Finding your birth parents- ADOPTION RECORDS

Webpage updated March 1, 2019

Canadian Council of Natural Mothers


Alberta opened their adoption records November 1, 2004.

Alberta Adoption Registry
Adult adoptees, descendants of deceased adoptees and birth parents can access Alberta adoption records.

British Columbia

Open Adoption Records since November 4, 1996

How to Access Adoption Records

Under the Adoption Act in B.C., birth parents and adults who were adopted as children can get identifying information about each other.

Original birth records for adopted children can be requested – information that identifies birth parents is removed from the record, unless they previously gave their consent to have the information be made available.

There are two ways to access information about an adoption record:
1. As a Freedom of Information request
2. Application for Service Pertaining to an Adopted Person – Once adoptees are 19, they or their birth parents can apply for a copy of the adoption order or original B.C. birth registrations

Searching Adoption records in British Columbia


Open Birth Records Related to Adoption
Applying for Access to Birth Records Related to Adoption
Legislation came into effect in Manitoba on June 15, 2015

Recent changes to The Adoption Act and The Vital Statistics Act allow for more openness with respect to birth records related to adoption. Read the May 22, 2015 news release.

Manitoba's legislation allows adoptees and birth parents to apply for access to available identifying information. Adoptees and birth parents can apply to access these records through the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry. Application forms are available online.

Adoptees (18 years of age or older) can request pre-adoption birth registration information

Manitoba Post Adoption Registry records website

New Brunswick

Child, Youth and Families - Adoption Disclosure Search

Newfoundland and Labrador

Accessing Records Under the Adoption Act, 2013

Access to Adoption Information

Societal attitudes toward adoption have changed. Increasingly, people involved in adoptions want greater openness and access to information.

The Adoption Act, 2013 which came into effect on June 30, 2014 continues to recognize the importance of openness for both adopted persons and birth parents. Adopted persons and birth parents may apply to the Vital Statistics Division to obtain copies of records on file.

Records are now open for natural parents and adopted adults. However, disclosure and contact vetoes apply. For provincial laws, regulations and search information:


Department of Family Services
Government of Nunavut
Box 1000, Station 1000
Iqaluit, Nunavut X0A 0H0

Phone: 867-975-5232
Fax: 867-975-5298

Nunavut government - Family Services website

Nova Scotia

Adoption Disclosure
Nova Scotia's Adoption Information Act establishes a balance between people's right to privacy and the opportunity for contact between adopted person and their birth families.

The Adoption Information Act creates an active registry to help people search for members of their birth family. Identifying information will be exchanged only after both parties have consented.

Adoption information on file
The basic record for any adoption consists of legal documents and background information. In recent years there has been a general improvement in the type and amount of information recorded. In the past, records were not so complete and there may be little information available on a particular adoption.

Nove Scotia Adoption Disclosure


For more formation about Ontario's adoption information disclosure system, please contact the Adoption Disclosure Unit at:

The Adoption Disclosure Register Unit

Ministry of Community and Social Services

4th Flr, 315 Front St W, Toronto, ON M7A 0B8 Canada

Tel: 416-325-8305 or 416-326-1234

Fax: (416) 326-6867

Employees: ( updated March 1, 2019 )
Shahine Khadaroo | Adoption Information Advisor | 416-327-4688 |
Judy Ng | Adoption Information Advisor (Acting) | 416-327-4688 |
Nathan Thomas | Adoption Information Caseworker | 416-327-4705 |
Sheryl Dennis | Adoption Information Caseworker | 416-327-4706 |
Junko Yates | Adoption Information Caseworker (Acting) | 416-325-8526 |
Kathi Callanan | Program Coordinator (Acting) | 416-327-4699 |

Please note: To ensure confidentiality, the Adoption Disclosure Unit responds to most e-mail inquiries by regular mail. Please include your mailing address and postal code if inquiring by e-mail. If you prefer being contacted personally, please include your daytime telephone number, including area code.

The information below was taken from the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services ( March 1, 2019 ) To view it directly click here

About Ontario's New Adoption Information Disclosure System

What is the Adoption Information Disclosure Act, 2005?

The new legislation will allow more access to adoption records for adult adoptees and birth parents, while balancing the right of an individual who does not wish to be contacted.

The new adoption information laws will give Ontario adoptees what the rest of us take for granted the right to know their personal identity and history.

When fully implemented, the legislation will allow:

  • an adopted person who is 18 years old or older to obtain a copy of his or her original birth record and adoption order. The adoptee would be able to learn his or her original name at birth. These documents may also provide identifying information about birth parents.

  • a birth parent to obtain the information contained in the birth registration and the adoption order of the child they gave up for adoption, once that child reaches 19 years of age. These documents may provide identifying information about the adoptee, including his or her name after adoption. Any information about the adoptive parents would be removed.

