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Return of Adoption Disclosure

April 4, 2008 permalink

There has been progress in enacting legislation to open Ontario's adoption records.



COAR Bulletin

April 3, 2008

This afternoon Bill 12, the Access to Adoption Records Act, passed second reading in the Ontario legislature.

Bill 12

As you will recall, the Liberals introduced the bill late in 2007. To become law it still has to go to parliamentary committee and then pass third reading. If it passes into law, Bill 12 will:

  • permit adopted adults access to their original birth certificates
  • permit birth parents of adopted adults access to the adoptee’s original and amended birth certificates
  • allow both adoptees and birth parents to file contact and disclosure vetoes
  • allow adoptees and birth parents who participate in an adoption after September 1, 2008 unrestricted access to identifying information once the adoptee reaches adulthood.

Today in the Legislature

Today Madeleine Meilleur, the Minister of Community and Social Services, reintroduced the bill and spoke eloquently of birth mothers’ need to learn information about their adult children. Then Julia Munro spoke for the Conservatives; she criticized the Liberals for failing to attach a disclosure veto to the previous bill.

The surprise came when Peter Kormos from the NDP denounced the adoption community as zealots and praised the privacy commissioner for her valiant fight to protect the privacy of frightened birth mothers. We were very surprised to hear such strong statements from the NDP who, until this time, had unequivocally supported open records in Ontario. Michael Prue of the NDP spoke after Kormos and was less antagonistic. He simply recognized the need to include a disclosure veto after Judge Belobaba’s ruling last fall.

Next Steps

We anticipate that the bill will go to committee some time this spring. The government has indicated that there will be no public presentations. The committee will go through the bill clause by clause. At the conclusion of this process, the bill will go to the legislature for third reading.

In solidarity,

Michael Grand,
Karen Lynn,
Wendy Rowney,

COAR Coordinating Committee

Source: email from COAR