Bill 183 As Amended by Standing Committee (PDF)

Bill 183 2005

An Act respecting
the disclosure of information
and records to adopted persons
and birth parents

Note: This Act amends or repeals more than one Act. For the legislative history of these Acts, see Public Statutes - Detailed Legislative History on www.e-Laws.gov.on.ca.

CONTENTS

 

Sections

Vital Statistics Act

1-11

Child and Family Services Act

12-29.1

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

30

Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004

31

Commencement and Short Title

32-33

______________

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:

Vital Statistics Act

1.  Section 1 of the Vital Statistics Act is amended by adding the following definitions:

"adopted person" means a person in respect of whom an order, judgment or decree of adoption is registered under subsection 28 (1) or a predecessor of that subsection; ("personne adoptée")

"birth parent", in relation to an adopted person, means a person whose name appears as a parent on the original registration, if any, of the adopted person's birth and such other persons as may be prescribed; ("père ou mère de sang")

"Child and Family Services Review Board" means the Child and Family Services Review Board continued under Part IX of the Child and Family Services Act; ("Commission de révision des services à l'enfance et à la famille")

"registered adoption order" means an order, judgment or decree of adoption registered under subsection 28 (1) or a predecessor of that subsection; ("ordonnance d'adoption enregistrée")

2.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Designation re ss. 48.1 to 48.4.5

6.1  (1)  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation, designate a person to exercise the powers and perform the duties of the Registrar General under sections 48.1 to 48.4.5.

Same

(2)  The designation may be made subject to such conditions and restrictions as the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers appropriate, including a requirement that the designated person enter into and comply with an agreement between the Registrar General and the designated person.

Same

(3)  For the purposes of this section, the Registrar General shall disclose to the designated person such information and documents under the custody or control of the Registrar General as the Registrar General considers necessary.

3.  Section 28 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Restriction on changes, etc., to original registration

(6)  After the original registration is sealed under subsection (2), the Registrar General shall not at any time amend it, add information or particulars to it, correct errors by making notations on it, substitute a subsequent registration for it or cancel it, despite any other provision of this Act.

4.  Section 29 of the Act is repealed.

5.  (1)  Subsection 45.1 (1) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Guarantee required

(1)  The Registrar General may require that an application for any of the following information or documents be guaranteed and may specify the manner in which it must be guaranteed:

1. A certificate.

2. A certified copy of a registration.

3. Such other information or documents as may be prescribed.

Eligibility to be a guarantor

(1.1)  Such persons as may be prescribed are authorized to act as guarantors for the purposes of this section.

(2)  Subsection 45.1 (1) of the Act, as re-enacted by subsection (1), is amended by adding the following paragraphs:

2.1 The uncertified copies described in subsection 48.1 (1).

2.2 The information described in subsection 48.2 (1).

6.  The Act is amended by adding the following sections:

Disclosure re Adopted Persons

Disclosure to an adopted person

48.1  (1)  An adopted person may apply to the Registrar General for an uncertified copy of the original registration, if any, of the adopted person's birth and an uncertified copy of any registered adoption order respecting the adopted person.

Age restriction

(2)  The adopted person is not entitled to apply for the uncertified copies until he or she is at least 18 years old.

Disclosure

(3)  Subject to subsections (4), (6) and (7), the applicant may obtain the uncertified copies from the Registrar General upon application and upon payment of the required fee, but only if the applicant produces evidence satisfactory to the Registrar General of the applicant's identity and age.

Notice of preferred manner of contact

(3.1)  If a notice registered by a birth parent under subsection 48.2.2 (2) is in effect, the Registrar General shall give the applicant a copy of the notice when the Registrar General gives the applicant the uncertified copies.

Notice of wish not to be contacted

(4)  If a notice registered by a birth parent under subsection 48.3 (3) is in effect, the Registrar General shall not give the uncertified copies to the applicant unless the applicant agrees in writing not to contact or attempt to contact the birth parent, either directly or indirectly.

Same

(5)  The Registrar General shall give the applicant a copy of the notice when the Registrar General gives the applicant the uncertified copies.

Effect of application for order prohibiting disclosure

(6)  If the Registrar General receives notice of an application under section 48.4.2 for an order directing him or her not to give the uncertified copies to the applicant, the Registrar General shall not give the uncertified copies to the applicant before the Registrar General receives,

(a) a certified copy of the order; or

(b) notice that the application for the order has been dismissed, withdrawn or abandoned.

Effect of order

(7)  If the Registrar General receives a certified copy of an order of the Board directing the Registrar General not to give the uncertified copies to the applicant, the Registrar General shall not give them to the applicant.

Rescission of order

(8)  Subsection (7) does not apply if the Registrar General receives notice that the Board has rescinded the order.

Notice of prohibition against disclosure to a birth parent

(9)  If the Registrar General has received notice under section 48.4.4 that, by virtue of that section, he or she is prohibited from giving the information described in subsection 48.2 (1) to the applicant's birth parent and if that notice has not been rescinded, the Registrar General shall give the applicant a copy of the notice when the Registrar General gives the applicant the uncertified copies.

Deemed receipt by Registrar General

(10)  For the purposes of this section, the Registrar General shall be deemed not to have received a notice or certified copy referred to in this section until the Registrar General has matched the notice or copy with the original registration, if any, of the adopted person's birth or, if there is no original registration, until the Registrar General has matched it with the registered adoption order.

Disclosure before deemed receipt

(11)  Subsections (6) to (9) do not apply if, before the Registrar General is deemed to have received the notice or copy, as the case may be, the Registrar General has already given the uncertified copies to the applicant.

Mandatory delay in disclosure

(12)  If the Registrar General receives notice that the Child and Family Services Review Board has given him or her a direction described in subsection 48.4.2 (6), the Registrar General shall comply with the direction.

Disclosure to a birth parent

48.2  (1)  A birth parent of an adopted person may apply to the Registrar General for all the information contained in the following documents, with the exception of information about persons other than the applicant and the adopted person:

1. The original registration, if any, of the adopted person's birth.

2. Any birth registration respecting the adopted person that was substituted in accordance with subsection 28 (2).

3. Any registered adoption order respecting the adopted person.

Age restriction

(2)  The birth parent is not entitled to apply for the information described in subsection (1) until the adopted person is at least 19 years old.

Disclosure of information

(3)  Subject to the restrictions set out in this section, the applicant may obtain the information described in subsection (1) from the Registrar General upon application and upon payment of the required fee, but only if the applicant produces evidence satisfactory to the Registrar General of the applicant's identity and the adopted person's age.

Notice of preferred manner of contact

(4)  If a notice registered by the adopted person under subsection 48.2.2 (1) is in effect, the Registrar General shall give the applicant a copy of the notice when the Registrar General gives the applicant the information described in subsection (1).

Notice of wish not to be contacted

(5)  If a notice registered by the adopted person under subsection 48.3 (1) is in effect, the Registrar General shall give the applicant a copy of the notice when the Registrar General gives the applicant the information described in subsection (1).

Temporary restriction on disclosure

(6)  The Registrar General shall not give the information described in subsection (1) to the applicant while any of the following circumstances exist:

1. The Registrar General is required by section 48.4.4 to ask a designated custodian for notice about whether the Registrar General is prohibited, by virtue of that section, from giving the information to the applicant, but the Registrar General has not yet received the notice.

2. The Registrar General has received notice of an application under section 48.4 or 48.4.1 for an order directing him or her not to give the information to the applicant, but the Registrar General has not yet received either a certified copy of an order or a notice that the application has been dismissed, withdrawn or abandoned.

3. A notice registered by the adopted person under subsection 48.3 (1) is in effect, but the applicant has not yet agreed in writing that he or she will not contact or attempt to contact the adopted person, either directly or indirectly.

Prohibition against disclosure

(7)  The Registrar General shall not give the information described in subsection (1) to the applicant if either of the following circumstances exist:

1. The Registrar General has received notice under section 48.4.4 that, by virtue of that section, the Registrar General is prohibited from giving the information to the applicant, that notice has not been rescinded, and there is not a notice of waiver under section 48.4.5 that is in effect.

2. The Registrar General has received a certified copy of an order under section 48.4 or 48.4.1 directing him or her not to give the information to the applicant, and the Registrar General has not received notice that the order has been rescinded.

Deemed receipt by Registrar General

(8)  For the purposes of this section, the Registrar General shall be deemed not to have received a notice or certified copy referred to in this section until the Registrar General has matched the notice or copy with the original registration, if any, of the adopted person's birth or, if there is no original registration, until the Registrar General has matched it with the registered adoption order.

Disclosure before deemed receipt

(9)  Subsections (4) and (5), paragraph 2 of subsection (6) and paragraph 2 of subsection (7) do not apply if, before the Registrar General is deemed to have received the notice or copy, as the case may be, the Registrar General has already given the information described in subsection (1) to the applicant.

Mandatory delay in disclosure

(10)  If the Registrar General receives notice that the Child and Family Services Review Board has given him or her a direction described in subsection 48.4 (7.1) or 48.4.1 (6), the Registrar General shall comply with the direction.

6.1  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Notice, preferred manner of contact

Adopted person

48.2.2  (1)  Upon application, an adopted person who is at least 18 years old may register a notice specifying his or her preferences concerning the manner in which a birth parent may contact him or her.

Birth parent

(2)  Upon application, a birth parent may register a notice specifying his or her preferences concerning the manner in which an adopted person may contact him or her.

When notice is in effect

(3)  A notice is registered and in effect when the Registrar General has matched it with the original registration, if any, of the adopted person's birth or, if there is no original registration, when the Registrar General has matched it with the registered adoption order.

Exception

(4)  Despite subsection (3), a notice registered by an adopted person with respect to a birth parent does not come into effect if, before the match is made, the Registrar General has already given that birth parent the information described in subsection 48.2 (1).

Same

(5)  Despite subsection (3), a notice registered by a birth parent does not come into effect if, before the match is made, the Registrar General has already given the adopted person the uncertified copies of registered documents described in subsection 48.1 (1).

Withdrawal of notice

(6)  Upon application, the adopted person or birth parent, as the case may be, may withdraw the notice.

Same

(7)  If a notice is withdrawn, it ceases to be in effect when the Registrar General has matched the application for withdrawal with the notice itself.

Administration

(8)  Subsections 2 (2) to (4) do not apply to notices registered under this section.

7.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Notice, wish not to be contacted

Adopted person

48.3  (1)  Upon application, an adopted person who is at least 18 years old may register a notice that he or she wishes not to be contacted by a birth parent.

Same

(2)  A notice described in subsection (1) shall not be registered until the applicant produces evidence satisfactory to the Registrar General of the applicant's age.

Birth parent

(3)  Upon application, a birth parent may register a notice that he or she wishes not to be contacted by the adopted person.

Additional information

(4)  The notice may include a brief statement concerning the person's reasons for not wishing to be contacted and a brief statement of any available information about the person's medical and family history.

When notice is in effect

(5)  A notice is registered and in effect when the Registrar General has matched it with the original registration, if any, of the adopted person's birth or, if there is no original registration, when the Registrar General has matched it with the registered adoption order.

Exception

(6)  Despite subsection (5), a notice registered by an adopted person with respect to a birth parent does not come into effect if, before the match is made, the Registrar General has already given that birth parent the information described in subsection 48.2 (1).

Same

(7)  Despite subsection (5), a notice registered by a birth parent does not come into effect if, before the match is made, the Registrar General has already given the adopted person the uncertified copies of registered documents described in subsection 48.1 (1).

Withdrawal of notice

(8)  Upon application, the adopted person or birth parent, as the case may be, may withdraw the notice.

When withdrawal takes effect

(9)  If a notice is withdrawn, the notice ceases to be in effect when the Registrar General has matched the application for withdrawal with the notice itself.

Administration

(10)  Subsections 2 (2) to (4) do not apply to notices registered under this section.

8.  The Act is amended by adding the following sections:

Order prohibiting disclosure to birth parent (to protect an adopted person)

48.4  (1)  An adopted person who is at least 18 years old may apply, in accordance with the regulations, to the Child and Family Services Review Board for an order directing the Registrar General not to give a birth parent the information described in subsection 48.2 (1) about the adopted person.

Same

(2)  If the adopted person is incapable, a person acting on his or her behalf may apply for the order, and the issue of the adopted person's capacity shall be determined in accordance with the regulations and using such criteria as may be prescribed.

Notice of application

(3)  The Board shall give written notice of the application to the Registrar General in accordance with the regulations.

Procedural matters

(4)  The Statutory Powers Procedure Act does not apply with respect to the application, and the Board shall decide the application in the absence of the public.

Request from birth parent

(5)  If, while the application is pending, the Registrar General refuses under subsection 48.2 (6) to give a birth parent the information described in subsection 48.2 (1) about the adopted person, the birth parent may request an opportunity to be heard in connection with the application.

Same

(6)  The Board shall take such steps as may be prescribed in order to ensure that the birth parent has an opportunity to be heard, but no person is entitled to be present during, to have access to or to comment on representations made to the Board by any other person.

Order

(7)  The Board shall make the order if the Board is satisfied that, because of exceptional circumstances, the order is appropriate in order to prevent sexual harm or significant physical or emotional harm to the adopted person.

Exception

(7.1)  If the Board refuses to make an order prohibiting the disclosure of the information, the Board shall direct the Registrar General to delay the disclosure for the period the Board considers appropriate to enable the adopted person to prepare for the disclosure and its impact on him or her and on his or her family and associates.

Notice of order, etc.

(8)  The Board shall give a certified copy of the order, if any, or such other information as may be prescribed to the Registrar General.

Expiry of order

(9)  The order expires when the Registrar General receives notice, and evidence satisfactory to the Registrar General, of the death of the adopted person and the Registrar General matches the notice with the original registration, if any, of the adopted person's birth or, if there is no original registration, matches it with the registered adoption order.

Finality of order, etc.

(10)  An order or decision of the Board under this section is not subject to appeal or review by any court.

Confidentiality of Board records

(11)  The Board file respecting an application shall be sealed and is not open for inspection by any person.

Administration

(12)  Subsections 2 (2) to (4) do not apply to notices, certified copies and other information given to the Registrar General under this section in connection with an application.

Order prohibiting disclosure to birth parent (to protect an adopted person's sibling)

48.4.1  (1)  In this section,

"sibling" means, in relation to an adopted person, a sibling,

(a) who is a child of the adopted person's adoptive parent, and

(b) who, before becoming a child of the adoptive parent, was a child of the adopted person's birth parent.

Application for order

(2)  If an adopted person who is at least 18 years old has a sibling who is less than 18 years old, an adoptive parent of the adopted person may apply, in accordance with the regulations, to the Child and Family Services Review Board for an order directing the Registrar General not to give a birth parent the information described in subsection 48.2 (1) with respect to the adopted person.

Order

(3)  The Board shall make the order if the Board is satisfied that, because of exceptional circumstances, the order is appropriate in order to prevent sexual harm or significant physical or emotional harm to the adopted person's sibling.

Expiry of order

(4)  The order expires when the adopted person's sibling reaches 19 years of age.

