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ADOPTION NEWS CENTRAL
Ontario adoption files open June 1, 2009 -- you can choose to disclose or hide your identity
BY ROBIN HILBORN, Family Helper editor
(Oct. 29, 2008) Community papers across Ontario today ran a full-page government advertisement headed "Has Adoption Touched Your Life?". It tells the parties involved in an Ontario adoption that they'll soon get access to personal information now locked away in adoption records.
Starting June 1, 2009 they will be able to view original birth certificates and adoption orders in order to identify adopted adults and birth parents whose names were formerly protected in sealed files. Adoptees will be able to find out their original names and the names of their birth parents. Birth parents could learn the name their child was given after adoption.
Some may not want their identity known, so starting Sept. 1, 2008 adoptees and birth parents who want to stay private can file a Disclosure Veto; they must do so before June 1, 2009. They can also file a No Contact Notice if they don't want to hear from a child placed for adoption or from birth parents.
There is an option for telling people you want to be found, which the Ontario government advertisement doesn't mention. You can encourage a meeting by sending in the Notice of Contact Preference form.
By submitting your contact information you would make it easier to arrange a meeting with an adult adoptee or birthparent. The person looking for you would get this form when applying for identifying information, thus letting them contact you right away instead of conducting a possibly lengthy search for you. You would specify how you would like to be contacted (say by telephone, e-mail, exchange of letters) and whether you would meet in person or through a third party.
You can change your mind: the Notice of Contact Preference will not be given to a person if you later submit a Disclosure Veto or a No Contact Notice.
For more, see the Family Helper article Ontario to open adoption records (May 22, 2008).
The Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services has posted a video and FAQ. Here's a transcript of the video:
Are you an adopted person or a birth parent of an adopted person? If the adoption was finalized in Ontario, you need to know about:________________________________________
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"From Family Helper, www.familyhelper.net"