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Accessing Records Under the Adoption Act, 2013

Filing an Application for Service

Access to Adoption Information

Societal attitudes toward adoption have changed. Increasingly, people involved in adoptions want greater openness and access to information.

The Adoption Act, 2013 which came into effect on June 30, 2014 continues to recognize the importance of openness for both adopted persons and birth parents. Adopted persons and birth parents may apply to the Vital Statistics Division to obtain copies of records on file.

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Eligibility Under the New Adoption Act, 2013

The option of filing an Application for Service is available to adopted people 19 years of age or older and to birth parents when the adopted person has reached 19 years of age.

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Records Available To Eligible Applicants

Adopted persons who were born and adopted in Newfoundland and Labrador will receive a copy of their original birth registration in their birth name (including the name of any birth parent on record) and a copy of their adoption order provided a disclosure veto has not been filed.

Birth parents of people born and adopted in Newfoundland and Labrador will receive a copy of the adopted person's original birth registration, the adopted person's birth registration following adoption (including any changes of name consequent to the adoption), and the adoption order.

Adopted persons who were not born in Newfoundland and Labrador but were adopted in the province will receive a copy of the adoption order and any identification particulars of the adopted person. Similarly, birth parents of people adopted in Newfoundland and Labrador but not born in the province will receive a copy of the adoption order and any identification particulars of the adopted person following the adoption.

Adopted persons who were born in Newfoundland and Labrador but adopted in another province may apply to receive a copy of their original birth registration.

A birth parent named on an original birth registration of an adult who was born in the province but adopted in another province, may apply for the adopted person’s birth registration following adoption (including any changes of name consequent to the adoption), and the adoption order.

Before an adoption record is released to a birth parent, all identifying information pertaining to adoptive parents is deleted to protect their right to privacy.

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Required fees and Identification

For each search of records and a copy of a birth registration and adoption order a fee of $50.00 will apply. As proof of identity, applicants are required to attach a photocopy of their legal birth certificate to the Application for Service Pertaining to an Adopted Person or Birth Parent Form.(A baptismal certificate is not acceptable.) All applicants are requested to fill out this form to the best of their ability.

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Limitations of Disclosure

Where an adoption was finalized in Nl and Labrador prior to April 30, 2003, an adopted person or birth parent named on an original birth registration may apply to vital statistice to prevent the release of their name through the completion of a disclosure veto.

When a search for adoption records is successful but a disclosure veto has been filed under Section 56 of the Adoption Act, 2013, the Vital Statistics Division will not release adoption records and will maintain the confidentiality of the person(s) who filed the veto. Where a written statement has been filed by an adopted person or a birth parent who has filed a disclosure veto, the Vital Statistics Division will forward this statement to the other applicant.

Where an adoption was finalized in Nl and Labrador prior to April 30, 2003, an adopted person or birth parent named on an original birth registration may apply to vital statistics to complete a no contact declaration advising they do not wish to be contacted by the person requesting the information.

When a search for adoption records is successful but a no-contact declaration filed under Section 57 of the Adoption Act, 2013 exists, the Vital Statistics Division will contact the applicant and advise them of the situation. The applicant will be provided with a Statutory Declaration and Undertaking Form that will require notarization and which specifies the conditions under which information will be released. Only after processing the undertaking will the adoption information and any written statement that has been filed be released.

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Written Statement

A person filing a disclosure veto or no-contact declaration has the option of filing a written statement with the Vital Statistics Division. This written statement may include any information which the person chooses to disclose. Where a written statement has been filed by an adopted person or a birth parent, the Vital Statistics Division will forward this statement to the applicant upon completion of the processing of their application for birth registration and adoption order information.

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Application Form

The Application for Service is available online or at a Government Service Centre location or at the Vital Statistics Division.

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Further Information

Send questions online or go to the Vital Statistics Division or a Government Service Centre Location.

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