Ontario Adoption Records
in Ontario on June 1st, 2009.
An adopted person can obtain his or her original Certificate of Live Birth/Birth Registration, with original name and the name and address of natural mother at the time of birth (Note: father’s names rarely appear as “unwed mothers” were routinely told to “leave it blank”).
Natural mothers can obtain a copy of the birth registration and adoption court order showing the adoptive name of the adoptee.
The following records are available for request in Ontario:
1. Vital Statistics Adoption File which includes:
a) Original Certificate of Live Birth/Birth Registration
This will include the name of the natural mother, her address at the time of birth, the name given to the adoptee at birth.
b) Adoption Order
This is the actual adoption order which will show the child’s adopted name, and in some cases the name of the natural mother. The names of Adopters are not released to natural families and may be redacted.
- See Access to Adoption Records Information
- Download the Application for Post-Birth Adoption Information Form
Adoptees can obtain non-identifying information about the adoption. This would include social history including ages, physical features, employment. Since social history narratives are created by Social Workers based on the information in the file, they vary from case to case.
To obtain non-identifying information, apply to the Children’s Aid Society which facilitated the adoption.
Adoption File: Mothers can apply to the Children’s Aid Society that processed the adoption. Send a registered letter requesting the contents of your file:
Your Address Here
BY REGISTERED MAIL
Childrens Aid Society of Toronto (Send to the Children’s Aid Society that handled the adoption)
33 Isabella Street
Re: Adoption Records
I am the mother of a child adopted in (Year). Please accept this letter as my formal request for the entire contents of my file related to that adoption. This is not a request for non-identifying information. Following are the particulars:
Date of Birth:
City of Birth:
Name of Mother:
Name given to child at birth:
Adopted Name of child (if known):
Name of Adopted Parents: (if known)
I am requesting the entire contents of the CAS file pertaining to this adoption including but not limited to the following:
1. All legal and other documents including any third party documents
2. All clinical notes of Social worker and any other CAS workers
3. All medical reports and documentation
4. All correspondence
5. All court related documents
6. Entire contents of file
I will look forward to receiving these documents at your earliest convenience.
3. Hospital Records
Mothers can call the Medical Records department of the hospital in which the birth took place to obtain your hospital chart with respect to prenatal care, labour and delivery, birth, hospital stay, etc. Persons adopted can also obtain their hospital chart with respect to their birth and post natal newborn care.Request Your Records from the Salvation Army Grace Hospital in Toronto
4. Maternity Home Records
Mothers who resided in Maternity Homes may apply to directly to the Home (if still operating) or the religious organization which ran the home for any records which may have survived:
For the Salvation Army Homes contact:
Salvation Army Archives, 26 Howden Road, Scarborough, ON M1R 3E4
Phone: (416) 285-4344
United Church of Canada
3250 Bloor Street West, Ste. 300 Toronto, ON M8X 2Y4
Phone: (416) 231-7680
5. Records Prior to Adoption Act 1921
See Guardianship and Adoption Records – Ontario Archives
Once you have obtained the names of your natural parents or the child you lost to adoption, some useful tools for your search include:
- Searching for names using Google or Facebook
- Looking in online phone directories including www.canada411.ca and www.pipl.ca
- Your original birth record indicates where your natural mother and father were born. You can use the phone directory for that city to contact them or other family members to find out where they might currently be living.
- Henderson Directories (“City Directories”) for the city you were born in, or in which your natural parent was born, and for occupations. They can also provide relevant older information on names, addresses, and occupations dating back to 1905. Many cities across Canada had these directories in addition to phone-books. Check local libraries and online sources (e.g., University of Alberta) for copies.
- Check adoption notices in the newspaper after date of completion of adoption. Also check birth notices that do not mention the time of birth or doctors involved, these are sometimes disguised adoption notices.
- Check birthday wishes in the paper
- Peruse highschool and yearbooks for appropriate years
- Check Obituaries
In 2009 Ontario became the fourth province in Canada to approve open records. Against much opposition by open records groups, this legislation was later amended to include veto provisions after a legal challenge by three adoptees and one biological father.
- Access to Adoption Information Act (2008) which amended the Vital Statistics Act and the Child and Family Services Act.
- Ontario Government news release of November 1, 2005, announcing open records legislation
- Ontario Government news release of November 14, 2007, announcing disclosure veto provision
- Bill 12 of October 2007, containing disclosure veto provision (Section 48.5) (pdf)
The Sixties Scoop
SIXTIES SCOOP CLAIMIf you believe you have been affected by the Sixties Scoop and want more information about the Sixties Scoop claim go to:
for information, forms, and contact information.
