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Ontario to open Adoption Records

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Ontario to open Adoption Records

McGuinty Government Helps Adoptees, Birth Parents Unseal Personal Information

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 for adoptions that take place before September 1, 2008, and maintains no contact notices 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. 

Quick Facts

  • Approximately 250,000 adoption orders have been filed in Ontario since 1921.
  • Almost 75,000 people have registered with Ontario’s voluntary Adoption Disclosure Register since 1979, searching for information about their birth relatives.
  • Ontario is the fifth Canadian province to open its adoption records. British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador already have open records, as do the United Kingdom and New South Wales.

Additional Resources


“For many, the bond between parent and child continues far beyond the adoption process. So does the need to know your identity. Now our adoption laws finally recognize that reality.”

Madeleine Meilleur

Minister of Community and Social Services

“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. Finally, as adults, we can make private, responsible decisions regarding contact.”

Wendy Rowney

Coalition for Open Adoption Records



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