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Return of Adoption Disclosure

December 11, 2007 permalink

Ontario is proposing to replace the adoption disclosure law, changing acronyms from AIDA to AARA. Here is the press release from the Ministry of Community and Social Services. You can already read bill 12, Access to Adoption Records Act (Vital Statistics Statute Law Amendment), 2007. Below is an announcement from COAR, giving an analysis of the bill.



COAR Update

Today we met with staff members of the Ministry of Community and Social Services. They have created a new adoption disclosure bill. If it passes it will replace the Adoption Information Disclosure Act (AIDA), portions of which Judge Belobaba deemed unconstitutional.

The New Bill

The new bill allows:

  • Adopted adults (18 and older) to access their original birth registration.
  • Birth parents of adoptees (19 and older) to access the information found in the amended and original birth certificates.
  • Birth parents and adopted adults to file a contact veto
  • Birth parents and adopted adults to file a disclosure veto
  • Individuals who file a disclosure veto to provide updated medical and family histories.

The new bill is very similar to AIDA. The major changes are as follows:

  • The addition of the disclosure veto. The disclosure veto will expire after death. Individuals may withdraw the veto at any time.
  • Individuals who fear that disclosure may cause them harm no longer may apply to the Child and Family Services Board to keep their names hidden
  • Birth parents will not have to wait while the CAS determines whether their child was removed due to abuse. Their applications will be processed more quickly.

There is one other addition which we feel is very good news. Individuals adopted on or after September 1, 2008 and their birth parents will not be able to file a disclosure veto. They will have unrestricted access to information once the adoptee becomes an adult.

Moving the Bill Through the Legislature Today, the government introduced the bill to the legislature. They anticipate that it will return for second reading in early spring. It will then go to committee and return to the legislature for third reading. While we are very pleased that the government has created a new bill so quickly, we realize that we will have to wait several more months before we can apply for information.

We did discuss the current process and were assured that the government will resolve the issues many of you experienced finding applications for non-identifying information and the registry online. If you continue to have problems with this, please let us know and we will make sure that the government knows about them.

Like you we are disappointed to see the introduction of a disclosure veto but we all know that once this new bill becomes law we will be in a much better place than we were before the introduction of AIDA. Based on evidence from other jurisdictions we know that very few people will file a disclosure veto and that the vast majority of adopted adults and their birth parents will have access to their information.

In solidarity,

Michael Grand
Karen Lynn
Wendy Rowney

Source: email from COAR