Procedural matters, etc.

(5)  Subsections 48.4 (3) to (6), (8) and (10) to (12) apply, with necessary modifications, with respect to the application.

Exception

(6)  If the Board refuses to make an order prohibiting the disclosure of the information, the Board shall direct the Registrar General to delay the disclosure for the period the Board considers appropriate to enable the adoptive parent to prepare for the disclosure and its impact on the adopted person's sibling and on his or her family and associates.

Order prohibiting disclosure to adopted person (to protect a birth parent)

48.4.2  (1)  A birth parent may apply, in accordance with the regulations, to the Child and Family Services Review Board for an order directing the Registrar General not to give the adopted person the uncertified copies of registered documents described in subsection 48.1 (1).

Request from adopted person

(2)  If, while the application is pending, the Registrar General refuses under subsection 48.1 (6) to give the adopted person the uncertified copies of documents described in subsection 48.1 (1), the adopted person may request an opportunity to be heard in connection with the application.

Order

(3)  The Board shall make the order if the Board is satisfied that, because of exceptional circumstances, the order is appropriate in order to prevent sexual harm or significant physical or emotional harm to the birth parent.

Expiry of order

(4)  The order expires when the Registrar General receives notice, and evidence satisfactory to the Registrar General, of the death of the birth parent and the Registrar General matches the notice with the original registration, if any, of the adopted person's birth or, if there is no original registration, matches it with the registered adoption order.

Procedural matters, etc.

(5)  Subsections 48.4 (3), (4), (6), (8) and (10) to (12) apply, with necessary modifications, with respect to the application.

Exception

(6)  If the Board refuses to make an order prohibiting disclosure of the uncertified copies, the Board shall direct the Registrar General to delay the disclosure for the period the Board considers appropriate to enable the birth parent to prepare for the disclosure and its impact on him or her and on his or her family and associates.

Reconsideration of orders prohibiting disclosure

Order to protect an adopted person

48.4.3  (1)  The following persons may apply, in accordance with the regulations, to the Child and Family Services Review Board to reconsider an order made under section 48.4:

1. The adopted person.

2. If the adopted person is incapable, a person acting on his or her behalf.

3. A birth parent who, by virtue of subsection 48.2 (7), is not given the information described in subsection 48.2 (1) about the adopted person.

Order to protect an adopted person's sibling

(2)  The following persons may apply, in accordance with the regulations, to the Board to reconsider an order made under section 48.4.1:

1. An adoptive parent of the adopted person.

2. A birth parent who, by virtue of subsection 48.2 (7), is not given the information described in subsection 48.2 (1) about the adopted person.

Order to protect a birth parent

(3)  The following persons may apply, in accordance with the regulations, to the Board to reconsider an order made under section 48.4.2:

1. The birth parent.

2. An adopted person who, by virtue of subsection 48.1 (7), is not given the uncertified copies of registered documents described in subsection 48.1 (1).

3. If the adopted person described in paragraph 2 is incapable, a person acting on his or her behalf.

Procedural matters

(4)  The Statutory Powers Procedure Act does not apply with respect to the application, and the Board shall decide the application in the absence of the public.

Same

(5)  The Board shall take such steps as may be prescribed in order to ensure that the interested persons have an opportunity to be heard in connection with the application, but no person is entitled to be present during, to have access to or to comment on representations made to the Board by any other person.

Access to Board's own file

(5.1)  The Board file respecting the application for the order under section 48.4, 48.4.1 or 48.4.2, as the case may be, is unsealed for the purposes of this section.

Incapacity

(6)  If a person acting on behalf of an incapable adopted person applies for reconsideration of an order, the issue of the adopted person's capacity shall be determined in accordance with the regulations and using such criteria as may be prescribed.

Decision

(7)  The Board may confirm the order or rescind it, and subsection 48.4 (7), 48.4.1 (3) or 48.4.2 (3), as the case may be, applies in the circumstances.

Notice of rescission

(8)  If the Board rescinds the order, the Board shall give written notice to the Registrar General in accordance with the regulations.

Finality, etc.

(9)  Subsections 48.4 (10) to (12) apply, with necessary modifications, with respect to the application.

Prohibition against disclosure where adopted person a victim of abuse

Definitions

48.4.4  (1)  In this section,

"children's aid society" means a society as defined in subsection 3 (1) of the Child and Family Services Act; ("société d'aide à l'enfance")

"designated custodian" means a person designated under subsection 162.1 (1) of the Child and Family Services Act to act as a custodian of information that relates to adoptions. ("dépositaire désigné")

Request by Registrar General

(2)  Upon receiving an application under subsection 48.2 (1) from a birth parent of an adopted person, the Registrar General shall ask a designated custodian to notify him or her whether, by virtue of this section, the Registrar General is prohibited from giving the information described in subsection 48.2 (1) to the birth parent.

Exception

(3)  Subsection (2) does not apply if a notice of waiver has been registered by the adopted person under subsection 48.4.5 (1) and is in effect.

Determination re method of adoption

(4)  The designated custodian shall determine whether the adopted person was placed for adoption by a children's aid society.

Request for determination by local director

(5)  If the adopted person was placed for adoption by a children's aid society, the designated custodian shall ask the local director of the society to make a determination under subsection (7) and to give written notice of the determination to the designated custodian.

Notice to Registrar General

(6)  If the adopted person was not placed for adoption by a children's aid society, the designated custodian shall give written notice to the Registrar General that the Registrar General is not prohibited, by virtue of this section, from giving the information described in subsection 48.2 (1) to the birth parent.

Determination by local director

(7)  Upon the request of the designated custodian, the local director shall determine whether, in his or her opinion, based upon information in the files of the children's aid society, the adopted person was a victim of abuse by the birth parent.

Same

(8)  The determination must be made in accordance with the regulations.

Notice to Registrar General, no abuse

(9)  If the local director notifies the designated custodian that, in his or her opinion, the adopted person was not a victim of abuse by the birth parent, the designated custodian shall give written notice to the Registrar General that the Registrar General is not prohibited, by virtue of this section, from giving the information described in subsection 48.2 (1) to the birth parent.

Same, abuse

(10)  If the local director notifies the designated custodian that, in his or her opinion, the adopted person was a victim of abuse by the birth parent, the designated custodian shall give written notice to the Registrar General that the Registrar General is prohibited, by virtue of this section, from giving the information described in subsection 48.2 (1) to the birth parent.

Application for reconsideration

(11)  The birth parent may apply to the Child and Family Services Review Board in accordance with the regulations for reconsideration of the determination made by the local director.

Reconsideration

(12)  The Board may substitute its judgment for that of the local director and may affirm the determination made by the local director or rescind it.

Same

(13)  The Board shall ensure that the local director has an opportunity to be heard.

Procedural matters, etc.

(14)  Subsections 48.4 (4), (10) and (11) apply, with necessary modifications, with respect to the application for reconsideration.

Notice to Registrar General

(15)  If the Board rescinds the determination made by the local director, the Board shall notify the designated custodian that, in the opinion of the Board, the adopted person was not a victim of abuse by the birth parent, and the designated custodian shall give written notice to the Registrar General that the previous notice to the Registrar General is rescinded.

Information for birth parent, adopted person

(16)  If the local director determines that, in his or her opinion, the adopted person was a victim of abuse by the birth parent, the local director shall, upon request, give the birth parent or the adopted person the information that the local director considered in making the determination, with the exception of information about persons other than the birth parent or the adopted person, as the case may be.

Administration

(17)  Subsections 2 (2) to (4) do not apply to notices given to the Registrar General under this section.

Notice of waiver by adopted person

48.4.5  (1)  Upon application, an adopted person who is at least 18 years old may register a notice that he or she waives the protection of any prohibition under section 48.4.4 against giving the information described in subsection 48.2 (1) to his or her birth parent.

Same

(2)  A notice described in subsection (1) shall not be registered until the applicant produces evidence satisfactory to the Registrar General of the applicant's age.

When notice is in effect

(3)  A notice is registered and in effect when the Registrar General has matched it with the original registration, if any, of the adopted person's birth or, if there is no original registration, when the Registrar General has matched it with the registered adoption order.

Withdrawal of notice

(4)  Upon application, the adopted person may withdraw the notice.

When withdrawal takes effect

(5)  If a notice is withdrawn, the notice ceases to be in effect when the Registrar General has matched the application for withdrawal with the notice itself.

Administration

(6)  Subsections 2 (2) to (4) do not apply to notices registered under this section.

9.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Unsealing of files

48.5  For the purposes of sections 48.1 to 48.4.5, the Registrar General may unseal any file that was sealed under this Act or a predecessor of this Act.

9.1  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Review re disclosure of adoption information

48.6  The Lieutenant Governor in Council shall ensure that a review of the operation of sections 48.1 to 48.5 and section 56.1 is conducted within five years after section 9.1 of the Adoption Information Disclosure Act, 2005 comes into force.

10.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Offences re contacting adopted person or birth parent despite notice

56.1  (1)  If, under section 48.1, an adopted person receives notice that a birth parent does not wish to be contacted, the adopted person shall not knowingly contact or attempt to contact the birth parent, either directly or indirectly.

Birth parent

(2)  If, under section 48.2, a birth parent receives notice that the adopted person does not wish to be contacted by the birth parent, he or she shall not knowingly contact or attempt to contact the adopted person, either directly or indirectly.

Other persons

(3)  No person shall contact or attempt to contact a birth parent on behalf of an adopted person if the adopted person is prohibited by subsection (1) from doing so.

Same

(4)  No person shall contact or attempt to contact an adopted person on behalf of a birth parent if the birth parent is prohibited by subsection (2) from doing so.

Penalty

(5)  A person who contravenes subsection (1), (2), (3) or (4) is guilty of an offence and, on conviction, is liable to a fine of not more than $50,000 for an individual or $250,000 for a corporation.

11.  (1)  Section 60 of the Act is amended by adding the following clause:

(m.1.1) prescribing information and documents for the purposes of paragraph 3 of subsection 45.1 (1);

(2)  Section 60 of the Act is amended by adding the following clauses:

(r) prescribing persons for the purposes of the definition of "birth parent" in section 1;

(r.1) governing the matters provided for by sections 48.4 to 48.4.3, including a determination of whether an adopted person is incapable;

(r.2) governing what constitutes abuse for the purposes of section 48.4.4, governing the criteria and information to be used to determine whether an adopted person was a victim of abuse by a birth parent and governing the manner in which the determination is made;

(3)  Clause 60 (u) of the Act is repealed.

(4)  Section 60 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsections:

Capacity of adopted person

(2)  A regulation under clause (1) (r.1) may provide that the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992, or any specified provision of it, does not apply with respect to the determination of whether an adopted person is incapable for the purposes of section 48.4 or 48.4.3 of this Act.

Same, jurisdiction

(3)  A regulation under clause (1) (r.1) may assign to a court or to a person or body the jurisdiction to determine whether an adopted person is incapable for the purposes of section 48.4 or 48.4.3.

Child and Family Services Act

12.  Clause 137 (4) (a) of the Child and Family Services Act is repealed and the following substituted:

(a) the society or licensee has advised the parent of his or her right,

(i) to withdraw the consent under subsection (8), and

(ii) to be informed, on his or her request, whether an adoption order has been made in respect of the child;

(a.1) the society or licensee has advised the parent of such other matters as may be prescribed; and

13.  (1)  Subsection 162 (2) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Requirement to seal documents

(2)  Subject to subsection (3), the documents used on an application for an adoption order under this Part or a predecessor of this Part shall be sealed up together with a certified copy of the original order and filed in the court office by the appropriate court officer, and shall not be opened for inspection except by court order.

(2)  Subsection 162 (2) of the Act, as re-enacted by subsection (1), is amended by striking out "subsection (3)" and substituting "subsections (3) and 162.2 (2)".

(3)  Clause 162 (3) (b) of the Act is repealed.

(4)  Subsection 162 (3) of the Act is amended by adding the following clause:

(e) one certified copy to such other persons as may be prescribed.

(5)  Section 162 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsections:

Other court files

(4)  Unless the court orders otherwise, only the court may examine identifying information that comes from the records of any of the following persons that is contained in any court file respecting the judicial review of a decision made by any of them:

1. A designated custodian under section 162.1.

2. A person who, by virtue of a regulation made under clause 220 (1) (c.5), reviews or hears appeals of decisions concerning the disclosure of information under section 162.2 or 162.3.

3. A person referred to in subsection 162.2 (1) or 162.3 (1).

Same

(5)  No person shall, without the court's permission, disclose identifying information described in subsection (4) that the person obtained from the court file.

Definition

(6)  In subsections (4) and (5),

"identifying information" means information whose disclosure, alone or in combination with other information, will in the circumstances reveal the identity of the person to whom it relates.

14.  The Act is amended by adding the following sections:

Designation of custodians of information

162.1  (1)  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation, designate one or more persons to act as custodians of information that relates to adoptions and may impose such conditions and restrictions with respect to the designation as the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers appropriate.

Powers and duties

(2)  A designated custodian may exercise such powers and shall perform such duties as may be prescribed with respect to the information provided to the custodian under this Act.

Same, disclosure of information

(3)  A designated custodian may exercise such other powers and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed for a purpose relating to the disclosure of information that relates to adoptions, including performing searches upon request for such persons, and in such circumstances, as may be prescribed.

Same, Vital Statistics Act, s. 48.4.4

(4)  One or more designated custodians who are specified by regulation may exercise such powers and shall perform such duties under section 48.4.4 of the Vital Statistics Act as may be prescribed in such circumstances as may be prescribed.

Agreements

(5)  The Minister may enter into agreements with designated custodians concerning their powers and duties under this section and the agreements may provide for payments to be made to the designated custodians.

Disclosure to designated custodian

162.2  (1)  The Minister, the Registrar General under the Vital Statistics Act, a society, a licensee and such other persons as may be prescribed shall give a designated custodian under section 162.1 such information that relates to adoptions as may be prescribed in such circumstances as may be prescribed.

Same, adoption orders

(2)  A court shall give a designated custodian a certified copy of an adoption order made under this Part together with such other documents as may be prescribed in such circumstances as may be prescribed.

Disclosure to others

By the Minister

162.3  (1)  The Minister shall give such information that relates to adoptions as may be prescribed to such persons as may be prescribed in such circumstances as may be prescribed.

By a society

(2)  A society shall give such information that relates to adoptions as may be prescribed to such persons as may be prescribed in such circumstances as may be prescribed.

By a licensee

(3)  A licensee shall give such information that relates to adoptions as may be prescribed to such persons as may be prescribed in such circumstances as may be prescribed.

By a custodian

(4)  A designated custodian under section 162.1 shall give such information that relates to adoptions as may be prescribed to such persons as may be prescribed in such circumstances as may be prescribed.

Scope of application

162.4  Sections 162.2 and 162.3 apply with respect to information that relates to an adoption regardless of when the adoption order was made.

15.  (1)  Subsection 163 (1) of the Act is repealed.

(2)  Clause 163 (2) (a) of the Act is repealed.

(3)  Clause 163 (2) (b) of the Act is repealed.

