Wednesday, May 14, 2008

CANADA: Ontario to Open Adoption Records, May 14, 2008








CNW GroupMay 14, 2008

Ontario to OPen Adopton Records:
McGuinty Government Helps Adoptees, Birth Parents Unseal Personal
    Information

TORONTO, May 14 /CNW/ -

NEWS

A new Ontario law will soon give adult adoptees and birth parents access
to information that is currently sealed in their adoption records.
For years, adoptees and birth parents have worked to get personal and
family information from their original birth certificates and adoption
records. Ontario's new law will help adoptees find out what their original
names were, as well as who their birth parents were. It could also help birth
parents learn the name their child was given after he or she was adopted.
The law includes a new disclosure veto
(http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/mcss/english/pillars/community/questions/adoption/a
bout_adopt_disclose_sys.htm) for adoptions that take place before September 1,
2008, and maintains no contact notices
(http://www.gov.on.ca/ont/portal/!ut/p/.cmd/cs/.ce/7_0_A/.s/7_0_252/_s.7_0_A/7
_0_252/_l/en?docid=STEL02_160608) for all adoptions registered in Ontario.
Adoptees and birth parents can begin to apply for disclosure vetoes in
September 2008. Adoptees and birth parents will be able to apply for
information from their adoption records starting in June 2009.

QUOTES

"For many, the bond between parent and child continues far beyond the
adoption process. So does the need to know your identity," said Minister of
Community and Social Services Madeleine Meilleur. "Now our adoption laws
finally recognize that reality."
"This act will have a profound impact on thousands of people who have
been longing for years, often decades, to know their roots or the names of
their children," said Wendy Rowney from the Coalition for Open Adoption
Records. "Finally, as adults, we can make private, responsible decisions
regarding contact."

QUICK FACTS

<< - Approximately 250,000 adoption orders have been filed (http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/mcss/english/pillars/community/questions/adoption/a
bout_adopt_disclose_sys.htm) in Ontario since 1921.

- Almost 75,000 people have registered with Ontario's voluntary
Adoption Disclosure Register
(http://www.gov.on.ca/ont/portal/!ut/p/.cmd/cs/.ce/7_0_A/.s/7_0_252/_s.7_0_A/7
_0_252/_l/en?docid=STEL02_160616) since 1979, searching for information about
their birth
relatives.

- Ontario is the fifth Canadian province to open its adoption records.
British Columbia (http://www.vs.gov.bc.ca/adoption/releas_adopt.html),
Alberta (http://child.alberta.ca/home/602.cfm), Manitoba
(http://www.gov.mb.ca/fs/childfam/registry.html) and Newfoundland and
Labrador (http://www.gs.gov.nl.ca/gs/vs/adoption-records.stm) already
have open records, as do the United Kingdom
(http://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/adoptions/adoptioncontactregister/)
and New South Wales
(http://www.community.nsw.gov.au/DOCS/STANDARD/PC_101095.htm).

LEARN MORE

- Visit ServiceOntario to learn more about services and information for
adoptees and birth relatives
(http://www.gov.on.ca/ont/portal/!ut/p/.cmd/cs/.ce/7_0_A/.s/7_0_252/_s.7_0_A/7
_0_252/_l/en?docid=STEL02_160609).

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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was adopted in 1955, I have adopted 3 children. I am vey upset that the goverment passed this new law, opening the adoption records. At the time we were told that these records were to be sealed and only the adopted child at the age of 18 would be allowed to make a request about the biological parents. This law is now putting my child at risk, of being found by a drug addict.My 18 year old child (although considered now to be an adult)sat at the table crying and wondering if someone is going to approch her - I have been on both sides of this issue, I consider it to be completely unfair according to all laws made previously and strips me of all rights to privicy. Another point to be considered is I am bound by law to uphold my part of this adoption contract but the goverment simply backed out of their part.

saphorr said...

To anonymous:

I am an adoptee who is eagerly looking forward to June 2009. While you may have signed a contract as an adoptive parent, I never signed any such contract as an adoptee, and it is my personal belief that knowing my birth information is an issue of individual rights.

That said, if you (as an adoptee) or your children feel yourselves at risk from the opening of records, please understand that you have the right to file a disclosure veto to prevent the release of your name, or a contact veto to prevent contact from birth parents. There is no need for anyone aware of this law to live in fear of it!

By the way, regarding adult adoptees being "allowed to make a request about the biological parents", please understand that since at least the 70s, adoptees have not had any more rights than birth parents as far as such information is concerned.

Like birth parents, we could ask for non-identifying information, ask to be put on a disclosure registry, and request a search for a birth relative to be done by the Ontario government.

I too was told that I could ask about my birth parents when I turned 18, and was sorely disappointed when I learned that no more information was available and there would be a 5-to-8 year wait for a government-run search. I sincerely believe that June 2009 will finally bring an end to many years of patient waiting for me and many other adoptees interested in our pasts.

Connor said...

How lucky you folks in Ontario are to be able to access your adoption info. As usual, Nova Scotia is decades behind in everything including opening adoption records. I found my birth mother myself after 40 years and tried contacting her by letter and leaving a voice mail asking for medical info and birth father's name, I heard from her lawyer saying that she felt harrassed and threatened by my inquiries. I have three sons and no medical background from her or my biological father. I do have a half sister with my biological mother, but she is in her 40's too and did not have any children. My three boys are my biological mother's only grandchildren, yet she wants nothing to do with them. They find that hard to understand, yet they are still young. I am 46 and still find it hard to understand. Being a mother myself, how can you turn your back on your own flesh and blood?

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Anonymous said...

Be careful what you wish for,because it might only become more confusing. I got my birth certificate, but my b mom claims I must mean her sister. Her sister says it was definatey her. And my mothers other kids who were 17 and 14 at the time claim that their mother wasnt ever pregnant. So what is this peice of paper worth in the long run if people can still deny the truth?