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Adoption Disclosure

Adoption Disclosure Services

The provision of adoption disclosure services in Ontario has changed significantly with the proclamation in May 2008 of the Access to Adoption Records Act.

Adoption Disclosure Services provided by Children’s Aid Societies (CAS)

The role of the CAS is now limited to the provision of non-identifying social and medical histories for adopted persons. If you were placed for adoption through Family and Children’s Services of Renfrew, and do not have your non-identifying history, to request this service. If you are not certain which CAS was involved in your adoption, please call 613-735-6866

Who may apply for a non-identifying social and medical history?

Adopted adults, a minor adopted person with the written consent of an adoptive parent, adoptive parents, birth parents, birth grandparents, an adult birth sibling of an adopted adult, an adult sibling of birth parents and adult children of deceased adopted adults can apply.

Disclosure services NOT provided by the Society

Copies of birth registration and adoption orders can not be provided by a Children’s Aid Society. (Post adoption birth information)

As of June 1, 2009, under new legislation, once an adopted person reaches the age of 18, that person can apply for copies of their birth registration and adoption order. Birth parents can also apply once the adopted adult has reached the age of 19. To apply for this service, visit the or call 1-800-461-2156.

Protecting your privacy

Adopted adults and birth parents also have the option to protect the privacy of their post adoption birth information. Adopted adults and birth parents can:

  • file a notice of contact preference to specify how they would like to be contacted
  • file a no contact notice if they do not want to be contacted, but are willing to have their identifying information released
  • file a disclosure veto if the adoption was finalized before September 1, 2008. This will prevent identifying post adoption birth information from being released.

For additional information regarding filing a disclosure veto, or contact notice preference, please visit the website or call 1-800-461-2156.

Eligibility for Indian Status

For adopted persons wishing to determine if they are eligible for Indian Status, please contact:

Indian Registrar, Office of the Indian Registrar Indian and Northern Affairs Canada Ottawa ON K1A 0H4

Or, to learn more about the procedures to apply for status, visit the website and consult the section: Indian Status: Who is Eligible? The site also has information about First Nations People and the services and benefits that are available to Status Indians.

Adoption Disclosure Registry

Under the new legislation, people who want to get in touch with their birth relatives can add their names to Ontario’s voluntary Adoption Disclosure Register. Please be advised that this is a passive registry, meaning no active search for birth family will be conducted if you register. If a birth family member has also registered, you will simply be provided with their contact information. The Adoption Disclosure Register is maintained by the Custodian of Adoption Information. Under the new legislation, there is no provision for any form of reunion or supportive adoption disclosure counselling. For more information regarding this service, please visit the website or call 1-800-461-2156.

Severe Medical Searches

The Custodian of Adoption Information is responsible for conducting severe medical searches. If you were adopted, are the descendent of an adopted person, or are a birth relative of an adopted person and you have a severe mental or physical illness, you may be eligible for a severe medical search. You can also apply if you are an adoptive parent and your adopted child is under 18. A severe medical search is conducted when it is likely to significantly increase the likelihood of diagnosing or treating a severe mental or physical illness. The Custodian of Adoption Information will attempt to locate and contact an adopted adult or a birth family member to get any information that would help.

To learn more about this service, visit the website or call 1-800-461-2156.

Renfrew Family and Children’s Services (Adapted from Hamilton CAS)