(4)  Clause 163 (2) (c) of the Act is repealed.

(5)  Clause 163 (2) (d) of the Act is repealed.

(6)  Subsection 163 (2) of the Act, as amended by subsections (2) to (5), is repealed.

(7)  Subsection 163 (3) of the Act is repealed.

(8)  Subsection 163 (4) of the Act is repealed.

16.  Section 164 of the Act is repealed.

17.  Subsections 165 (1) to (4) of the Act are repealed and the following substituted:

Confidentiality of adoption information

(1)  Despite any other Act, after an adoption order is made, no person shall inspect, remove, alter or disclose information that relates to the adoption and is kept by the Ministry, a society, a licensee or a designated custodian under section 162.1 and no person shall permit it to be inspected, removed, altered or disclosed except as authorized under this Act.

Application

(2)  This section applies regardless of when the adoption order was made.

18.  (1)  Subsections 166 (1) to (3) of the Act are repealed.

(2)  Subsection 166 (4) of the Act is repealed.

(3)  Paragraph 3 of subsection 166 (5) of the Act is amended by striking out "or to an individual in that jurisdiction who, in the Registrar's opinion, is qualified to provide counselling".

(4)  Subsection 166 (5) of the Act, as amended by subsection (3), is amended by striking out the portion before paragraph 1 and substituting the following:

Transition

(5)  If a person has made a request to the Registrar under subsection (4), as it reads immediately before the day on which subsection 18 (2) of the Adoption Information Disclosure Act, 2005 comes into force, asking the Registrar for non-identifying information that relates to an adoption, the Registrar shall do one of the following:

. . . . .

(4.1)  Subsection 166 (5) of the Act, as amended by subsections (3) and (4), is repealed.

(5)  Subsection 166 (6) of the Act is repealed.

(6)  Subsection 166 (7) of the Act is amended by striking out "and shall also make counselling available to him or her".

(6.1)  Subsection 166 (7) of the Act, as amended by subsection (6), is repealed.

(7)  Subsection 166 (8) of the Act is amended by striking out "Subsections (4), (5), (6) and (7)" at the beginning and substituting "Subsections (4), (5) and (7)".

(8)  Subsection 166 (8) of the Act, as amended by subsection (7), is repealed.

(9)  Subsection 166 (9) of the Act is repealed.

(10)  Section 166 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Transition: cessation of activities

(10)  On the day on which this subsection comes into force, the Registrar shall cease any activity under subsection (5) that is not yet completed in connection with a request made under subsection (4).

(11)  Subsection 166 (10) of the Act, as enacted by subsection (10), is repealed.

19.  (1)  Subsection 167 (1) of the Act is repealed.

(2)  Subsections 167 (2) and (3) of the Act are repealed.

(3)  Subsection 167 (4) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Transition

(4)  If a person has applied under subsection (2), as it reads immediately before the day on which subsection 19 (2) of the Adoption Information Disclosure Act, 2005 comes into force, to a society or to the Registrar to be named in the register,

(a) the Registrar shall enter the applicant's name in the register; and

(b) the Registrar shall then make a search to determine whether both of the following persons are named in the register:

(i) the adopted person, and

(ii) another person who is his or her birth parent, birth grandparent, birth sibling or another person named by the Registrar in the register as if he or she were a birth parent.

(3.1)  Subsection 167 (4) of the Act, as re-enacted by subsection (3), is repealed.

(3.2)  Subsection 167 (5) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Further consents

(5)  If the Registrar determines that an adopted person and another person described in subsection (4) are both named in the register, the Registrar shall give both persons an opportunity to consent in writing to the disclosure of information in accordance with subsections (8) and (9).

(3.3)  Subsection 167 (5) of the Act, as re-enacted by subsection (3.2), is repealed.

(4)  Subsection 167 (6) of the Act is repealed.

(5)  Subsection 167 (7) of the Act is repealed.

(6)  Subsection 167 (8) of the Act is repealed.

(7)  Clause 167 (9) (a) of the Act is amended by striking out "first ensuring that each person to whom the material is made available receives counselling".

(8)  Clause 167 (9) (c) of the Act is amended by striking out "but only if the Registrar is satisfied that the person will receive appropriate counselling".

(9)  Subsection 167 (9) of the Act, as amended by subsections (7) and (8), is repealed.

(10)  Subsection 167 (10) of the Act is repealed.

(11)  Subsection 167 (11) of the Act is amended by striking out "first ensuring that each person to whom the material is made available receives counselling".

(12)  Subsection 167 (11) of the Act, as amended by subsection (11), is repealed.

(13)  Subsection 167 (12) of the Act is repealed.

(14)  Subsection 167 (13) of the Act is repealed.

(15)  Subsection 167 (14) of the Act is repealed.

(16)  Section 167 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Transition: cessation of activities

(15)  On the day on which this subsection comes into force, the Registrar shall cease any activity under this section that has not yet been completed in connection with an application made under subsection (2) or a consent given under subsection (5).

(17)  Subsection 167 (15) of the Act, as enacted by subsection (16), is repealed.

20.  Section 168 of the Act is repealed.

20.1  (1)  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Transition: request for search

168.1  (1)  Such persons as may be prescribed may ask the Registrar to search on the person's behalf in such circumstances as may be prescribed for a specific person in a prescribed class of persons.

Same

(2)  The Registrar shall have a discreet and reasonable search made for the specific person.

(2)  Section 168.1 of the Act, as enacted by subsection (1), is repealed.

21.  (1)  Subsections 169 (1) and (2) of the Act are repealed.

(2)  Subsection 169 (3) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Transition

(3)  If a person has made a request to the Registrar under subsection (1) or (2), as those subsections read immediately before the day on which subsection 21 (1) of the Adoption Information Disclosure Act, 2005 comes into force, asking the Registrar to search on the person's behalf for a specific person,

(a) the Registrar shall have a discreet and reasonable search made for the specific person; and

(b) the Registrar shall seek to ascertain whether that person wishes to be named in the register.

(3)  Subsection 169 (3) of the Act, as re-enacted by subsection (2), is repealed.

(4)  Subsection 169 (4) of the Act is repealed.

(5)  Section 169 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Transition: cessation of activities

(5)  On the day on which this subsection comes into force, the Registrar shall cease any activity under this section that has not yet been completed in connection with a request made under subsection (1) or (2).

(6)  Subsection 169 (5) of the Act, as enacted by subsection (5), is repealed.

22.  (1)  Subsection 170 (1) of the Act is repealed.

(2)  Subsection 170 (2) of the Act is repealed.

(2.1)  Subsection 170 (3) of the Act is amended by striking out "When a person makes a request under subsection (2)" and substituting "If a person has made a request to the Registrar under subsection (2), as it reads immediately before the day on which subsection 22 (2) of the Adoption Information Disclosure Act, 2005 comes into force".

(2.2)  Subsection 170 (3) of the Act, as amended by subsection (2.1), is repealed.

(3)  Subsection 170 (4) of the Act is repealed.

(4)  Subsection 170 (5) of the Act is amended by striking out "Subsections (2), (3) and (4)" at the beginning and substituting "Subsections (2) and (3)".

(5)  Subsection 170 (5) of the Act, as amended by subsection (4), is repealed.

(6)  Subsection 170 (6) of the Act is repealed.

(7)  Subsection l70 (7) of the Act is repealed.

(8)  Section 170 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Transition: cessation of activities

(8)  On the day on which this subsection comes into force, the Registrar shall cease any activity under this section that has not yet been completed in connection with a request made under subsection (2).

(9)  Subsection 170 (8) of the Act, as enacted by subsection (8), is repealed.

23.  Section 171 of the Act is repealed.

24.  Section 172 of the Act is repealed.

25.  Section 173 of the Act is repealed.

26.  Section 174 of the Act is repealed.

27.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Unauthorized disclosure of information by designated custodian

176.1  (1)  No designated custodian under section 162.1 shall disclose any information provided to the custodian under section 162.2 unless the disclosure is made in accordance with the regulations.

Offence

(2)  A person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence.

Same

(3)  A director, officer or employee of a corporation who authorizes, permits or concurs in a contravention of subsection (1) by the corporation is guilty of an offence.

28.  (1)  Clause 179 (2) (d) of the Act is repealed.

(2)  Section 179 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Exception re adoption-related information

(2.1)  This Part does not apply to information given to a designated custodian under section 162.2 or to another person under section 162.3.

29.  (1)  Subsection 220 (1) of the Act is amended by adding the following clauses:

(a.1) prescribing matters for the purposes of clause 137 (4) (a.1);

. . . . .

(c.1) prescribing persons for the purposes of clause 162 (3) (e);

(2)  Subsection 220 (1) of the Act is amended by adding the following clauses:

(c.2) prescribing the powers and duties of a designated custodian under section 162.1 and governing the fees that the designated custodian may charge in connection with the exercise of its powers and the performance of its duties;

(c.3) governing the disclosure of information under section 162.2 to a designated custodian;

(c.4) governing the disclosure of information under section 162.3 by the Minister, a society, a licensee or a designated custodian;

(c.5) establishing and governing a mechanism for the review or appeal of a decision made by the Minister, a society, a licensee or a designated custodian concerning the disclosure of information under section 162.2 or 162.3;

(c.6) governing the fees that a society, licensee or designated custodian may charge for the disclosure of information under section 162.2 or 162.3;

(3)  Clause 220 (1) (e) of the Act is repealed.

(4)  Clause 220 (1) (f) of the Act is repealed.

(4.1)  Subsection 220 (1) of the Act is amended by adding the following clause:

(f.1) prescribing the matters referred to in subsection 168.1 (1);

(4.2)  Clause 220 (1) (f.1) of the Act, as enacted by subsection (4.1), is repealed.

(5)  Clause 220 (1) (g) of the Act is repealed.

(6)  Clause 220 (1) (h) of the Act is repealed.

(7)  Clause 220 (1) (i) of the Act is repealed.

(8)  Subsection 220 (2) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Classes

(2)  A regulation under clauses (1) (c.2) to (c.6) may establish different standards and requirements with respect to different classes of persons.

Transitional matters

(3)  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations providing for transitional matters which, in the opinion of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, are necessary or desirable in connection with the enactment of sections 162.1 to 162.4 by the Adoption Information Disclosure Act, 2005 and the amendment or repeal, as the case may be, of sections 162 to 174 by that Act.

29.1  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Review re disclosure of adoption information

225.  The Lieutenant Governor in Council shall ensure that a review of the operation of sections 161 to 172 and section 176.1 is conducted within five years after section 29.1 of the Adoption Information Disclosure Act, 2005 comes into force.

Freedom of Information and
Protection of Privacy Act

30.  Section 65 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Information relating to adoptions

(8)  This Act does not apply with respect to the following:

1. Notices registered under section 48.2.2 of the Vital Statistics Act and notices and information registered under section 48.3 of that Act.

2. Notices, certified copies of orders and other information given to the Registrar General under sections 48.4 to 48.4.5 of that Act.

3. Notices and other information given to a designated custodian by the local director of a children's aid society under section 48.4.4 of that Act and information given to a birth parent or an adopted person under that section.

4. Information and records in files that are unsealed under section 48.5 of that Act.

Personal Health Information
Protection Act, 2004

31.  Clause 43 (1) (e) of the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 is amended by striking out "or the Registrar of Adoption Information appointed under subsection 163 (1) of that Act" and substituting "or a designated custodian under section 162.1 of that Act".

Commencement and Short Title

Commencement

32.  (1)  Subject to subsection (2), this Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.

Same

(2)  Sections 1 to 4, subsection 5 (2) and sections 6 to 31 come into force on a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor.

Short title

33.  The short title of this Act is the Adoption Information Disclosure Act, 2005.

This reprint of the Bill is marked to indicate the changes that were made in Committee.

The changes are indicated by underlines for new text and a strikethrough for deleted text.

______________

EXPLANATORY NOTE

The Bill amends the Vital Statistics Act and the Child and Family Services Act in connection with the disclosure of adoption-related information to adopted persons and their birth parents. Consequential amendments are made to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004.

Vital Statistics Act:

Currently, the Vital Statistics Act does not permit adopted persons to obtain information from the Registrar General concerning their birth parents. Nor does it permit a birth parent of an adopted person to obtain information from the Registrar General about the adopted person.

Under a new section 48.1 of the Act, an adopted person who is at least 18 years old is permitted to obtain from the Registrar General an uncertified copy of the original registration, if any, of his or her birth and of any adoption order registered under the Act. The disclosure of the uncertified copies is made subject to a number of conditions and restrictions. They are set out in sections 48.2.2 to 48.4.5.

Under a new section 48.2 of the Act, a birth parent is permitted to obtain from the Registrar General all of the information contained in specified registered documents concerning the adopted person (with the exception of information about persons other than the birth parent and the adopted person), once the adopted person is at least 19 years old. The disclosure of the information is made subject to a number of conditions and restrictions. They are set out in sections 48.2.2 to 48.4.5. Disclosure of the information is prohibited if the Registrar General receives notice under section 48.4.4 that the disclosure is prohibited. The circumstances in which such a prohibition applies are described below.

The expressions "adopted person" and "birth parent" are defined in section 1 of the Act.

Provision is made for adopted persons and birth parents to register specified types of notices, described below. A notice takes effect when it is matched with the relevant registered adoption order. The notice is given to the adopted person or birth parent, as the case may be, at the same time the Registrar General gives him or her the uncertified copies under section 48.1 or the information under section 48.2.

Under a new section 48.2.2 of the Act, an adopted person who is at least 18 years old may register a notice specifying his or her preferences concerning the manner in which a birth parent may contact him or her. Similarly, a birth parent may register a notice specifying his or her preferences concerning the manner in which the adopted person may contact him or her.

Under a new section 48.3 of the Act, an adopted person who does not wish to be contacted by a birth parent may register a notice to that effect, if the adopted person is at least 18 years old. Similarly, a birth parent may register a notice that he or she does not wish to be contacted by the adopted person. These notices may include a brief statement concerning the person's reasons for not wishing to be contacted and concerning family and medical history. .

However, if a notice registered by an adopted person under section 48.3 is in effect, the Registrar General cannot give the birth parent the information under section 48.2 until the birth parent agrees in writing not to contact or attempt to contact the adopted person either directly or indirectly. Similarly, if a notice registered by a birth parent under section 48.3 is in effect, the Registrar General cannot give the adopted person the uncertified copies under section 48.1 until the adopted person agrees in writing not to contact or attempt to contact the birth parent either directly or indirectly.

It is an offence for the adopted person or birth parent, as the case may be, to knowingly contact or attempt to contact the person who registered the notice. It is also an offence for another person to do so on behalf of the adopted person or birth parent. These offences are set out in a new section 56.1.

A new section 48.4 of the Act authorizes the Child and Family Services Review Board to order the Registrar General not to give the information to the birth parent if the Board is satisfied that, because of exceptional circumstances, the order is appropriate in order to prevent sexual harm or significant physical or emotional harm to the adopted person..

