access to Adoptions Records Act, 2007
Ontario Moves Forward To Open Adoption Records
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