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Frequently Asked Questions about Open Birth Records

See the links below for answers to frequently asked questions about open birth records.


Personal circumstances: Accessing information

What kinds of birth records related to adoption can people apply for? Are there any costs?

  • Manitoba’s legislation provides for access to different documents depending on which party you are to the adoption: 
    • If you are the birth parent, you may apply for access to the pre-adoption birth registration and the substituted registration of birth at no cost.
    • If you are the adoptee, you are 18 years of age or older, you were born in Manitoba and your adoption was granted either in Manitoba or outside of Manitoba, you may apply for access to the pre-adoption birth registration at no cost. You may also be able to receive the substituted registration of birth available through the Manitoba Vital Statistics Agency for a $30 fee and the adoption order through the Manitoba Court for a $20 fee.
    • If you are the adoptee, you are 18 years of age or older, you were born outside of Manitoba, and your adoption was granted in Manitoba, you may apply for access to identifying birth and adoption registration information, including identifying information set out in the pre-adoption birth registration and the adoption order.  You may also be able to receive the adoption order through the Manitoba Court.
  • If you have questions about your eligibility to apply for birth records related to adoption please contact:
    • Your local Child and Family Services agency, or
    • The Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry at 1-855-837-5542 (toll free in Canada and the US).

I am an Aboriginal adoptee but I can’t prove my heritage to receive benefits to which I believe I am entitled. How can I confirm my heritage so I can access benefits?

  • If you need to confirm your heritage to access benefits, you can apply directly to the organization that requires confirmation. They will contact the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry, who will ensure that your pre-adoption birth registration and identifying information about your birth parent(s) are provided to the organization as part of your application.
  • If you have questions about accessing benefits please contact:
    • Your local Child and Family Services agency, or
    • The Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry at 1-855-837-5542 (toll free in Canada and the US).

I am a Manitoba-born adoptee and my adoption was granted in Manitoba. I am interested in obtaining my birth records. What information am I able to apply to receive?

  • If you are 18 years of age or older, you can apply for access to
    • a copy of your Manitoba pre-adoption birth registration at no cost. This will show your full name at birth, and the name of your birth parent(s) unless a veto has been filed; and
    • a certified copy of your Manitoba adoption order through the Manitoba Court for a $20 fee.
  • You should know that
    • if your birth parent(s) filed a Disclosure Veto(es), identifying information about your birth parent(s) and your birth surname will be removed from the pre-adoption birth registration that is provided to you, and
    • if your birth parent(s) filed a Contact Veto(es)/Preference(s), you must fill out an Undertaking (an agreement to not breach the terms of the Contact Veto(es)/Preference(s)), otherwise identifying information about your birth parent(s) and your birth surname will be removed from the pre-adoption birth registration that is provided to you.
    • An Undertaking form will be provided to you by the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry if necessary.
  • Your substituted registration of birth, which shows your full name by adoption and your adoptive parents’ names, is available to you for a $30 fee through the Manitoba Vital Statistics Agency.

I was born in Manitoba and adopted in Ontario. Ontario has provided me with a copy of my adoption order, but informed me that they are unable to provide me with a copy of my original birth registration. Can I access my original birth registration in Manitoba?

  • Yes, you can apply to the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry for a copy of your Manitoba pre-adoption birth registration at no cost. This will show your full name at birth, and the name of your birth parent(s), unless a veto has been filed.
  • You should know that
    • if your birth parent(s) filed a Disclosure Veto(es), identifying information about your birth parent(s) and your birth surname will be removed from your pre-adoption birth registration that is provided to you, and
    • if your birth parent(s) filed a Contact Veto(es)/Preference(s), you must fill out an Undertaking (an agreement to not breach the terms of the Contact Veto(es)/Preference(s)), otherwise identifying information about your birth parent(s) and your birth surname will be removed from the pre-adoption birth registration that is provided to you.
    • An Undertaking form will be provided to you by the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry if necessary.

I gave birth to a child in Manitoba and placed the child for adoption. I think the child was adopted in Manitoba. What information can I apply for, to help me learn about the child?

  • If the adoptee is now an adult (18 years of age or older), birth parents named on the pre-adoption birth registration can apply for access to
    • a copy of the adoptee’s Manitoba pre-adoption birth registration at no cost. This may show the adoptee’s full name by birth (including the birth surname), and the name(s) of the birth parent(s), and
    • a copy of the substituted registration of birth at no cost. This may show the adoptee’s full name by adoption (including the adoptive surname), but will not show the adoptive parents’ names.
  • You should know that
    • if the adoptee filed a Disclosure Veto, identifying information about the adoptee and the adoptive surname will be removed from both registration documents that will be provided to you.
    • if the adoptee filed a Contact Veto/Preference, you must fill out an Undertaking (an agreement to not breach the terms of the Contact Veto/Preference); otherwise the adoptee’s identifying information and the adoptive surname will be removed from both registration documents that will be provided to you.
    • An Undertaking form will be provided to you by the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry if necessary.

My parent was adopted in Manitoba. Can I receive my parent’s adoption records?

