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Long Knives for Adoption Reform
May 19, 2005 permalink
A bill is pending in the Ontario Legislature that would allow natural parents and their adopted children to reunite by seeing each other's records once the child reaches the age of majority. This measure would substantially limit the power of social service agencies over their wards. The long knives are now coming out in the form of press releases alluding to those rare cases in which a parent can be harmed by reunification. Following is one from the National Post.
Suicide fears over plan to allow greater access to adoption files
CanWest News Service
Thursday, May 19, 2005
TORONTO - Elderly women are contemplating suicide, fretting about ruined reputations and reliving horrific rapes as a result of a proposed Ontario law that would open adoption records to birth parents and adult adoptees, the province's privacy commissioner warned yesterday. "There are countless defenceless individuals who have written to me, begging me to speak for them and to allow them to preserve their confidentiality," Ann Cavoukian told reporters before presenting her concerns to a legislative committee yesterday. The source of the angst is legislation introduced earlier this year by the Ontario government that would make the province's adoption disclosure regime one of the most open in the world. If passed, adoptees over the age of 18 will have the automatic right to obtain copies of their original birth and adoption records, including their original name and, in many cases, the identities of their birth parents. Similarly, one year after an adoptee reaches 18, birth parents will have access to the adult child's birth and adoption records, allowing them to know the child's post-adoption name. To protect those who want no reminders of the past, the proposed law will also give both birth parents and adult adoptees the right to put a "no-contact" notice in their files.