A new section 48.4.1 of the Act provides for a similar order for the protection of the adopted person's sibling if the sibling is less than 18 years old. Under this section, the Board is authorized to direct the Registrar General not to give the information described in section 48.2 to a birth parent if the Board is satisfied that, because of exceptional circumstances, the order is appropriate to prevent sexual harm or significant physical or emotional harm to the sibling. The order expires when the sibling reaches 19 years of age. "Sibling" is defined.

A new section 48.4.2 of the Act provides for a similar order for the protection of a birth parent. Under this section, the Board is authorized to direct the Registrar General not to give the uncertified copies described in section 48.1 to the adopted person if the Board is satisfied that, because of exceptional circumstances, the order is appropriate to prevent sexual harm or significant physical or emotional harm to the birth parent.

In a new section 48.4.3 of the Act, provision is made for reconsideration of these orders.

A new section 48.4.4 of the Act governs the prohibition against disclosing information to a birth parent under section 48.2. Upon receiving an application from a birth parent for disclosure of information under section 48.2, the Registrar General asks a designated custodian of adoption information (appointed under section 162.1 of the Child and Family Services Act) whether the Registrar General is prohibited from giving the information to the birth parent. This prohibition applies if the adopted person was placed for adoption by a children's aid society and if the local director of the society determines that the adopted person was a victim of abuse by the birth parent. The local director makes this determination in accordance with the regulations, upon the request of the designated custodian. Provision is made for reconsideration of this determination.

Under a new section 48.4.5 of the Act, an adopted person who is at least 18 years old may register notice that he or she waives the protection of any prohibition under section 48.4.4 against giving the information described in section 48.2 to his or her birth parent.

Under a new section 48.6 of the Act, the Lieutenant Governor in Council shall ensure that a review of the operation of sections 48.1 to 48.5 and 56.1 is conducted within five years after section 48.6 comes into force.

A new section 6.1 of the Act authorizes the Lieutenant Governor in Council to designate a person to exercise the powers and perform the duties of the Registrar General under sections 48.1 to 48.4.5 of the Act.

Consequential amendments are made to other provisions of the Act and to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Child and Family Services Act:

A new section 162.1 of the Child and Family Services Act provides for the designation, by regulation, of one or more custodians of information relating to adoptions. Designated custodians receive information that relates to adoptions from the Minister of Community and Social Services, the Registrar General, the courts and others under a new section 162.2.

A new section 162.3 governs the disclosure of such information by the Minister, by children's aid societies, by licensees and by designated custodians.

The current provisions of the Act concerning the Adoption Disclosure Register and the Registrar of Adoption Information are repealed. The provision that permits an adopted person to ask the Registrar to search for a birth parent, birth sibling or other specified person is also repealed. The provisions governing the disclosure of identifying and non-identifying information are repealed. Transitional arrangements are set out, relating to these powers and duties to search for persons and disclose information. The provisions requiring counselling to be provided or offered before this information can be disclosed are also repealed.

Under a new section 225 of the Act, the Lieutenant Governor in Council shall ensure that a review of the operation of sections 161 to 172 and section 176.1 is conducted within five years after section 225 comes into force.

Consequential amendments are made to other provisions of the Act and to the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004.

Bill 183 Royal Assent (PDF)

Bill 183 2005

An Act respecting
the disclosure of information
and records to adopted persons
and birth parents

Note: This Act amends or repeals more than one Act. For the legislative history of these Acts, see Public Statutes - Detailed Legislative History on www.e-Laws.gov.on.ca.

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:

Vital Statistics Act

1.  Section 1 of the Vital Statistics Act is amended by adding the following definitions:

"adopted person" means a person in respect of whom an order, judgment or decree of adoption is registered under subsection 28 (1) or a predecessor of that subsection; ("personne adoptée")

"birth parent", in relation to an adopted person, means a person whose name appears as a parent on the original registration, if any, of the adopted person's birth and such other persons as may be prescribed; ("père ou mère de sang")

"Child and Family Services Review Board" means the Child and Family Services Review Board continued under Part IX of the Child and Family Services Act; ("Commission de révision des services à l'enfance et à la famille")

"registered adoption order" means an order, judgment or decree of adoption registered under subsection 28 (1) or a predecessor of that subsection; ("ordonnance d'adoption enregistrée")

2.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Designation re ss. 48.1 to 48.10

6.1  (1)  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation, designate a person to exercise the powers and perform the duties of the Registrar General under sections 48.1 to 48.10.

Same

(2)  The designation may be made subject to such conditions and restrictions as the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers appropriate, including a requirement that the designated person enter into and comply with an agreement between the Registrar General and the designated person.

Same

(3)  For the purposes of this section, the Registrar General shall disclose to the designated person such information and documents under the custody or control of the Registrar General as the Registrar General considers necessary.

3.  Section 28 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Restriction on changes, etc., to original registration

(6)  After the original registration is sealed under subsection (2), the Registrar General shall not at any time amend it, add information or particulars to it, correct errors by making notations on it, substitute a subsequent registration for it or cancel it, despite any other provision of this Act.

4.  Section 29 of the Act is repealed.

5.  (1)  Subsection 45.1 (1) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Guarantee required

(1)  The Registrar General may require that an application for any of the following information or documents be guaranteed and may specify the manner in which it must be guaranteed:

1. A certificate.

2. A certified copy of a registration.

3. Such other information or documents as may be prescribed.

Eligibility to be a guarantor

(1.1)  Such persons as may be prescribed are authorized to act as guarantors for the purposes of this section.

(2)  Subsection 45.1 (1) of the Act, as re-enacted by subsection (1), is amended by adding the following paragraphs:

2.1 The uncertified copies described in subsection 48.1 (1).

2.2 The information described in subsection 48.2 (1).

6.  The Act is amended by adding the following sections:

Disclosure re Adopted Persons

Disclosure to an adopted person

48.1  (1)  An adopted person may apply to the Registrar General for an uncertified copy of the original registration, if any, of the adopted person's birth and an uncertified copy of any registered adoption order respecting the adopted person.

Age restriction

(2)  The adopted person is not entitled to apply for the uncertified copies until he or she is at least 18 years old.

Disclosure

(3)  Subject to subsections (5), (7) and (8), the applicant may obtain the uncertified copies from the Registrar General upon application and upon payment of the required fee, but only if the applicant produces evidence satisfactory to the Registrar General of the applicant's identity and age.

Notice of preferred manner of contact

(4)  If a notice registered by a birth parent under subsection 48.3 (2) is in effect, the Registrar General shall give the applicant a copy of the notice when the Registrar General gives the applicant the uncertified copies.

Notice of wish not to be contacted

(5)  If a notice registered by a birth parent under subsection 48.4 (3) is in effect, the Registrar General shall not give the uncertified copies to the applicant unless the applicant agrees in writing not to contact or attempt to contact the birth parent, either directly or indirectly.

Same

(6)  The Registrar General shall give the applicant a copy of the notice when the Registrar General gives the applicant the uncertified copies.

Effect of application for order prohibiting disclosure

(7)  If the Registrar General receives notice of an application under section 48.7 for an order directing him or her not to give the uncertified copies to the applicant, the Registrar General shall not give the uncertified copies to the applicant before the Registrar General receives,

(a) a certified copy of the order; or

(b) notice that the application for the order has been dismissed, withdrawn or abandoned.

Effect of order

(8)  If the Registrar General receives a certified copy of an order of the Board directing the Registrar General not to give the uncertified copies to the applicant, the Registrar General shall not give them to the applicant.

Rescission of order

(9)  Subsection (8) does not apply if the Registrar General receives notice that the Board has rescinded the order.

Notice of prohibition against disclosure to a birth parent

(10)  If the Registrar General has received notice under section 48.9 that, by virtue of that section, he or she is prohibited from giving the information described in subsection 48.2 (1) to the applicant's birth parent and if that notice has not been rescinded, the Registrar General shall give the applicant a copy of the notice when the Registrar General gives the applicant the uncertified copies.

Deemed receipt by Registrar General

(11)  For the purposes of this section, the Registrar General shall be deemed not to have received a notice or certified copy referred to in this section until the Registrar General has matched the notice or copy with the original registration, if any, of the adopted person's birth or, if there is no original registration, until the Registrar General has matched it with the registered adoption order.

Disclosure before deemed receipt

(12)  Subsections (7) to (10) do not apply if, before the Registrar General is deemed to have received the notice or copy, as the case may be, the Registrar General has already given the uncertified copies to the applicant.

Mandatory delay in disclosure

(13)  If the Registrar General receives notice that the Child and Family Services Review Board has given him or her a direction described in subsection 48.7 (6), the Registrar General shall comply with the direction.

Disclosure to a birth parent

48.2  (1)  A birth parent of an adopted person may apply to the Registrar General for all the information contained in the following documents, with the exception of information about persons other than the applicant and the adopted person:

1. The original registration, if any, of the adopted person's birth.

2. Any birth registration respecting the adopted person that was substituted in accordance with subsection 28 (2).

3. Any registered adoption order respecting the adopted person.

Age restriction

(2)  The birth parent is not entitled to apply for the information described in subsection (1) until the adopted person is at least 19 years old.

Disclosure of information

(3)  Subject to the restrictions set out in this section, the applicant may obtain the information described in subsection (1) from the Registrar General upon application and upon payment of the required fee, but only if the applicant produces evidence satisfactory to the Registrar General of the applicant's identity and the adopted person's age.

Notice of preferred manner of contact

(4)  If a notice registered by the adopted person under subsection 48.3 (1) is in effect, the Registrar General shall give the applicant a copy of the notice when the Registrar General gives the applicant the information described in subsection (1).

Notice of wish not to be contacted

(5)  If a notice registered by the adopted person under subsection 48.4 (1) is in effect, the Registrar General shall give the applicant a copy of the notice when the Registrar General gives the applicant the information described in subsection (1).

Temporary restriction on disclosure

(6)  The Registrar General shall not give the information described in subsection (1) to the applicant while any of the following circumstances exist:

1. The Registrar General is required by section 48.9 to ask a designated custodian for notice about whether the Registrar General is prohibited, by virtue of that section, from giving the information to the applicant, but the Registrar General has not yet received the notice.

2. The Registrar General has received notice of an application under section 48.5 or 48.6 for an order directing him or her not to give the information to the applicant, but the Registrar General has not yet received either a certified copy of an order or a notice that the application has been dismissed, withdrawn or abandoned.

3. A notice registered by the adopted person under subsection 48.4 (1) is in effect, but the applicant has not yet agreed in writing that he or she will not contact or attempt to contact the adopted person, either directly or indirectly.

Prohibition against disclosure

(7)  The Registrar General shall not give the information described in subsection (1) to the applicant if either of the following circumstances exist:

1. The Registrar General has received notice under section 48.9 that, by virtue of that section, the Registrar General is prohibited from giving the information to the applicant, that notice has not been rescinded, and there is not a notice of waiver under section 48.10 that is in effect.

2. The Registrar General has received a certified copy of an order under section 48.5 or 48.6 directing him or her not to give the information to the applicant, and the Registrar General has not received notice that the order has been rescinded.

Deemed receipt by Registrar General

(8)  For the purposes of this section, the Registrar General shall be deemed not to have received a notice or certified copy referred to in this section until the Registrar General has matched the notice or copy with the original registration, if any, of the adopted person's birth or, if there is no original registration, until the Registrar General has matched it with the registered adoption order.

Disclosure before deemed receipt

(9)  Subsections (4) and (5), paragraph 2 of subsection (6) and paragraph 2 of subsection (7) do not apply if, before the Registrar General is deemed to have received the notice or copy, as the case may be, the Registrar General has already given the information described in subsection (1) to the applicant.

Mandatory delay in disclosure

(10)  If the Registrar General receives notice that the Child and Family Services Review Board has given him or her a direction described in subsection 48.5 (8) or 48.6 (6), the Registrar General shall comply with the direction.

7.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Notice, preferred manner of contact

Adopted person

48.3  (1)  Upon application, an adopted person who is at least 18 years old may register a notice specifying his or her preferences concerning the manner in which a birth parent may contact him or her.

Birth parent

(2)  Upon application, a birth parent may register a notice specifying his or her preferences concerning the manner in which an adopted person may contact him or her.

When notice is in effect

(3)  A notice is registered and in effect when the Registrar General has matched it with the original registration, if any, of the adopted person's birth or, if there is no original registration, when the Registrar General has matched it with the registered adoption order.

Exception

(4)  Despite subsection (3), a notice registered by an adopted person with respect to a birth parent does not come into effect if, before the match is made, the Registrar General has already given that birth parent the information described in subsection 48.2 (1).

Same

(5)  Despite subsection (3), a notice registered by a birth parent does not come into effect if, before the match is made, the Registrar General has already given the adopted person the uncertified copies of registered documents described in subsection 48.1 (1).

Withdrawal of notice

(6)  Upon application, the adopted person or birth parent, as the case may be, may withdraw the notice.

Same

(7)  If a notice is withdrawn, it ceases to be in effect when the Registrar General has matched the application for withdrawal with the notice itself.

Administration

(8)  Subsections 2 (2) to (4) do not apply to notices registered under this section.

8.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Notice, wish not to be contacted

Adopted person

48.4  (1)  Upon application, an adopted person who is at least 18 years old may register a notice that he or she wishes not to be contacted by a birth parent.

Same

(2)  A notice described in subsection (1) shall not be registered until the applicant produces evidence satisfactory to the Registrar General of the applicant's age.

Birth parent

(3)  Upon application, a birth parent may register a notice that he or she wishes not to be contacted by the adopted person.

Additional information

(4)  The notice may include a brief statement concerning the person's reasons for not wishing to be contacted and a brief statement of any available information about the person's medical and family history.

When notice is in effect

(5)  A notice is registered and in effect when the Registrar General has matched it with the original registration, if any, of the adopted person's birth or, if there is no original registration, when the Registrar General has matched it with the registered adoption order.

Exception

(6)  Despite subsection (5), a notice registered by an adopted person with respect to a birth parent does not come into effect if, before the match is made, the Registrar General has already given that birth parent the information described in subsection 48.2 (1).

Same

(7)  Despite subsection (5), a notice registered by a birth parent does not come into effect if, before the match is made, the Registrar General has already given the adopted person the uncertified copies of registered documents described in subsection 48.1 (1).

Withdrawal of notice

(8)  Upon application, the adopted person or birth parent, as the case may be, may withdraw the notice.

When withdrawal takes effect

(9)  If a notice is withdrawn, the notice ceases to be in effect when the Registrar General has matched the application for withdrawal with the notice itself.

Administration

(10)  Subsections 2 (2) to (4) do not apply to notices registered under this section.

9.  The Act is amended by adding the following sections:

Order prohibiting disclosure to birth parent (to protect an adopted person)

48.5  (1)  An adopted person who is at least 18 years old may apply, in accordance with the regulations, to the Child and Family Services Review Board for an order directing the Registrar General not to give a birth parent the information described in subsection 48.2 (1) about the adopted person.

Same

(2)  If the adopted person is incapable, a person acting on his or her behalf may apply for the order, and the issue of the adopted person's capacity shall be determined in accordance with the regulations and using such criteria as may be prescribed.

