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Time to Act on Adoption Disclosure
August 1, 2005 permalink
John Dunn has forwarded information on the controversy over the Adoption Disclosure bill.
Information & Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian has been busy this summer. In her latest promotion of a disclosure veto in Bill 183 she has published quotations from the letters, emails and phone calls she received opposing the bill. Click on "Submission to Minister Pupatello" to read the letter to Sandra Pupatello and on "attachments" to read the quotes.
In addition, Cavoukian published her "Fact Sheet on Adoption Disclosure" on June 29th (click on the above link, it's just below "Submission to Sandra Pupatello"). This "Fact Sheet" is extremely unbalanced, and often just plain wrong, in presenting the facts about adoption disclosure. For example, the IPC claims that adopted adults cannot get copies of their own adoption orders -- you all know that this is simply not true! COAR has prepared a rebuttal to the "Fact Sheet" titled "Misinformation from the Privacy Commissioner".
It is vital that we maintain the support of MPPs who support Bill 183. In particular, we need to ensure that Liberal MPPs remain committed to the bill as it is now - without a disclosure veto. We need all of their votes to get the bill passed!
Please write to your MPP at his or her constituency office. Here's the link to all MPP's contact information: olaap.ontla.on.ca/mpp/daIndex.do?locale=en. Look under "Current Members" and click the link that suits you to find the name and constituency email address of your MPP. Please remember that MPPs will not be at their Queen's Park offices in the summer - better to write them in their ridings.
If you can, it would be best if you could visit your MPP to talk to him or her personally. Personal contact works best.
It is very possible that many MPPs will have read the misinformation from the privacy commissioner. They may not understand the damage caused by disclosure vetoes and they may be succumbing to the propaganda from the privacy commissioner. We need to make them understand WHY we don't want a disclosure veto.
If Bill 183, which right now does NOT contain a disclosure veto (just a contact veto and a fine), comes to include a disclosure veto because of pressure from the commissioner, we will lose the most progressive bill ever introduced in Canada. The experience of other provinces demonstrates that disclosure vetoes, whether applied against birth parents or adopted adults, are very hurtful, punitive, prevent medical information from being transmitted, and are often confusing. If you are an adopted adult subject to a disclosure veto you will not be able to get your original birth certificate or to get any information on it, including the name(s) of your parents of birth and your name at birth. If you are a searching birth parent you will not be able to get your son's or daughter's name.
Content of Your Letter
Tell your MPP, respectfully, in as much detail as possible, your own personal reasons why you need to know this information. Heart-warming or heartbreaking is good. You could talk about the pain of not knowing essential information about your self, not knowing how your lost child has fared, your loss, or whatever is appropriate for you. Tell them what is is like not to know who you are or what has happened to your now-adult child. The urgent need for medical information, if you need it, is good. Please try to be as convincing as possible and this time, don't be brief.
Send us a Copy
Urgent: Please send us a separate copy of your letter so that WE can use it (without your name!) to counter the quotations from the privacy commissioner. Send your copy to either Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org or Wendy at email@example.com.
Thanks friends. Here's hoping that by the end of October we will have tasted victory in Ontario.
- Michael Grand
- Karen Lynn
- Wendy Rowney
COAR Coordinating Committee