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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
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 and you are:
In Winnipeg, contact Winnipeg Child and Family Services at 222 Provencher Boulevard or at 204-944-4288; or
In Manitoba, outside of Winnipeg, contact your local CFS agency.
You can also call the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry at 1-855-837-5542 (toll free in Canada and the US).