Notice of application

(3)  The Board shall give written notice of the application to the Registrar General in accordance with the regulations.

Procedural matters

(4)  The Statutory Powers Procedure Act does not apply with respect to the application, and the Board shall decide the application in the absence of the public.

Request from birth parent

(5)  If, while the application is pending, the Registrar General refuses under subsection 48.2 (6) to give a birth parent the information described in subsection 48.2 (1) about the adopted person, the birth parent may request an opportunity to be heard in connection with the application.

Same

(6)  The Board shall take such steps as may be prescribed in order to ensure that the birth parent has an opportunity to be heard, but no person is entitled to be present during, to have access to or to comment on representations made to the Board by any other person.

Order

(7)  The Board shall make the order if the Board is satisfied that, because of exceptional circumstances, the order is appropriate in order to prevent sexual harm or significant physical or emotional harm to the adopted person.

Exception

(8)  If the Board refuses to make an order prohibiting the disclosure of the information, the Board shall direct the Registrar General to delay the disclosure for the period the Board considers appropriate to enable the adopted person to prepare for the disclosure and its impact on him or her and on his or her family and associates.

Notice of order, etc.

(9)  The Board shall give a certified copy of the order, if any, or such other information as may be prescribed to the Registrar General.

Expiry of order

(10)  The order expires when the Registrar General receives notice, and evidence satisfactory to the Registrar General, of the death of the adopted person and the Registrar General matches the notice with the original registration, if any, of the adopted person's birth or, if there is no original registration, matches it with the registered adoption order.

Finality of order, etc.

(11)  An order or decision of the Board under this section is not subject to appeal or review by any court.

Confidentiality of Board records

(12)  The Board file respecting an application shall be sealed and is not open for inspection by any person.

Administration

(13)  Subsections 2 (2) to (4) do not apply to notices, certified copies and other information given to the Registrar General under this section in connection with an application.

Order prohibiting disclosure to birth parent (to protect an adopted person's sibling)

48.6  (1)  In this section,

"sibling" means, in relation to an adopted person, a sibling,

(a) who is a child of the adopted person's adoptive parent, and

(b) who, before becoming a child of the adoptive parent, was a child of the adopted person's birth parent.

Application for order

(2)  If an adopted person who is at least 18 years old has a sibling who is less than 18 years old, an adoptive parent of the adopted person may apply, in accordance with the regulations, to the Child and Family Services Review Board for an order directing the Registrar General not to give a birth parent the information described in subsection 48.2 (1) with respect to the adopted person.

Order

(3)  The Board shall make the order if the Board is satisfied that, because of exceptional circumstances, the order is appropriate in order to prevent sexual harm or significant physical or emotional harm to the adopted person's sibling.

Expiry of order

(4)  The order expires when the adopted person's sibling reaches 19 years of age.

Procedural matters, etc.

(5)  Subsections 48.5 (3) to (6), (9) and (11) to (13) apply, with necessary modifications, with respect to the application.

Exception

(6)  If the Board refuses to make an order prohibiting the disclosure of the information, the Board shall direct the Registrar General to delay the disclosure for the period the Board considers appropriate to enable the adoptive parent to prepare for the disclosure and its impact on the adopted person's sibling and on his or her family and associates.

Order prohibiting disclosure to adopted person (to protect a birth parent)

48.7  (1)  A birth parent may apply, in accordance with the regulations, to the Child and Family Services Review Board for an order directing the Registrar General not to give the adopted person the uncertified copies of registered documents described in subsection 48.1 (1).

Request from adopted person

(2)  If, while the application is pending, the Registrar General refuses under subsection 48.1 (7) to give the adopted person the uncertified copies of documents described in subsection 48.1 (1), the adopted person may request an opportunity to be heard in connection with the application.

Order

(3)  The Board shall make the order if the Board is satisfied that, because of exceptional circumstances, the order is appropriate in order to prevent sexual harm or significant physical or emotional harm to the birth parent.

Expiry of order

(4)  The order expires when the Registrar General receives notice, and evidence satisfactory to the Registrar General, of the death of the birth parent and the Registrar General matches the notice with the original registration, if any, of the adopted person's birth or, if there is no original registration, matches it with the registered adoption order.

Procedural matters, etc.

(5)  Subsections 48.5 (3), (4), (6), (9) and (11) to (13) apply, with necessary modifications, with respect to the application.

Exception

(6)  If the Board refuses to make an order prohibiting disclosure of the uncertified copies, the Board shall direct the Registrar General to delay the disclosure for the period the Board considers appropriate to enable the birth parent to prepare for the disclosure and its impact on him or her and on his or her family and associates.

Reconsideration of orders prohibiting disclosure

Order to protect an adopted person

48.8  (1)  The following persons may apply, in accordance with the regulations, to the Child and Family Services Review Board to reconsider an order made under section 48.5:

1. The adopted person.

2. If the adopted person is incapable, a person acting on his or her behalf.

3. A birth parent who, by virtue of subsection 48.2 (7), is not given the information described in subsection 48.2 (1) about the adopted person.

Order to protect an adopted person's sibling

(2)  The following persons may apply, in accordance with the regulations, to the Board to reconsider an order made under section 48.6:

1. An adoptive parent of the adopted person.

2. A birth parent who, by virtue of subsection 48.2 (7), is not given the information described in subsection 48.2 (1) about the adopted person.

Order to protect a birth parent

(3)  The following persons may apply, in accordance with the regulations, to the Board to reconsider an order made under section 48.7:

1. The birth parent.

2. An adopted person who, by virtue of subsection 48.1 (8), is not given the uncertified copies of registered documents described in subsection 48.1 (1).

3. If the adopted person described in paragraph 2 is incapable, a person acting on his or her behalf.

Procedural matters

(4)  The Statutory Powers Procedure Act does not apply with respect to the application, and the Board shall decide the application in the absence of the public.

Same

(5)  The Board shall take such steps as may be prescribed in order to ensure that the interested persons have an opportunity to be heard in connection with the application, but no person is entitled to be present during, to have access to or to comment on representations made to the Board by any other person.

Access to Board's own file

(6)  The Board file respecting the application for the order under section 48.5, 48.6 or 48.7, as the case may be, is unsealed for the purposes of this section.

Incapacity

(7)  If a person acting on behalf of an incapable adopted person applies for reconsideration of an order, the issue of the adopted person's capacity shall be determined in accordance with the regulations and using such criteria as may be prescribed.

Decision

(8)  The Board may confirm the order or rescind it, and subsection 48.5 (7), 48.6 (3) or 48.7 (3), as the case may be, applies in the circumstances.

Notice of rescission

(9)  If the Board rescinds the order, the Board shall give written notice to the Registrar General in accordance with the regulations.

Finality, etc.

(10)  Subsections 48.5 (11) to (13) apply, with necessary modifications, with respect to the application.

Prohibition against disclosure where adopted person a victim of abuse

Definitions

48.9  (1)  In this section,

"children's aid society" means a society as defined in subsection 3 (1) of the Child and Family Services Act; ("société d'aide à l'enfance")

"designated custodian" means a person designated under subsection 162.1 (1) of the Child and Family Services Act to act as a custodian of information that relates to adoptions. ("dépositaire désigné")

Request by Registrar General

(2)  Upon receiving an application under subsection 48.2 (1) from a birth parent of an adopted person, the Registrar General shall ask a designated custodian to notify him or her whether, by virtue of this section, the Registrar General is prohibited from giving the information described in subsection 48.2 (1) to the birth parent.

Exception

(3)  Subsection (2) does not apply if a notice of waiver has been registered by the adopted person under subsection 48.10 (1) and is in effect.

Determination re method of adoption

(4)  The designated custodian shall determine whether the adopted person was placed for adoption by a children's aid society.

Request for determination by local director

(5)  If the adopted person was placed for adoption by a children's aid society, the designated custodian shall ask the local director of the society to make a determination under subsection (7) and to give written notice of the determination to the designated custodian.

Notice to Registrar General

(6)  If the adopted person was not placed for adoption by a children's aid society, the designated custodian shall give written notice to the Registrar General that the Registrar General is not prohibited, by virtue of this section, from giving the information described in subsection 48.2 (1) to the birth parent.

Determination by local director

(7)  Upon the request of the designated custodian, the local director shall determine whether, in his or her opinion, based upon information in the files of the children's aid society, the adopted person was a victim of abuse by the birth parent.

Same

(8)  The determination must be made in accordance with the regulations.

Notice to Registrar General, no abuse

(9)  If the local director notifies the designated custodian that, in his or her opinion, the adopted person was not a victim of abuse by the birth parent, the designated custodian shall give written notice to the Registrar General that the Registrar General is not prohibited, by virtue of this section, from giving the information described in subsection 48.2 (1) to the birth parent.

Same, abuse

(10)  If the local director notifies the designated custodian that, in his or her opinion, the adopted person was a victim of abuse by the birth parent, the designated custodian shall give written notice to the Registrar General that the Registrar General is prohibited, by virtue of this section, from giving the information described in subsection 48.2 (1) to the birth parent.

Application for reconsideration

(11)  The birth parent may apply to the Child and Family Services Review Board in accordance with the regulations for reconsideration of the determination made by the local director.

Reconsideration

(12)  The Board may substitute its judgment for that of the local director and may affirm the determination made by the local director or rescind it.

Same

(13)  The Board shall ensure that the local director has an opportunity to be heard.

Procedural matters, etc.

(14)  Subsections 48.5 (4), (11) and (12) apply, with necessary modifications, with respect to the application for reconsideration.

Notice to Registrar General

(15)  If the Board rescinds the determination made by the local director, the Board shall notify the designated custodian that, in the opinion of the Board, the adopted person was not a victim of abuse by the birth parent, and the designated custodian shall give written notice to the Registrar General that the previous notice to the Registrar General is rescinded.

Information for birth parent, adopted person

(16)  If the local director determines that, in his or her opinion, the adopted person was a victim of abuse by the birth parent, the local director shall, upon request, give the birth parent or the adopted person the information that the local director considered in making the determination, with the exception of information about persons other than the birth parent or the adopted person, as the case may be.

Administration

(17)  Subsections 2 (2) to (4) do not apply to notices given to the Registrar General under this section.

Notice of waiver by adopted person

48.10  (1)  Upon application, an adopted person who is at least 18 years old may register a notice that he or she waives the protection of any prohibition under section 48.9 against giving the information described in subsection 48.2 (1) to his or her birth parent.

Same

(2)  A notice described in subsection (1) shall not be registered until the applicant produces evidence satisfactory to the Registrar General of the applicant's age.

When notice is in effect

(3)  A notice is registered and in effect when the Registrar General has matched it with the original registration, if any, of the adopted person's birth or, if there is no original registration, when the Registrar General has matched it with the registered adoption order.

Withdrawal of notice

(4)  Upon application, the adopted person may withdraw the notice.

When withdrawal takes effect

(5)  If a notice is withdrawn, the notice ceases to be in effect when the Registrar General has matched the application for withdrawal with the notice itself.

Administration

(6)  Subsections 2 (2) to (4) do not apply to notices registered under this section.

10.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Unsealing of files

48.11  For the purposes of sections 48.1 to 48.10, the Registrar General may unseal any file that was sealed under this Act or a predecessor of this Act.

11.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Review re disclosure of adoption information

48.12  The Lieutenant Governor in Council shall ensure that a review of the operation of sections 48.1 to 48.11 and section 56.1 is conducted within five years after section 11 of the Adoption Information Disclosure Act, 2005 comes into force.

12.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Offences re contacting adopted person or birth parent despite notice

56.1  (1)  If, under section 48.1, an adopted person receives notice that a birth parent does not wish to be contacted, the adopted person shall not knowingly contact or attempt to contact the birth parent, either directly or indirectly.

Birth parent

(2)  If, under section 48.2, a birth parent receives notice that the adopted person does not wish to be contacted by the birth parent, he or she shall not knowingly contact or attempt to contact the adopted person, either directly or indirectly.

Other persons

(3)  No person shall contact or attempt to contact a birth parent on behalf of an adopted person if the adopted person is prohibited by subsection (1) from doing so.

Same

(4)  No person shall contact or attempt to contact an adopted person on behalf of a birth parent if the birth parent is prohibited by subsection (2) from doing so.

Penalty

(5)  A person who contravenes subsection (1), (2), (3) or (4) is guilty of an offence and, on conviction, is liable to a fine of not more than $50,000 for an individual or $250,000 for a corporation.

13.  (1)  Section 60 of the Act is amended by adding the following clause:

(m.1.1) prescribing information and documents for the purposes of paragraph 3 of subsection 45.1 (1);

(2)  Section 60 of the Act is amended by adding the following clauses:

(r) prescribing persons for the purposes of the definition of "birth parent" in section 1;

(r.1) governing the matters provided for by sections 48.5 to 48.8, including a determination of whether an adopted person is incapable;

(r.2) governing what constitutes abuse for the purposes of section 48.9, governing the criteria and information to be used to determine whether an adopted person was a victim of abuse by a birth parent and governing the manner in which the determination is made;

(3)  Clause 60 (u) of the Act is repealed.

(4)  Section 60 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsections:

Capacity of adopted person

(2)  A regulation under clause (1) (r.1) may provide that the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992, or any specified provision of it, does not apply with respect to the determination of whether an adopted person is incapable for the purposes of section 48.5 or 48.8 of this Act.

Same, jurisdiction

(3)  A regulation under clause (1) (r.1) may assign to a court or to a person or body the jurisdiction to determine whether an adopted person is incapable for the purposes of section 48.5 or 48.8.

Child and Family Services Act

14.  Clause 137 (4) (a) of the Child and Family Services Act is repealed and the following substituted:

(a) the society or licensee has advised the parent of his or her right,

(i) to withdraw the consent under subsection (8), and

(ii) to be informed, on his or her request, whether an adoption order has been made in respect of the child;

(a.1) the society or licensee has advised the parent of such other matters as may be prescribed; and

15.  (1)  Subsection 162 (2) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Requirement to seal documents

(2)  Subject to subsection (3), the documents used on an application for an adoption order under this Part or a predecessor of this Part shall be sealed up together with a certified copy of the original order and filed in the court office by the appropriate court officer, and shall not be opened for inspection except by court order.

(2)  Subsection 162 (2) of the Act, as re-enacted by subsection (1), is amended by striking out "subsection (3)" and substituting "subsections (3) and 162.2 (2)".

(3)  Clause 162 (3) (b) of the Act is repealed.

(4)  Subsection 162 (3) of the Act is amended by adding the following clause:

(e) one certified copy to such other persons as may be prescribed.

(5)  Section 162 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsections:

Other court files

(4)  Unless the court orders otherwise, only the court may examine identifying information that comes from the records of any of the following persons that is contained in any court file respecting the judicial review of a decision made by any of them:

1. A designated custodian under section 162.1.

2. A person who, by virtue of a regulation made under clause 220 (1) (c.5), reviews or hears appeals of decisions concerning the disclosure of information under section 162.2 or 162.3.

