The Manitoba Government has proposed new legislation that would open birth and adoption records from before March 15, 1999.
“Many Manitobans have asked for greater openness of adoption records so adult adoptees can learn about their birth families and so birth parents can learn about the adult children they placed for adoption,” said Family Services Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross. “The changes we are introducing will help adoptees and birth parents connect with each other.”
Before 1999, all adoptions were considered closed unless requested by both the birth parent and adopted child. It was reversed for all adoptions after 1999, but previous adoptions were grandfathered in.
Once the new legislation is adopted, adopted children and birth parents would have a year to file a disclosure veto to prevent their records from being opened. Otherwise, they will be considered open as far back as 1925.
“B.C., Alberta, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Yukon have open adoption records and their experiences were considered in drafting these legislative amendments.”