INDIGENOUS SURVIVORS OF CHILD WELFARE – INDIGENOUS ADOPTEESA network of Sixties Scoop Survivors offering fellowship, resources, survivor gatherings, sharing of stories to survivors of Sixties Scoop and child welfare policies:
Access link here:
METIS NATIONDeveloped by the Métis National Council with support from the Manitoba Metis Federation, the Métis Nation Sixties Scoop Portal is intended to be the central hub for information, news and events related to the Sixties Scoop for the Métis Nation. The Portal will allow Métis Nation Sixties Scoop Survivors and all Métis Nation Citizens to access up-to-dateinformation that is essential in the development of a Métis Nation Sixties Scoop resolution agreement between the Métis Nation and the Government of Canada.
SIXTIES SCOOP INDIGENOUS SOCIETY OF ALBERTA
ABOUT THE SIXTIES SCOOP
The 60s Scoop refers to the adoption of First Nation/Metis children in Canada between the years of 1960 and the mid 1980’s. This period is unique in the annals of adoption. This phenomenon, coined the “60’s Scoop”, is so named because the highest numbers of adoptions took place in the decade of the 1960s and because, in many instances, children were literally scooped from their homes and communities without the knowledge or consent of families and bands. Many First Nations charged that in many cases where consent was not given, that government authorities and social workers acted under the colonialistic assumption that native people were culturally inferior and unable to adequately provide for the needs of the children. Many First Nations people believe that the forced removal of the children was a deliberate act of genocide.
Statistics from the Department of Indian Affairs reveal a total of 11,132 status Indian children adopted between the years of 1960 and 1990. It is believed, however, that the actual numbers are much higher than that. While Indian Affairs recorded adoptions of ‘status’ native children, many native children were not recorded as ‘status’ in adoption or foster care records. Indeed, many ‘status’ children were not recorded as status after adoption. Of these children who were adopted, 70% were adopted into non-native homes. Interestingly, of this latter group, the breakdown rate for these transracial adoptions is also 70%!.
Many of the adoptees, who are now adults, are seeking to reunite with birth families and communities. A substantial portion of these adoptees face cultural and identity confusion issues as the result of having been socialized and acculturated into a euro-Canadian middle-class society. For transracial adoptees, identity issues may be worsened by other problems arising during the search and reunion experience. As one author put it, the identity issues of adoptees may be compounded by being reacquainted with one of the most marginalized and oppressed group in North American society.
There are many adult adoptees searching for families, and families searching for adoptees. As a result, several First Nation/aboriginal reunification programs have sprouted up in Canada. These links are available below, and some have toll-free numbers. For adoptees who are not sure where their roots are, calling any of the agencies can be a first step. They will direct you to an agency or band or provincial post-adoption office that can help. Although Saskatchewan currently does not have a Native repatriation program, Saskatchewan Social Services has a part-time Repat worker who can assist at Post Adoption Registry, 1920 Broad Street, Regina, SK S4P 3V6, (306)787-3654 or 1-800-667-7539.
For many adoptees and birth families, it has been beneficial to utilize the services of experienced Repatriation workers. These individuals can assist all parties in the emotional and psychological preparation for reunion.
By Dr. Raven Sinclair firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information see article by Dr. Raven Sinclair
Identity Lost and Found: Lessons from the Sixties Scoop
Declaration of Kinship and Cooperation among the Indigenous Peoples and Nations of North America
WHAT TO DO:
When adoptees reach the age of 18, they may apply to the Department of Indian Affairs who will verify their claim. The Registrar will provide them with a registry number and the name of the Indian band to which they may be registered*. An adopted child, registered as an Indian may then be eligible for benefits.
Indian Affairs investigates a claim by an adult adoptee or by the adoptive parents of a minor adoptee by contacting the social service agency where the adoption was completed. For example, the Children’s Aid Society would reveal the birth name to Indian Affairs who then checks their open or published Indian Registry. Once their Indian status is verified in the Open Indian Registry, the adoptee’s name is placed in the closed or unpublished Adoption Register which is part of the Indian Registry but no identifying information is given out.
Adoptees must write to Indian Affairs to request registration on the Indian Registry. There is approximately a 10-month waiting list for the process to begin and then there is an additional wait for the social service agency to respond to Indian Affairs with the necessary information.
Write to: Julien Gagnon
Indian Affairs will not help with searches; they will refer you to the provincial post-adoption agencies.
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