The Access to Adoption Records Act, 2008 allows adopted adults over the age of 18 and birth parents of a child placed for adoption in Ontario if the child is over 19 years of age to apply for identifying information from birth and adoption records through Service Ontario. This legislation makes it easier for people to look for information about their birth relatives when they have been separated by adoption. It gives adopted adults and birth parents access to information that is currently sealed in their adoption records. This information is called Post-Adoption Birth Information. For an adopted adult, it includes identifying information such as his/her original name and the name of a birth parent. For a birth parent, it includes the name their child was given after he or she was adopted.
Adopted adults and birth parents also have the option to protect their privacy by:
- filing a Notice of Contact Preference to provide current contact information and to specify how they would like to be contacted by their adult child/birth parent.
- filing a No Contact Notice if they do not want to be contacted but are willing to have their identifying information released to their adult child/birth parent.
- filing a Disclosure Veto if the adoption was finalized before September 1, 2008 to prevent their identifying information from being released to their adult child/birth parent.
Adopted adults, birth parents, adoptive parents, and other birth relatives of an adopted adult can also apply for other information and services such as:
- placing their name on the Ontario government’s Adoption Disclosure Register in order to make direct contact with a birth parent or an adult adopted person
- Severe Medical Searches if there is a serious illness
- Non-identifying information
- Copies of Adoption Orders
You can contact Service Ontario to apply for your Post-Adoption Birth Information and to apply for any of the other options listed above. This service is free. If you have any questions, you may call Service Ontario at their toll-free number: 1-800-461-2156.
If you would like to speak with a social worker about any of the above, to request adoption disclosure services, or to apply for non-identifying information from our agency, please call our office at 519-824-2410 or toll-free at 1-800-265-8300. You may also request assistance from our agency by completing an on-line application as an adult adopted person or a birth relative