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Adoption Disclosure Enacted
November 1, 2005 permalink
The Ontario legislature has enacted the adoption disclosure bill. Now, baby theft will at least come to an end eighteen years later.
Contentious adoption bill passes
November 1, 2005
TORONTO -- After nearly 80 years of secrecy and more than a decade of debate, Ontario has passed a controversial bill to unseal the province's adoption records.
With the support of the New Democrats, the Liberal bill passed by a wide margin.
The Opposition Conservatives opposed the legislation because they say adoptees and birth parents who want their records kept sealed consider it a potential violation of their privacy.
Ontario now joins British Columbia, Alberta and Newfoundland, which have already unsealed their adoption records.
Ontario has been trying to pass adoption legislation for more than a decade, but has always failed on the cusp of the final vote.
The legislation won't be enacted for another 18 months while the province embarks on an advertising campaign to inform those impacted by the changes.
The legislation, which was introduced in March by Social Services Minister Sandra Pupatello, is designed to let adoptees and birth parents access records that were previously sealed.
The names contained in those records will help parents find the child they surrendered years ago and adoptees to reconnect with their birth parents.
Premier Dalton McGuinty said the legislation allows information to be released while also giving people the tools they need to maintain their privacy.
"We believe that we struck the right balance,'' McGuinty said.
The legislation allows parents and children alike to stipulate that they not be contacted, or to keep their records sealed, provided they can prove to a tribunal that unsealing the records would cause harm.
"We're saying to people, `You've got a right to know but you don't have the right to a relationship,''' McGuinty said.
"We're confident we've got it right.''
Source: National Post