3. A person referred to in subsection 162.2 (1) or 162.3 (1).

Same

(5)  No person shall, without the court's permission, disclose identifying information described in subsection (4) that the person obtained from the court file.

Definition

(6)  In subsections (4) and (5),

"identifying information" means information whose disclosure, alone or in combination with other information, will in the circumstances reveal the identity of the person to whom it relates.

16.  The Act is amended by adding the following sections:

Designation of custodians of information

162.1  (1)  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation, designate one or more persons to act as custodians of information that relates to adoptions and may impose such conditions and restrictions with respect to the designation as the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers appropriate.

Powers and duties

(2)  A designated custodian may exercise such powers and shall perform such duties as may be prescribed with respect to the information provided to the custodian under this Act.

Same, disclosure of information

(3)  A designated custodian may exercise such other powers and shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed for a purpose relating to the disclosure of information that relates to adoptions, including performing searches upon request for such persons, and in such circumstances, as may be prescribed.

Same, Vital Statistics Act, s. 48.9

(4)  One or more designated custodians who are specified by regulation may exercise such powers and shall perform such duties under section 48.9 of the Vital Statistics Act as may be prescribed in such circumstances as may be prescribed.

Agreements

(5)  The Minister may enter into agreements with designated custodians concerning their powers and duties under this section and the agreements may provide for payments to be made to the designated custodians.

Disclosure to designated custodian

162.2  (1)  The Minister, the Registrar General under the Vital Statistics Act, a society, a licensee and such other persons as may be prescribed shall give a designated custodian under section 162.1 such information that relates to adoptions as may be prescribed in such circumstances as may be prescribed.

Same, adoption orders

(2)  A court shall give a designated custodian a certified copy of an adoption order made under this Part together with such other documents as may be prescribed in such circumstances as may be prescribed.

Disclosure to others

By the Minister

162.3  (1)  The Minister shall give such information that relates to adoptions as may be prescribed to such persons as may be prescribed in such circumstances as may be prescribed.

By a society

(2)  A society shall give such information that relates to adoptions as may be prescribed to such persons as may be prescribed in such circumstances as may be prescribed.

By a licensee

(3)  A licensee shall give such information that relates to adoptions as may be prescribed to such persons as may be prescribed in such circumstances as may be prescribed.

By a custodian

(4)  A designated custodian under section 162.1 shall give such information that relates to adoptions as may be prescribed to such persons as may be prescribed in such circumstances as may be prescribed.

Scope of application

162.4  Sections 162.2 and 162.3 apply with respect to information that relates to an adoption regardless of when the adoption order was made.

17.  (1)  Subsection 163 (1) of the Act is repealed.

(2)  Clause 163 (2) (a) of the Act is repealed.

(3)  Clause 163 (2) (b) of the Act is repealed.

(4)  Clause 163 (2) (c) of the Act is repealed.

(5)  Clause 163 (2) (d) of the Act is repealed.

(6)  Subsection 163 (2) of the Act, as amended by subsections (2) to (5), is repealed.

(7)  Subsection 163 (3) of the Act is repealed.

(8)  Subsection 163 (4) of the Act is repealed.

18.  Section 164 of the Act is repealed.

19.  Subsections 165 (1) to (4) of the Act are repealed and the following substituted:

Confidentiality of adoption information

(1)  Despite any other Act, after an adoption order is made, no person shall inspect, remove, alter or disclose information that relates to the adoption and is kept by the Ministry, a society, a licensee or a designated custodian under section 162.1 and no person shall permit it to be inspected, removed, altered or disclosed except as authorized under this Act.

Application

(2)  This section applies regardless of when the adoption order was made.

20.  (1)  Subsections 166 (1) to (3) of the Act are repealed.

(2)  Subsection 166 (4) of the Act is repealed.

(3)  Paragraph 3 of subsection 166 (5) of the Act is amended by striking out "or to an individual in that jurisdiction who, in the Registrar's opinion, is qualified to provide counselling".

(4)  Subsection 166 (5) of the Act, as amended by subsection (3), is amended by striking out the portion before paragraph 1 and substituting the following:

Transition

(5)  If a person has made a request to the Registrar under subsection (4), as it reads immediately before the day on which subsection 20 (2) of the Adoption Information Disclosure Act, 2005 comes into force, asking the Registrar for non-identifying information that relates to an adoption, the Registrar shall do one of the following:

. . . . .

(5)  Subsection 166 (5) of the Act, as amended by subsections (3) and (4), is repealed.

(6)  Subsection 166 (6) of the Act is repealed.

(7)  Subsection 166 (7) of the Act is amended by striking out "and shall also make counselling available to him or her".

(8)  Subsection 166 (7) of the Act, as amended by subsection (7), is repealed.

(9)  Subsection 166 (8) of the Act is amended by striking out "Subsections (4), (5), (6) and (7)" at the beginning and substituting "Subsections (4), (5) and (7)".

(10)  Subsection 166 (8) of the Act, as amended by subsection (9), is repealed.

(11)  Subsection 166 (9) of the Act is repealed.

(12)  Section 166 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Transition: cessation of activities

(10)  On the day on which this subsection comes into force, the Registrar shall cease any activity under subsection (5) that is not yet completed in connection with a request made under subsection (4).

(13)  Subsection 166 (10) of the Act, as enacted by subsection (12), is repealed.

21.  (1)  Subsection 167 (1) of the Act is repealed.

(2)  Subsections 167 (2) and (3) of the Act are repealed.

(3)  Subsection 167 (4) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Transition

(4)  If a person has applied under subsection (2), as it reads immediately before the day on which subsection 21 (2) of the Adoption Information Disclosure Act, 2005 comes into force, to a society or to the Registrar to be named in the register,

(a) the Registrar shall enter the applicant's name in the register; and

(b) the Registrar shall then make a search to determine whether both of the following persons are named in the register:

(i) the adopted person, and

(ii) another person who is his or her birth parent, birth grandparent, birth sibling or another person named by the Registrar in the register as if he or she were a birth parent.

(4)  Subsection 167 (4) of the Act, as re-enacted by subsection (3), is repealed.

(5)  Subsection 167 (5) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Further consents

(5)  If the Registrar determines that an adopted person and another person described in subsection (4) are both named in the register, the Registrar shall give both persons an opportunity to consent in writing to the disclosure of information in accordance with subsections (8) and (9).

(6)  Subsection 167 (5) of the Act, as re-enacted by subsection (5), is repealed.

(7)  Subsection 167 (6) of the Act is repealed.

(8)  Subsection 167 (7) of the Act is repealed.

(9)  Subsection 167 (8) of the Act is repealed.

(10)  Clause 167 (9) (a) of the Act is amended by striking out "first ensuring that each person to whom the material is made available receives counselling".

(11)  Clause 167 (9) (c) of the Act is amended by striking out "but only if the Registrar is satisfied that the person will receive appropriate counselling".

(12)  Subsection 167 (9) of the Act, as amended by subsections (10) and (11), is repealed.

(13)  Subsection 167 (10) of the Act is repealed.

(14)  Subsection 167 (11) of the Act is amended by striking out "first ensuring that each person to whom the material is made available receives counselling".

(15)  Subsection 167 (11) of the Act, as amended by subsection (14), is repealed.

(16)  Subsection 167 (12) of the Act is repealed.

(17)  Subsection 167 (13) of the Act is repealed.

(18)  Subsection 167 (14) of the Act is repealed.

(19)  Section 167 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Transition: cessation of activities

(15)  On the day on which this subsection comes into force, the Registrar shall cease any activity under this section that has not yet been completed in connection with an application made under subsection (2) or a consent given under subsection (5).

(20)  Subsection 167 (15) of the Act, as enacted by subsection (19), is repealed.

22.  Section 168 of the Act is repealed.

23.  (1)  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Transition: request for search

168.1  (1)  Such persons as may be prescribed may ask the Registrar to search on the person's behalf in such circumstances as may be prescribed for a specific person in a prescribed class of persons.

Same

(2)  The Registrar shall have a discreet and reasonable search made for the specific person.

(2)  Section 168.1 of the Act, as enacted by subsection (1), is repealed.

24.  (1)  Subsections 169 (1) and (2) of the Act are repealed.

(2)  Subsection 169 (3) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Transition

(3)  If a person has made a request to the Registrar under subsection (1) or (2), as those subsections read immediately before the day on which subsection 24 (1) of the Adoption Information Disclosure Act, 2005 comes into force, asking the Registrar to search on the person's behalf for a specific person,

(a) the Registrar shall have a discreet and reasonable search made for the specific person; and

(b) the Registrar shall seek to ascertain whether that person wishes to be named in the register.

(3)  Subsection 169 (3) of the Act, as re-enacted by subsection (2), is repealed.

(4)  Subsection 169 (4) of the Act is repealed.

(5)  Section 169 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Transition: cessation of activities

(5)  On the day on which this subsection comes into force, the Registrar shall cease any activity under this section that has not yet been completed in connection with a request made under subsection (1) or (2).

(6)  Subsection 169 (5) of the Act, as enacted by subsection (5), is repealed.

25.  (1)  Subsection 170 (1) of the Act is repealed.

(2)  Subsection 170 (2) of the Act is repealed.

(3)  Subsection 170 (3) of the Act is amended by striking out "When a person makes a request under subsection (2)" and substituting "If a person has made a request to the Registrar under subsection (2), as it reads immediately before the day on which subsection 25 (2) of the Adoption Information Disclosure Act, 2005 comes into force".

(4)  Subsection 170 (3) of the Act, as amended by subsection (3), is repealed.

(5)  Subsection 170 (4) of the Act is repealed.

(6)  Subsection 170 (5) of the Act is amended by striking out "Subsections (2), (3) and (4)" at the beginning and substituting "Subsections (2) and (3)".

(7)  Subsection 170 (5) of the Act, as amended by subsection (6), is repealed.

(8)  Subsection 170 (6) of the Act is repealed.

(9)  Subsection l70 (7) of the Act is repealed.

(10)  Section 170 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Transition: cessation of activities

(8)  On the day on which this subsection comes into force, the Registrar shall cease any activity under this section that has not yet been completed in connection with a request made under subsection (2).

(11)  Subsection 170 (8) of the Act, as enacted by subsection (10), is repealed.

26.  Section 171 of the Act is repealed.

27.  Section 172 of the Act is repealed.

28.  Section 173 of the Act is repealed.

29.  Section 174 of the Act is repealed.

30.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Unauthorized disclosure of information by designated custodian

176.1  (1)  No designated custodian under section 162.1 shall disclose any information provided to the custodian under section 162.2 unless the disclosure is made in accordance with the regulations.

Offence

(2)  A person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence.

Same

(3)  A director, officer or employee of a corporation who authorizes, permits or concurs in a contravention of subsection (1) by the corporation is guilty of an offence.

31.  (1)  Clause 179 (2) (d) of the Act is repealed.

(2)  Section 179 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Exception re adoption-related information

(2.1)  This Part does not apply to information given to a designated custodian under section 162.2 or to another person under section 162.3.

32.  (1)  Subsection 220 (1) of the Act is amended by adding the following clauses:

(a.1) prescribing matters for the purposes of clause 137 (4) (a.1);

. . . . .

(c.1) prescribing persons for the purposes of clause 162 (3) (e);

(2)  Subsection 220 (1) of the Act is amended by adding the following clauses:

(c.2) prescribing the powers and duties of a designated custodian under section 162.1 and governing the fees that the designated custodian may charge in connection with the exercise of its powers and the performance of its duties;

(c.3) governing the disclosure of information under section 162.2 to a designated custodian;

(c.4) governing the disclosure of information under section 162.3 by the Minister, a society, a licensee or a designated custodian;

(c.5) establishing and governing a mechanism for the review or appeal of a decision made by the Minister, a society, a licensee or a designated custodian concerning the disclosure of information under section 162.2 or 162.3;

(c.6) governing the fees that a society, licensee or designated custodian may charge for the disclosure of information under section 162.2 or 162.3;

(3)  Clause 220 (1) (e) of the Act is repealed.

(4)  Clause 220 (1) (f) of the Act is repealed.

(5)  Subsection 220 (1) of the Act is amended by adding the following clause:

(f.1) prescribing the matters referred to in subsection 168.1 (1);

(6)  Clause 220 (1) (f.1) of the Act, as enacted by subsection (5), is repealed.

(7)  Clause 220 (1) (g) of the Act is repealed.

(8)  Clause 220 (1) (h) of the Act is repealed.

(9)  Clause 220 (1) (i) of the Act is repealed.

(10)  Subsection 220 (2) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Classes

(2)  A regulation under clauses (1) (c.2) to (c.6) may establish different standards and requirements with respect to different classes of persons.

Transitional matters

(3)  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations providing for transitional matters which, in the opinion of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, are necessary or desirable in connection with the enactment of sections 162.1 to 162.4 by the Adoption Information Disclosure Act, 2005 and the amendment or repeal, as the case may be, of sections 162 to 174 by that Act.

33.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Review re disclosure of adoption information

225.  The Lieutenant Governor in Council shall ensure that a review of the operation of sections 161 to 172 and section 176.1 is conducted within five years after section 33 of the Adoption Information Disclosure Act, 2005 comes into force.

Freedom of Information and
Protection of Privacy Act

34.  Section 65 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Information relating to adoptions

(8)  This Act does not apply with respect to the following:

1. Notices registered under section 48.3 of the Vital Statistics Act and notices and information registered under section 48.4 of that Act.

2. Notices, certified copies of orders and other information given to the Registrar General under sections 48.5 to 48.10 of that Act.

3. Notices and other information given to a designated custodian by the local director of a children's aid society under section 48.9 of that Act and information given to a birth parent or an adopted person under that section.

4. Information and records in files that are unsealed under section 48.11 of that Act.

Personal Health Information
Protection Act, 2004

35.  Clause 43 (1) (e) of the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 is amended by striking out "or the Registrar of Adoption Information appointed under subsection 163 (1) of that Act" and substituting "or a designated custodian under section 162.1 of that Act".

Commencement and Short Title

Commencement

36.  (1)  Subject to subsection (2), this Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.

Same

(2)  Sections 1 to 4, subsection 5 (2) and sections 6 to 35 come into force on a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor.

Short title

37.  The short title of this Act is the Adoption Information Disclosure Act, 2005.

EXPLANATORY NOTE

This Explanatory Note was written as a reader's aid to Bill 183 and does not form part of the law. Bill 183 has been enacted as Chapter 25 of the Statutes of Ontario, 2005.

The Bill amends the Vital Statistics Act and the Child and Family Services Act in connection with the disclosure of adoption-related information to adopted persons and their birth parents. Consequential amendments are made to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004.

Vital Statistics Act:

Currently, the Vital Statistics Act does not permit adopted persons to obtain information from the Registrar General concerning their birth parents. Nor does it permit a birth parent of an adopted person to obtain information from the Registrar General about the adopted person.

Under a new section 48.1 of the Act, an adopted person who is at least 18 years old is permitted to obtain from the Registrar General an uncertified copy of the original registration, if any, of his or her birth and of any adoption order registered under the Act. The disclosure of the uncertified copies is made subject to a number of conditions and restrictions. They are set out in sections 48.3 to 48.10.

