Open Birth Records Related to Adoption
Applying for Access to Birth Records Related to Adoption
**Legislation came into effect in Manitoba on June 15, 2015**
Recent changes to The Adoption Act and The Vital Statistics Act allow for more openness with respect to birth records related to adoption. Read the May 22, 2015 news release.
Manitoba’s legislation allows adoptees and birth parents to apply for access to available identifying information. Adoptees and birth parents can apply to access these records through the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry. Application forms are available online.
Adoptees (18 years of age or older) can request pre-adoption birth registration information
- if they were born in Manitoba, and adopted in Manitoba or outside Manitoba
- if they were born outside Manitoba, but adopted in Manitoba
- unless a birth parent named on the pre-adoption birth registration filed a Disclosure Veto
A birth parent named on the pre-adoption birth registration can request the child’s pre-adoption birth registration information and the child’s substituted registration of birth (which does not include the names of adoptive parents)
- when the adoptee is 18 years of age or older
- unless the adoptee filed a Disclosure Veto
Protecting Your Privacy Related to Adoption
Many adult adoptees want to find out about their biological origins and cultural heritage. Many birth parents wonder about what has become of their adopted children. Manitoba understands that in the past, individuals involved in adoptions were promised confidentiality.
Manitoba’s adoption legislation strives to ensure a balance between the needs and rights of all parties. It allows adoptees and birth parents to access available identifying information. It also allows them to maintain privacy if they wish. To maintain privacy, an adoptee or birth parent may file a Disclosure Veto or a Contact Preference.
- Your Disclosure Veto prohibits the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry from releasing any identifying information about you.
- You may provide a non-identifying letter with your Disclosure Veto to share personal, health, or family information.
- Existing Disclosure Vetoes filed with the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry will continue to be effective and respected.
- Disclosure Vetoes are no longer accepted for Manitoba adoptions granted on or after June 15, 2015.
- If the information has not already been released, Disclosure Vetoes can still be filed:
- for Manitoba adoptions granted before June 15, 2015 and
- for adoptions granted outside Manitoba before, on or after June 15, 2015.
- There is no fee to file a Disclosure Veto.
- Existing Contact Vetoes filed with the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry will continue to be effective and respected.
- Contact Vetoes are longer accepted. Instead, birth parents and adoptees (16 years of age or older) may file a Contact Preference.
- A Contact Preference specifies the type of contact, if any, between a birth parent and adoptee.
- You may provide a non-identifying letter with your Contact Preference to share personal, health, or family information.
- The fine for failure to comply with a Contact Veto or a Contact Preference is up to $50,000.
- There is no fee to file a Contact Preference.
For more details on protecting your information, please review the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry’s Frequently Asked Questions page.
Applying for Access, Filing a Disclosure Veto or a Contact Preference
- *Download and print the required form:
- Follow the instructions on the form to complete it. Sign it in front of a witness.
If you have moved or changed your name, phone number or email address since your last contact with the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry, please notify us. Call our toll free number (1-855-837-5542) or complete and submit the Change of Information form.
If you do not have access to a printer, or want more information:
- Contact your local CFS agency, or
- Call the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry at 1-855-837-5542 (toll free in Canada and the US).
The Post-Adoption Registry allows for search and reunion services for eligible family members who were involved in an adoption that was granted in Manitoba. Registry services are provided by the Department of Family Services.
Searches can be done on behalf of anyone entitled to register, subject to any disclosure or contact vetoes and/or contact preferences on file. Searches for any person under 18 years of age are not permitted.
The Registry does not facilitate contact without the consent of all concerned. If a family member decides not to share information, refuses contact or files a veto, their wishes will be recorded with the Registry and the person seeking the information will be informed.
Support services are available to Manitoba clients through their local child and family services agency. These services can help individuals prepare for a reunion or understand why a reunion may not be possible.
Adopted adults, birth parents and adult birth siblings can register at any time. Adoptive parents may register on behalf of an adopted child. As a best practice, signed consent from an adopted child age 12 and older must accompany the adoptive parents’ registration form.
However, once the child turns 18, the adoptee may either register on his or her own, or request that the adoptive parents’ registration remains active by sending the Registry a signed consent. If the adoptee is an adult, adoptive parents may register only with the adoptee’s signed consent.
In the event that the adoptee is deceased, the adoptive parents and any adult adoptive siblings may register on behalf of their deceased child or sibling. Children of deceased adoptees and parents of deceased birth parents, with confirmation of death, may register for contact with birth family members.
In order to register you must complete a registration form and have your signature witnessed by a lawyer, Commissioner for Oaths, Notary Public, or registered professional.
If you live in Manitoba and would like more information about the Registry, or would like to obtain a registration form, contact your local child and family services agency. If you live outside of Manitoba, contact the Registry, toll-free at 1-855-837-5542.