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I am a birth parent. Can my adopted child find me?

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I am a birth parent. Can my adopted child find me?
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Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies
Adoption Council of Ontario
Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies

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I am a birth parent. Can my adopted child find me?
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Reviewed: 
May 15, 2018
Answer

Your adopted child may be able to find out who you are. In Ontario, adoption records are open and available to people who were involved in an adoption. This means that once an adopted child turns 18, they can ask for information about their adoption and their birth parents from the government.

But, as a birth parent you have some control over:

  • how much information your child can get about you
  • what kind of information your child can get about you
  • whether or not your child can contact you and how they can contact you

If your child was born in Ontario and the adoption took place in Ontario, your child can ask for 2 types of information:

  • identifying information, which will give them your identity
  • non-identifying information, which will give them information about the adoption. It will not give them information about your identity.

If your child was adopted before September 1, 2008 and you do not want your name released to them, you can apply for a disclosure veto. A disclosure veto means that your identifying information, including your name, will not be released.

If your child was adopted after September 1, 2008, your child can get identifying information about you. But that does not mean that your child can contact you. If you do not want to be contacted, you can file a no contact notice

If you want your child to be able to contact you, you can file a notice of contact preference. This tells your child how you want to be contacted if they wish to contact you. 

Adoptions outside Ontario

If your child was born outside Ontario or if the adoption took place outside Ontario, check with the adoption authorities of that province or country to find out what information they share.

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