Under a new section 48.2 of the Act, a birth parent is permitted to obtain from the Registrar General all of the information contained in specified registered documents concerning the adopted person (with the exception of information about persons other than the birth parent and the adopted person), once the adopted person is at least 19 years old. The disclosure of the information is made subject to a number of conditions and restrictions. They are set out in sections 48.3 to 48.10. Disclosure of the information is prohibited if the Registrar General receives notice under section 48.9 that the disclosure is prohibited. The circumstances in which such a prohibition applies are described below.

The expressions "adopted person" and "birth parent" are defined in section 1 of the Act.

Provision is made for adopted persons and birth parents to register specified types of notices, described below. A notice takes effect when it is matched with the relevant registered adoption order. The notice is given to the adopted person or birth parent, as the case may be, at the same time the Registrar General gives him or her the uncertified copies under section 48.1 or the information under section 48.2.

Under a new section 48.3 of the Act, an adopted person who is at least 18 years old may register a notice specifying his or her preferences concerning the manner in which a birth parent may contact him or her. Similarly, a birth parent may register a notice specifying his or her preferences concerning the manner in which the adopted person may contact him or her.

Under a new section 48.4 of the Act, an adopted person who does not wish to be contacted by a birth parent may register a notice to that effect, if the adopted person is at least 18 years old. Similarly, a birth parent may register a notice that he or she does not wish to be contacted by the adopted person. These notices may include a brief statement concerning the person's reasons for not wishing to be contacted and concerning family and medical history.

However, if a notice registered by an adopted person under section 48.4 is in effect, the Registrar General cannot give the birth parent the information under section 48.2 until the birth parent agrees in writing not to contact or attempt to contact the adopted person either directly or indirectly. Similarly, if a notice registered by a birth parent under section 48.4 is in effect, the Registrar General cannot give the adopted person the uncertified copies under section 48.1 until the adopted person agrees in writing not to contact or attempt to contact the birth parent either directly or indirectly.

It is an offence for the adopted person or birth parent, as the case may be, to knowingly contact or attempt to contact the person who registered the notice. It is also an offence for another person to do so on behalf of the adopted person or birth parent. These offences are set out in a new section 56.1.

A new section 48.5 of the Act authorizes the Child and Family Services Review Board to order the Registrar General not to give the information to the birth parent if the Board is satisfied that, because of exceptional circumstances, the order is appropriate in order to prevent sexual harm or significant physical or emotional harm to the adopted person.

A new section 48.6 of the Act provides for a similar order for the protection of the adopted person's sibling if the sibling is less than 18 years old. Under this section, the Board is authorized to direct the Registrar General not to give the information described in section 48.2 to a birth parent if the Board is satisfied that, because of exceptional circumstances, the order is appropriate to prevent sexual harm or significant physical or emotional harm to the sibling. The order expires when the sibling reaches 19 years of age. "Sibling" is defined.

A new section 48.7 of the Act provides for a similar order for the protection of a birth parent. Under this section, the Board is authorized to direct the Registrar General not to give the uncertified copies described in section 48.1 to the adopted person if the Board is satisfied that, because of exceptional circumstances, the order is appropriate to prevent sexual harm or significant physical or emotional harm to the birth parent.

In a new section 48.8 of the Act, provision is made for reconsideration of these orders.

A new section 48.9 of the Act governs the prohibition against disclosing information to a birth parent under section 48.2. Upon receiving an application from a birth parent for disclosure of information under section 48.2, the Registrar General asks a designated custodian of adoption information (appointed under section 162.1 of the Child and Family Services Act) whether the Registrar General is prohibited from giving the information to the birth parent. This prohibition applies if the adopted person was placed for adoption by a children's aid society and if the local director of the society determines that the adopted person was a victim of abuse by the birth parent. The local director makes this determination in accordance with the regulations, upon the request of the designated custodian. Provision is made for reconsideration of this determination.

Under a new section 48.10 of the Act, an adopted person who is at least 18 years old may register notice that he or she waives the protection of any prohibition under section 48.9 against giving the information described in section 48.2 to his or her birth parent.

Under a new section 48.12 of the Act, the Lieutenant Governor in Council shall ensure that a review of the operation of sections 48.1 to 48.11 and 56.1 is conducted within five years after section 48.12 comes into force.

A new section 6.1 of the Act authorizes the Lieutenant Governor in Council to designate a person to exercise the powers and perform the duties of the Registrar General under sections 48.1 to 48.10 of the Act.

Consequential amendments are made to other provisions of the Act and to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Child and Family Services Act:

A new section 162.1 of the Child and Family Services Act provides for the designation, by regulation, of one or more custodians of information relating to adoptions. Designated custodians receive information that relates to adoptions from the Minister of Community and Social Services, the Registrar General, the courts and others under a new section 162.2.

A new section 162.3 governs the disclosure of such information by the Minister, by children's aid societies, by licensees and by designated custodians.

The current provisions of the Act concerning the Adoption Disclosure Register and the Registrar of Adoption Information are repealed. The provision that permits an adopted person to ask the Registrar to search for a birth parent, birth sibling or other specified person is also repealed. The provisions governing the disclosure of identifying and non-identifying information are repealed. Transitional arrangements are set out, relating to these powers and duties to search for persons and disclose information. The provisions requiring counselling to be provided or offered before this information can be disclosed are also repealed.

Under a new section 225 of the Act, the Lieutenant Governor in Council shall ensure that a review of the operation of sections 161 to 172 and section 176.1 is conducted within five years after section 225 comes into force.

Consequential amendments are made to other provisions of the Act and to the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004.

Bill 183 Original (PDF)

Bill 183 2005

An Act respecting the
disclosure of information and
records to adopted persons and
birth parents

Note: This Act amends or repeals more than one Act. For the legislative history of these Acts, see Public Statutes - Detailed Legislative History on www.e-Laws.gov.on.ca.

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows:

Vital Statistics Act

1.  Section 1 of the Vital Statistics Act is amended by adding the following definitions:

"adopted person" means a person in respect of whom an order, judgment or decree of adoption is registered under subsection 28 (1) or a predecessor of that subsection; ("personne adoptée")

"birth parent", in relation to an adopted person, means a person whose name appears as a parent on the original registration, if any, of the adopted person's birth; ("père ou mère de sang")

"Child and Family Services Review Board" means the Child and Family Services Review Board continued under Part IX of the Child and Family Services Act; ("Commission de révision des services à l'enfance et à la famille")

"registered adoption order" means an order, judgment or decree of adoption registered under subsection 28 (1) or a predecessor of that subsection; ("ordonnance d'adoption enregistrée")

2.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Designation re ss. 48.1 to 48.4

6.1  (1)  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation, designate a person to exercise the powers and perform the duties of the Registrar General under sections 48.1 to 48.4.

Same

(2)  The designation may be made subject to such conditions and restrictions as the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers appropriate, including a requirement that the designated person enter into and comply with an agreement between the Registrar General and the designated person.

Same

(3)  For the purposes of this section, the Registrar General shall disclose to the designated person such information and documents under the custody or control of the Registrar General as the Registrar General considers necessary.

3.  Section 28 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Restriction on changes, etc., to original registration

(6)  After the original registration is sealed under subsection (2), the Registrar General shall not at any time amend it, add information or particulars to it, correct errors by making notations on it, substitute a subsequent registration for it or cancel it, despite any other provision of this Act.

4.  Section 29 of the Act is repealed.

5.  (1)  Subsection 45.1 (1) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Guarantee required

(1)  The Registrar General may require that an application for any of the following information or documents be guaranteed and may specify the manner in which it must be guaranteed:

1. A certificate.

2. A certified copy of a registration.

3. Such other information or documents as may be prescribed.

Eligibility to be a guarantor

(1.1)  Such persons as may be prescribed are authorized to act as guarantors for the purposes of this section.

(2)  Subsection 45.1 (1) of the Act, as re-enacted by subsection (1), is amended by adding the following paragraphs:

2.1 The uncertified copies described in subsection 48.1 (1).

2.2 The information described in subsection 48.2 (1).

6.  The Act is amended by adding the following sections:

Disclosure re Adopted Persons

Disclosure to an adopted person

48.1  (1)  An adopted person may apply to the Registrar General for an uncertified copy of the original registration, if any, of the adopted person's birth and an uncertified copy of any registered adoption order respecting the adopted person.

Age restriction

(2)  The adopted person is not entitled to apply for the uncertified copies until he or she is at least 18 years old.

Disclosure

(3)  Subject to subsection (4), the applicant may obtain the uncertified copies from the Registrar General upon application and upon payment of the required fee, but only if the applicant produces evidence satisfactory to the Registrar General of the applicant's identity and age.

Notice of wish not to be contacted

(4)  If a notice registered by a birth parent under subsection 48.3 (3) is in effect, the Registrar General shall not give the uncertified copies to the applicant unless the applicant agrees in writing not to contact or attempt to contact the birth parent, either directly or indirectly.

Same

(5)  The Registrar General shall give the applicant a copy of the notice when the Registrar General gives the applicant the uncertified copies.

Disclosure to a birth parent

48.2  (1)  A birth parent of an adopted person may apply to the Registrar General for all the information contained in the following documents, with the exception of information about persons other than the applicant and the adopted person:

1. The original registration, if any, of the adopted person's birth.

2. Any birth registration respecting the adopted person that was substituted in accordance with subsection 28 (2).

3. Any registered adoption order respecting the adopted person.

Age restriction

(2)  The birth parent is not entitled to apply for the information described in subsection (1) until the adopted person is at least 19 years old.

Disclosure

(3)  Subject to subsections (4), (6) and (7), the applicant may obtain the information described in subsection (1) from the Registrar General upon application and upon payment of the required fee, but only if the applicant produces evidence satisfactory to the Registrar General of the applicant's identity and the adopted person's age.

Notice of wish not to be contacted

(4)  If a notice registered by the adopted person under subsection 48.3 (1) is in effect, the Registrar General shall not give the information described in subsection (1) to the applicant unless the applicant agrees in writing not to contact or attempt to contact the adopted person, either directly or indirectly.

Same

(5)  The Registrar General shall give the applicant a copy of the notice when the Registrar General gives the applicant the information described in subsection (1).

Order prohibiting disclosure

(6)  If the Registrar General receives notice of an application under section 48.4 for an order directing him or her not to give the information described in subsection (1) to the applicant, the Registrar General shall not give the information to the applicant before the application for the order is finally determined.

Same

(7)  If the Child and Family Services Review Board orders the Registrar General not to give the information described in subsection (1) to the applicant, the Registrar General shall not give the information to the applicant.

Same

(8)  Subsection (7) does not apply if the order has been rescinded.

7.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Notice, wish not to be contacted

Adopted person

48.3  (1)  Upon application, an adopted person who is at least 18 years old may register a notice that he or she wishes not to be contacted by a birth parent.

Same

(2)  A notice described in subsection (1) shall not be registered until the applicant produces evidence satisfactory to the Registrar General of the applicant's age.

Birth parent

(3)  Upon application, a birth parent may register a notice that he or she wishes not to be contacted by the adopted person.

Additional information

(4)  The notice may include a brief statement concerning the person's reasons for not wishing to be contacted and a brief statement of any available information about the person's medical and family history.

When notice is in effect

(5)  A notice is registered and in effect when the Registrar General has matched it with the original registration, if any, of the adopted person's birth or, if there is no original registration, when the Registrar General has matched it with the registered adoption order.

Exception

(6)  Despite subsection (5), a notice registered by an adopted person with respect to a birth parent does not come into effect if, before the match is made, the Registrar General has already given that birth parent the information described in subsection 48.2 (1).

Same

(7)  Despite subsection (5), a notice registered by a birth parent does not come into effect if, before the match is made, the Registrar General has already given the adopted person the uncertified copies of registered documents described in subsection 48.1 (1).

Withdrawal of notice

(8)  Upon application, the adopted person or birth parent, as the case may be, may withdraw the notice.

When withdrawal takes effect

(9)  If a notice is withdrawn, the notice ceases to be in effect when the Registrar General has matched the application for withdrawal with the notice itself.

Administration

(10)  Subsections 2 (2) to (4) do not apply to notices registered under this section.

8.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Order prohibiting disclosure to birth parent

48.4  (1)  Any of the following persons may apply to the Child and Family Services Review Board, in accordance with the regulations, for an order directing the Registrar General not to give a birth parent the information described in subsection 48.2 (1) with respect to an adopted person:

1. The adopted person, if he or she is at least 18 years old.

2. An adoptive parent of the adopted person, if the adopted person has a sibling who is less than 18 years old.

3. A person acting on behalf of the adopted person, if the adopted person is incapable and is at least 18 years old.

Notice of application

(2)  An applicant for an order shall give written notice of the application to the Registrar General in accordance with the regulations.

Order

(3)  The Board shall make the order if the Board is satisfied that, because of exceptional circumstances, the order is appropriate in order to prevent significant harm to the adopted person or to his or her sibling, if any, who is less than 18 years old.

Decision re capacity

(4)  If the application is made by a person described in paragraph 3 of subsection (1), the issue of the adopted person's capacity shall be determined in accordance with the regulations using such criteria as may be prescribed.

Reconsideration of order

(5)  A person described in paragraph 1, 2 or 3 of subsection (1) may apply to the Board, in accordance with the regulations, to reconsider an order and, in the absence of the public, the Board may confirm the order or rescind it.

Same

(6)  If the Board rescinds the order, the Board shall give written notice to the Registrar General in accordance with the regulations.

Finality of order, etc.

(7)  An order or decision of the Board under this section, and any decision under subsection (4) respecting an adopted person's capacity, is not subject to appeal or review by any court.

Confidentiality of Board records

(8)  The Board file respecting an application shall be sealed and is not open for inspection by any person.

Definition

(9)  In this section,

"sibling" means, in relation to an adopted person, a sibling who is both a biological child of the adopted person's birth parent and a child of the adopted person's adoptive parent.

9.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Unsealing of files

48.5  For the purposes of sections 48.1 to 48.4, the Registrar General may unseal any file that was sealed under this Act or a predecessor of this Act.

10.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Offences re contacting adopted person or birth parent despite notice

56.1  (1)  If, under section 48.1, an adopted person receives notice that a birth parent does not wish to be contacted, the adopted person shall not knowingly contact or attempt to contact the birth parent, either directly or indirectly.

Birth parent

(2)  If, under section 48.2, a birth parent receives notice that the adopted person does not wish to be contacted by the birth parent, he or she shall not knowingly contact or attempt to contact the adopted person, either directly or indirectly.

Other persons

(3)  No person shall contact or attempt to contact a birth parent on behalf of an adopted person if the adopted person is prohibited by subsection (1) from doing so.

Same

(4)  No person shall contact or attempt to contact an adopted person on behalf of a birth parent if the birth parent is prohibited by subsection (2) from doing so.

Penalty

(5)  A person who contravenes subsection (1), (2), (3) or (4) is guilty of an offence and, on conviction, is liable to a fine of not more than $50,000 for an individual or $250,000 for a corporation.