  • a birth parent or adoptee who does not wish to be contacted to put a "no contact" notice on his or her record. The individual who registers the "no contact" notice would be asked to voluntarily provide family and medical history and a brief statement about his or her reasons for filing a "no contact" notice.

  • sanctions for violation of a "no contact" notice up to $50,000 for an individual or up to $250,000 for a corporation.

  • birth parents and adoptees to apply to the Child and Family Services Review Board to prevent disclosure of identifying information where there are concerns for personal safety.

Who is affected by this legislation?

The legislation has a direct impact on adult adoptees and birth parents of adult adoptees. Once the legislation is fully proclaimed in force, adult adoptees and birth parents, with certain exceptions may be able to find out who their birth parents/children are through identifying information from original birth registrations and adoption orders held by the Office of the Registrar General.

When will the new legislation be implemented?

Implementation of the legislation has begun. We expect that the new system will be fully implemented in September 2007.

We will be using this transition time to put the proper processes and procedures in place to file "no contact" notices and to process requests for information. It will also provide some time for adoptees and birth parents to learn about their new information and privacy rights.

When the legislation is fully implemented, will the changes affect all adoptions that have occurred in Ontario?

Yes, the changes will be applied retroactively. This means that the changes will affect all adult adoptees and their birth parents where the adoption order was registered in Ontario.

What changes have already occurred?

Before January 3, 2006, adult adoptees and birth relatives could apply to the Adoption Disclosure Unit of the Ministry of Community and Social Services to conduct a search for a birth parent, birth grandparent or birth sibling if their application didnt result in an automatic match on the register.

Since January 3, 2006, the Ministry, is only accepting and processing new search applications for severe medical reasons (e.g. information needed for an organ transplant).

As of April 24, 2006, the Ministry, is no longer accepting new applications. This is being done to stabilize the number of records that need to be transferred to the new disclosure process. All applications received before April 24, 2006 will be processed, and if a match is found on the register, the parties involved will be notified.

I have already applied for a search. Will the ministry continue to process my application?

If the ministry received your application for a search before January 3, 2006, it will be processed. Although every effort will be made to complete all searches during the transition to the new adoption information disclosure system, we cant guarantee that all searches will be completed. Some searches can take years to complete.

All search applications received before January 3, 2006 will be processed with priority given to severe medical searches. Once the Adoption Information Disclosure Act, 2005 is fully implemented, all non-medical searches will be discontinued.

Who can request a search for severe medical reasons and for whom?

People who are eligible to request searches are:

  • adult adoptees;

  • adoptees under the age of 18 who have the consent of an adoptive parent

    birth parents;

  • adoptive parents on behalf of a minor adoptees;

    adult birth siblings;

    birth grandparents;

    those who have legal custody of minor adoptees or birth siblings; and individuals authorized to act on behalf of incapacitated individuals. (Incapacitated persons may include adult adoptees, birth parents, birth grandparents, and birth siblings.)

The following people may be sought under a severe medical search:

  • adult adoptees;

  • birth parents;

  • adoptive parents of minor adoptees;

  • birth siblings;

  • birth grandparents; and

  • people who have legal custody of minor adoptees or birth siblings.

When I gave up my child for adoption, I thought my anonymity would be protected. What if I dont want to be contacted?

The Adoption Information Disclosure Act, 2005 is based on the premise that adoptees should have the same access to their medical and personal history that non-adopted people have.

At the same time, the legislation recognizes that the right to know is not the same as the right to a relationship. People will have the right to place a no contact notice on their file and there will be significant penalties for those who do not respect these notices.

In other jurisdictions, such as British Columbia and Newfoundland, these sanctions have been effective. There are no records of individuals breaching a no contact notice anywhere in Canada.

During the interim period leading up to the full implementation of the new adoption information disclosure system, birth parents and adoptees may apply to the Child and Family Services Review Board (416-327-4673 ) to prevent disclosure of identifying information in order to prevent sexual or significant emotional or physical harm.

I am a birth parent/adoptee and am concerned about my personal safety if my identifying information is released. How do I apply to the Child and Family Services Review Board to prevent disclosure of identifying information?

There will be an interim period before adoptees can apply to have access to the birth registrations and before birth parents can apply to have access to information from birth registrations and adoption orders.

Before this period lapses, the province will provide information about how to apply to the Child and Family Services Review Board (416-327-4673 ) to prevent disclosure of your identifying information. This information will be available publicly well before the new system is fully implemented."

Prince Edward Island

Passive Registry for persons adopted and natural parents ( link not working 17APR07)

Active Search Registry   for persons adopted searching for natural parents ( link not working 17APR07)

Our Darlings' Registry   (based in P.E.I) - Pearl Gillies, a CCNM member and Provincial Representative (P.E.I.)


