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Adoption Disclosure Register

The Adoption Disclosure Register (ADR) is maintained by the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services. The ADR provides two essential services:

A register for those adult adoptees, birth parents and birth relatives (siblings and grandparents) who wish to contact each other and/or exchange updated information.

Conducts searches for birth parents and specific birth relatives at the request of an adoptee who is 18 years of age or older.

How the Disclosure Register works

If you are an adoptee who is 18 years of age or older, a birth parent, an adult birth sibling or birth grandparent:

You may place your name on the Adoption Disclosure Register if the adoption was finalized in Ontario.

You will be informed and presented with options for contact if the person you are seeking is also registered.

Your name will remain on the register and you will be contacted should any one register for you in the future.

If you are an adult adoptee and the person you are seeking is not registered, the Adoption Disclosure Register will search for your birth parent or a specific birth relative if you wish.

The ADR will place your name on a waiting list and you will be contacted when the search for your birth relative is to begin. You will have an opportunity to ask your questions and discuss your concerns.

If successful in locating your birth relative, the ADR will contact that person to determine whether he/she is willing to have contact with you.

Searches are assigned according to the date of registration.

Adoption reunions
If and when contact between you and your birth relative becomes possible, you will be provided with information and assistance. Counsellors will be available to talk to you about your concerns should you wish.

No identifying information will be released without your consent.

Non-identifying information

Children's Aid Society
The Children's Aid Society which arranged the adoption has information about your birth family or the child's adoptive family.

The Children's Aid Society can share non-identifying information with you or assist you with a reunion.

Non-identifying information may include:

*physical description
*medical history
*ethnic origin
*ages of the parties
*reasons for the adoption
*type of employment

Non-identifying information does not contain names, addresses or any information that may lead to identifying the birth family or the adoptive family.

The amount of information available varies according to what was recorded at the time of the adoption.

Private adoptions
Information about private adoptions completed after 1985 can be obtained by contacting the licensed agency or individual that arranged the adoption.

For information about private adoptions completed before 1985 contact the ADR.

Should you not know who arranged the adoption, contact the Adoption Unit of the Ministry.

Support groups
Other services which provide support and search assistance may be available through volunteer organizations.

You may be able to obtain more information about services available in your community by contacting your local Children's Aid Society, Chamber of Commerce or public library.

Special situations
When information is necessary to protect any person's health, safety or welfare, the Registrar can assist by granting an immediate search. These special requests can be made by adoptive parents, birth relatives and an adoptee.

Detailed written information from a professional, such as an attending physician, is needed to support the request. Contact the ADR for an application form to request this service.

More information may be obtained by contacting your local Children's Aid Society, Adoption Support Groups or by writing to the following address:

Adoption Disclosure Register
Ministry of Community and Social Services
2 Bloor Street West, 24th Floor
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1E9
Tel: (416) 327-4730
Fax: (416) 327-0573

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