11.  (1)  Section 60 of the Act is amended by adding the following clause:

(m.1.1) prescribing information and documents for the purposes of paragraph 3 of subsection 45.1 (1);

(2)  Section 60 of the Act is amended by adding the following clause:

(r) governing the matters provided for by section 48.4, including applications for orders and for the reconsideration of orders, and governing the determination of whether an adopted person is incapable;

(3)  Clause 60 (u) of the Act is repealed.

(4)  Section 60 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsections:

Capacity of adopted person

(2)  A regulation under clause (1) (r) may provide that the Substitute Decisions Act, 1992, or any specified provision of it, does not apply with respect to the determination of whether an adopted person is incapable for the purposes of section 48.4 of this Act.

Same, jurisdiction

(3)  A regulation under clause (1) (r) may assign to a court or to a person or body the jurisdiction to determine whether an adopted person is incapable for the purposes of section 48.4.

Child and Family Services Act

12.  Clause 137 (4) (a) of the Child and Family Services Act is repealed and the following substituted:

(a) the society or licensee has advised the parent of his or her right,

(i) to withdraw the consent under subsection (8), and

(ii) to be informed, on his or her request, whether an adoption order has been made in respect of the child;

(a.1) the society or licensee has advised the parent of such other matters as may be prescribed; and

13.  (1)  Subsection 162 (2) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Requirement to seal documents

(2)  Subject to subsection (3), the documents used on an application for an adoption order under this Part or a predecessor of this Part shall be sealed up together with a certified copy of the original order and filed in the court office by the appropriate court officer, and shall not be opened for inspection except by court order.

(2)  Subsection 162 (2) of the Act, as re-enacted by subsection (1), is amended by striking out "subsection (3)" and substituting "subsections (3) and 162.2 (2)".

(3)  Clause 162 (3) (b) of the Act is repealed.

(4)  Subsection 162 (3) of the Act is amended by adding the following clause:

(e) one certified copy to such other persons as may be prescribed.

(5)  Section 162 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsections:

Other court files

(4)  Unless the court orders otherwise, only the court may examine identifying information that comes from the records of any of the following persons that is contained in any court file respecting the judicial review of a decision made by any of them:

1. A designated custodian under section 162.1.

2. A person who, by virtue of a regulation made under clause 220 (1) (c.5), reviews or hears appeals of decisions concerning the disclosure of information under section 162.2 or 162.3.

3. A person referred to in subsection 162.2 (1) or 162.3 (1).

Same

(5)  No person shall, without the court's permission, disclose identifying information described in subsection (4) that the person obtained from the court file.

Definition

(6)  In subsections (4) and (5),

"identifying information" means information whose disclosure, alone or in combination with other information, will in the circumstances reveal the identity of the person to whom it relates.

14.  The Act is amended by adding the following sections:

Designation of custodians of information

162.1  (1)  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation, designate one or more persons to act as custodians of information that relates to adoptions and may impose such conditions and restrictions with respect to the designation as the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers appropriate.

Powers and duties

(2)  A designated custodian may exercise such powers and shall perform such duties as may be prescribed with respect to the information provided to the custodian under this Act.

Disclosure to designated custodian

162.2  (1)  The Minister, the Registrar General under the Vital Statistics Act, a society, a licensee and such other persons as may be prescribed shall give a designated custodian under section 162.1 such information that relates to adoptions as may be prescribed in such circumstances as may be prescribed.

Same, adoption orders

(2)  A court shall give a designated custodian a certified copy of an adoption order made under this Part together with such other documents as may be prescribed in such circumstances as may be prescribed.

Disclosure to others

By the Minister

162.3  (1)  The Minister shall give such information that relates to adoptions as may be prescribed to such persons as may be prescribed in such circumstances as may be prescribed.

By a society

(2)  A society shall give such information that relates to adoptions as may be prescribed to such persons as may be prescribed in such circumstances as may be prescribed.

By a licensee

(3)  A licensee shall give such information that relates to adoptions as may be prescribed to such persons as may be prescribed in such circumstances as may be prescribed.

By a custodian

(4)  A designated custodian under section 162.1 shall give such information that relates to adoptions as may be prescribed to such persons as may be prescribed in such circumstances as may be prescribed.

Scope of application

162.4  Sections 162.2 and 162.3 apply with respect to information that relates to an adoption regardless of when the adoption order was made.

15.  (1)  Subsection 163 (1) of the Act is repealed.

(2)  Clause 163 (2) (a) of the Act is repealed.

(3)  Clause 163 (2) (b) of the Act is repealed.

(4)  Clause 163 (2) (c) of the Act is repealed.

(5)  Clause 163 (2) (d) of the Act is repealed.

(6)  Subsection 163 (2) of the Act, as amended by subsections (2) to (5), is repealed.

(7)  Subsection 163 (3) of the Act is repealed.

(8)  Subsection 163 (4) of the Act is repealed.

16.  Section 164 of the Act is repealed.

17.  Subsections 165 (1) to (4) of the Act are repealed and the following substituted:

Confidentiality of adoption information

(1)  Despite any other Act, after an adoption order is made, no person shall inspect, remove or alter information that relates to the adoption and is kept by the Ministry, a society, a licensee or a designated custodian under section 162.1 and no person shall permit it to be inspected, removed or altered except as authorized under this Act.

Application

(2)  This section applies regardless of when the adoption order was made.

18.  (1)  Subsections 166 (1) to (3) of the Act are repealed.

(2)  Subsection 166 (4) of the Act is repealed.

(3)  Paragraph 3 of subsection 166 (5) of the Act is amended by striking out "or to an individual in that jurisdiction who, in the Registrar's opinion, is qualified to provide counselling".

(4)  Subsection 166 (5) of the Act, as amended by subsection (3), is repealed.

(5)  Subsection 166 (6) of the Act is repealed.

(6)  Subsection 166 (7) of the Act is repealed.

(7)  Subsection 166 (8) of the Act is amended by striking out "Subsections (4), (5), (6) and (7)" at the beginning and substituting "Subsections (4), (5) and (7)".

(8)  Subsection 166 (8) of the Act, as amended by subsection (7), is repealed.

(9)  Subsection 166 (9) of the Act is repealed.

19.  (1)  Subsections 167 (1) to (4) of the Act are repealed.

(2)  Subsection 167 (5) of the Act is amended by striking out "after ensuring that each of them receives counselling".

(3)  Subsection 167 (5) of the Act, as amended by subsection (2), is repealed.

(4)  Subsection 167 (6) of the Act is repealed.

(5)  Subsection 167 (7) of the Act is repealed.

(6)  Subsection 167 (8) of the Act is repealed.

(7)  Clause 167 (9) (a) of the Act is amended by striking out "first ensuring that each person to whom the material is made available receives counselling".

(8)  Clause 167 (9) (c) of the Act is amended by striking out "but only if the Registrar is satisfied that the person will receive appropriate counselling".

(9)  Subsection 167 (9) of the Act, as amended by subsections (7) and (8), is repealed.

(10)  Subsection 167 (10) of the Act is repealed.

(11)  Subsection 167 (11) of the Act is amended by striking out "first ensuring that each person to whom the material is made available receives counselling".

(12)  Subsection 167 (11) of the Act, as amended by subsection (11), is repealed.

(13)  Subsection 167 (12) of the Act is repealed.

(14)  Subsection 167 (13) of the Act is repealed.

(15)  Subsection 167 (14) of the Act is repealed.

20.  Section 168 of the Act is repealed.

21.  Section 169 of the Act is repealed.

22.  (1)  Subsection 170 (1) of the Act is repealed.

(2)  Subsections 170 (2) and (3) of the Act are repealed.

(3)  Subsection 170 (4) of the Act is repealed.

(4)  Subsection 170 (5) of the Act is amended by striking out "Subsections (2), (3) and (4)" at the beginning and substituting "Subsections (2) and (3)".

(5)  Subsection 170 (5) of the Act, as amended by subsection (4), is repealed.

(6)  Subsection 170 (6) of the Act is repealed.

(7)  Subsection l70 (7) of the Act is repealed.

23.  Section 171 of the Act is repealed.

24.  Section 172 of the Act is repealed.

25.  Section 173 of the Act is repealed.

26.  Section 174 of the Act is repealed.

27.  The Act is amended by adding the following section:

Unauthorized disclosure of information by designated custodian

176.1  (1)  No designated custodian under section 162.1 shall disclose any information provided to the custodian under section 162.2 unless the disclosure is made in accordance with the regulations.

Offence

(2)  A person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence.

Same

(3)  A director, officer or employee of a corporation who authorizes, permits or concurs in a contravention of subsection (1) by the corporation is guilty of an offence.

28.  (1)  Clause 179 (2) (d) of the Act is repealed.

(2)  Section 179 of the Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Exception re adoption-related information

(2.1)  This Part does not apply to information given to a designated custodian under section 162.2 or to another person under section 162.3.

29.  (1)  Subsection 220 (1) of the Act is amended by adding the following clauses:

(a.1) prescribing matters for the purposes of clause 137 (4) (a.1);

. . . . .

(c.1) prescribing persons for the purposes of clause 162 (3) (e);

(2)  Subsection 220 (1) of the Act is amended by adding the following clauses:

(c.2) prescribing the powers and duties of a designated custodian under section 162.1;

(c.3) governing the disclosure of information under section 162.2 to a designated custodian;

(c.4) governing the disclosure of information under section 162.3 by the Minister, a society, a licensee or a designated custodian;

(c.5) establishing and governing a mechanism for the review or appeal of a decision made by the Minister, a society, a licensee or a designated custodian concerning the disclosure of information under section 162.2 or 162.3;

(c.6) governing the fees that a society, licensee or designated custodian may charge for the disclosure of information under section 162.2 or 162.3;

(3)  Clause 220 (1) (e) of the Act is repealed.

(4)  Clause 220 (1) (f) of the Act is repealed.

(5)  Clause 220 (1) (g) of the Act is repealed.

(6)  Clause 220 (1) (h) of the Act is repealed.

(7)  Clause 220 (1) (i) of the Act is repealed.

(8)  Subsection 220 (2) of the Act is repealed and the following substituted:

Classes

(2)  A regulation under clauses (1) (c.2) to (c.6) may establish different standards and requirements with respect to different classes of persons.

Transitional matters

(3)  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations providing for transitional matters which, in the opinion of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, are necessary or desirable in connection with the enactment of sections 162.1 to 162.4 by the Adoption Information Disclosure Act, 2005 and the amendment or repeal, as the case may be, of sections 162 to 174 by that Act.

Freedom of Information and
Protection of Privacy Act

30.  Section 65 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act is amended by adding the following subsection:

Information relating to adoptions

(8)  This Act does not apply with respect to information and records that are unsealed by virtue of section 48.1 or 48.2 of the Vital Statistics Act or notices and information registered under section 48.3 of that Act.

Personal Health Information
Protection Act, 2004

31.  Clause 43 (1) (e) of the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 is amended by striking out "or the Registrar of Adoption Information appointed under subsection 163 (1) of that Act" and substituting "or a designated custodian under section 162.1 of that Act".

Commencement and Short Title

Commencement

32.  (1)  Subject to subsection (2), this Act comes into force on the day it receives Royal Assent.

Same

(2)  Sections 1 to 4, subsection 5 (2) and sections 6 to 31 come into force on a day to be named by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor.

Short title

33.  The short title of this Act is the Adoption Information Disclosure Act, 2005.

EXPLANATORY NOTE

The Bill amends the Vital Statistics Act and the Child and Family Services Act in connection with the disclosure of adoption-related information to adopted persons and their birth parents. Consequential amendments are made to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004.

Vital Statistics Act:

Currently, the Vital Statistics Act does not permit adopted persons to obtain information from the Registrar General concerning their birth parents. Nor does it permit a birth parent of an adopted person to obtain information from the Registrar General about the adopted person.

Under a new section 48.1 of the Act, an adopted person who is at least 18 years old is permitted to obtain from the Registrar General an uncertified copy of the original registration, if any, of his or her birth and of any adoption order registered under the Act.

Under a new section 48.2 of the Act, a birth parent is permitted to obtain from the Registrar General all of the information contained in specified registered documents concerning the adopted person (with the exception of information about persons other than the birth parent and the adopted person), once the adopted person is at least 19 years old.

The expressions "adopted person" and "birth parent" are defined in section 1 of the Act.

Under a new section 48.3 of the Act, an adopted person who does not wish to be contacted by a birth parent may register a notice to that effect, if the adopted person is at least 18 years old. Similarly, a birth parent may register a notice that he or she does not wish to be contacted by the adopted person. These notices may include a brief statement concerning the person's reasons for not wishing to be contacted and concerning family and medical history. A notice takes effect when it is matched with the relevant registered adoption order. These notices may be withdrawn. The notice is given to the adopted person or birth parent, as the case may be, at the same time the Registrar General gives him or her the uncertified copies under section 48.1 or the information under section 48.2.

However, if a notice registered by an adopted person is in effect, the Registrar General cannot give the birth parent the information under section 48.2 until the birth parent agrees in writing not to contact or attempt to contact the adopted person either directly or indirectly. Similarly, if a notice registered by a birth parent is in effect, the Registrar General cannot give the adopted person the uncertified copies under section 48.1 until the adopted person agrees in writing not to contact or attempt to contact the birth parent either directly or indirectly.

It is an offence for the adopted person or birth parent, as the case may be, to knowingly contact or attempt to contact the person who registered the notice. It is also an offence for another person to do so on behalf of the adopted person or birth parent. These offences are set out in a new section 56.1.

A new section 48.4 of the Act authorizes the Child and Family Services Review Board to order the Registrar General not to give the information to the birth parent if the Board is satisfied that, because of exceptional circumstances, the order is appropriate in order to prevent significant harm to the adopted person or to his or her sibling. An adopted person who is at least 18 years old, an adoptive parent of the adopted person, if the adopted person has a sibling who is less than 18 years old, or a person acting on behalf of an incapable adopted person who is at least 18 years old is entitled to apply to the Board for such an order.

A new section 6.1 of the Act authorizes the Lieutenant Governor in Council to designate a person to exercise the powers and perform the duties of the Registrar General under sections 48.1 to 48.4 of the Act.

Consequential amendments are made to other provisions of the Act and to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Child and Family Services Act:

A new section 162.1 of the Child and Family Services Act provides for the designation, by regulation, of one or more custodians of information relating to adoptions. Designated custodians receive information that relates to adoptions from the Minister of Community and Social Services, the Registrar General, the courts and others under a new section 162.2.

A new section 162.3 governs the disclosure of such information by the Minister, by children's aid societies, by licensees and by designated custodians.

The current provisions of the Act concerning the Adoption Disclosure Register and the Registrar of Adoption Information are repealed. The provision that permits an adopted person to ask the Registrar to search for a birth parent, birth sibling or other specified person is also repealed. The provisions governing the disclosure of identifying and non-identifying information are repealed. The provisions requiring counselling to be provided or offered before this information can be disclosed are also repealed.

Consequential amendments are made to other provisions of the Act and to the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004.