Accessing your post-adoption records and starting a search in Québec

How to go about searching for a parent or child

You will need to submit a written request to the Youth Centre (Centre Jeunesse, or formerly the C.S.S.) in the region where the child was born. For a complete list of the Youth Centres, click here. (Pdf)

It is essential that you follow this procedure. There are two things you should request.

A] Ask to be sent non-identifying information about your birth parent or your child.

If you are an adoptee looking for your birth mother, you should address your request to the Youth Centre in the region where you were adopted. This document is a synopsis with no information that would allow you to identify the person you are looking for.

If you are a birth mother looking for your child, you should address your request to the Youth Centre in the region where the child was given up for adoption. This document is a synopsis with no information that would allow you to identify the adoptive family.

If you are an orphan, you should address your request to the Youth Centre in the last region in which you were living before you reached adult age or to the Youth Centre in the region where you were born.

B] Ask to be added to the post-adoption registry so that your name can be forwarded to other people looking for you.

The Québec Youth Centres are the only places where the adoption records are kept. As a result, they are the only people who know the identity of the people concerned. The original names and the names given at baptism are often fictitious, and thus of no use. The Youth Centres give priority to the following cases: children whose mother is older than 70 serious illness orphans social distress (psychological disorders) matches

Since October 1, 2007, all services for the post-adoption sector in the Youth Centers are free of charge. So, the three steps (search, contact and reunion) are free of charge. No extra fees are required to open your file, send your non-identifying information, or any other application in this sector.


Passive Registry and Active Search


The Child and Family Services Act is in effect as of April 30, 2010 and includes significant changes to how the Department of Health and Social Services deals with adoption disclosures.

The legislation allows for more openness around adoption-related records, making it easier for birth parents and people who were adopted to find each other. However, in situations where they do not wish to be contacted, birth parents and children involved in previous adoptions can maintain confidentiality by filing a no-contact declaration.

For adoptions finalized under the previous Children's Act, individuals who wish to maintain confidentiality must file a disclosure veto to prevent identifying information from being released through the birth registration or adoption.

As of April 30, 2010, adopted people aged 19 or over and birth parents can access their individual information if there is no disclosure veto in place.

Assistance for adult persons who were adopted adopted and natural parents seeking disclosure, reunion information or counselling.

Yukon Adoption Services website

Canadian Press

Adoption bill passed to cheers, tears

Received support across party lines
Critics want veto clause for privacy

Canadian Press,  by Gillian Livingston,  Nov. 2, 2005

Supporters sobbed, cheered and embraced one another yesterday as the Ontario government finally passed controversial legislation to unseal the province's adoption records after what proponents of the bill consider 80 years of secrecy and shame.

New Democrat member Marilyn Churley, a birth mother and long-time champion of changes to Ontario's adoption laws, bowed her head and wiped away a tear as the votes were counted, aware that her 10-year battle for change was at an end. Read More ..

Toronto Star

Adoption disclosure law backed

`We're moving forward': McGuinty

Bill not expected until next year

Nov. 23, 2004

Premier Dalton McGuinty yesterday vowed to bring in an adoption disclosure law that would make it easier for birth parents to find the children they gave up for adoption.

"We're going to move forward with this," McGuinty told the Legislature yesterday.

His response was prompted by questions from NDP MPP Marilyn Churley (Toronto-Danforth), who has tried unsuccessfully for years to get a private member's bill passed that would open up the process for parents and children.  Read More ..

The Butterbox Babies Story

The Ideal Maternity Home is infamous for the Butterbox Babies.

The Ideal Maternity Home operated in East Chester, Nova Scotia, Canada from the late 1920s through at least the late 1940s. William and Lila Young operated it. William was a chiropractor and Lila was a midwife, although she advertised herself as an obstetrician.

While they were tried for various crimes involving the home, including manslaughter, the entire truth of the horrors perpetrated there was not widely known until much later.


Katherine Knight - Psycho Husband Killer

Video Katherine Knight- Husband killer butcherer

'We had to make a decision whether the story was palatable for people to read with their breakfast in the morning. A decision was made this couldn't be reported. It was too horrific,' said Peter Lalor, journalist with The Australian.

The real Hannibal Lecter was a woman. Psychopathic husband killer Katherine Knight of Australia butchered her husband , skinned him and cooked him up for the children.   This has to be the worst case of domestic violence we have ever seen.

Knight methodically skinned Price's corpse, taking off the entire skin, including his face, ears, scalp and neck, like a ghoulish suit. The macabre suit of skin was then hung up on a hook in the entrance of the house, where it remained until it was removed by the horrified police officers. Read More ..