  • No, you are not entitled to receive your parent’s adoption records or identifying birth family information.
  • Children of an adoptee are entitled to receive limited non-identifying information about the birth family after the death of the adoptee (e.g., racial and ethnic origin, religious affiliation, and medical information, if available). Children are also entitled to register with the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry to request a search and/or have contact with their deceased parent’s birth family members.

I am researching my family history and want to know if I can access my great grandparent’s adoption and birth family information.

  • No, you are not entitled to receive any information about your great grandparent’s adoption or birth family.

My situation is unique. Where can I find more information on the records to which I am able to apply for access?

  • More information on the kinds of records you are able to apply for access to is available from:
    • Your local Child and Family Services agency, or
    • The Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry at 1-855-837-5542 (toll free in Canada and the US).

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Applying for access

How do I apply for access to birth records related to adoption?

To apply for access to birth records related to adoption:

  1. Download and print the Access to birth records form
    • If you do not have access to a printer or need more information about your eligibility to apply for access, contact:
      1. Your local Child and Family Services agency, or
      2. The Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry at 1-855-837-5542 (toll free in Canada and the US).
  2. Follow the instructions on the form to complete it. Sign it in front of a witness.
  3. Submit the form and required documentation following the submission instructions on the form.

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Personal circumstances: Protecting your information

How can I protect my privacy if I do not want my identifying information to be shared?

  • Existing Disclosure Vetoes and Contact Vetoes, filed before legislative changes came into effect in June 2015, will continue to be effective and respected.
    • A Disclosure Veto prohibits the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry from releasing any identifying information about the person who filed it. A non-identifying letter sharing personal, medical, or family information can be included with a Disclosure Veto.
    • A Contact Veto informs the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry to that you do not wish to have contact with the person(s) you specify on the Contact Veto. A Contact Veto does not prevent the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry from releasing identifying information about you. A letter sharing personal, medical, or family information can be included with a Contact Veto.
  • If the information has not already been released, and you are a birth parent or an adoptee (16 years of age or older), you can file a Disclosure Veto.
    • for Manitoba adoptions granted before the new legislation comes into effect, and
    • for adoptions granted outside Manitoba before and after the new legislation comes into effect.
  • As of June 15, 2015, Contact Vetoes are no longer accepted. However, those already filed remain in effect. Instead of a Contact Veto, a birth parent or an adoptee (16 years of age or older) may file a Contact Preference.
    • A Contact Preference will specify the type of contact, if any, between a birth parent and adoptee.
    • If a Contact Preference is filed, the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry will only share identifying information on the condition that the person receiving this information agrees to comply with the terms of the Contact Preference.
    • A Contact Preference is available from the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry and on this website.  Please see the Forms and Resources page.

How can you be sure that Contact Vetoes or Contact Preferences will be respected?

  • If you have filed a Contact Veto or a Contact Preference, the other party involved in the adoption will be required to complete an Undertaking, which states that they agree to the terms specified in the veto or preference.
  • An Undertaking form will be provided by the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry.
  • The fine for failure to comply with a Contact Veto/Preference is up to $50,000.

Why does Manitoba’s legislation provide for Disclosure Vetoes when the government stated they have opened birth records related to adoption?

  • Manitoba’s legislation strives to ensure a balance between the needs and rights of all parties. It allows adoptees and birth parents access to available identifying information. It also allows them to keep their information confidential if they wish.
  • Manitoba understands that in the past, individuals involved in adoptions were promised confidentiality. Maintaining confidentiality may be a sensitive and important issue for some people involved in adoption.
  • This is why Manitoba continues to allow Disclosure Vetoes for adoptions granted before the date the new legislation came into effect, June 15, 2015. However, individuals involved in any new Manitoba adoptions after this date are not able to veto their identifying information.

Can I get information if the person who filed the Disclosure Veto is deceased?

  • A Disclosure Veto will remain in effect for one year after the death of the person who filed it. After this period, the information may be released to the adoptee or birth parents upon request and with proof of death.

I am a birth parent and want to file a Disclosure Veto, but cannot remember the exact date of birth of my child. How do I complete the form?

  • The Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry will be able to locate the adoption record of your child if you provide us with your date of birth and your full name at the time of your child’s birth, along with the approximate birth date or year of birth of your child.
  • If you have further questions about completing the form, assistance is available. Contact:
    • Your local Child and Family Services agency, or
    • The Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry at 1-855-837-5542 (toll free in Canada and the US).

I don’t feel comfortable sharing my identifying information at this point in my life, but I know that may change. Can I change my mind after I’ve already filed a form?


I registered years ago with the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry. Your office did a search and found my birth mother, but she refused to register. Will I be able to get identifying information about my birth parents?

  • If an individual refused to register with the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry to share identifying information/have personal contact, it is considered another form of vetoing. The Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry is unable to provide you with identifying information concerning the individual who refused to register. This remains in effect unless the veto is cancelled.
  • You will want to keep the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry informed of any changes to your contact information.

I was involved in an adoption and I filed a veto with the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry before June 15, 2015, when Manitoba changed parts of the adoption legislation. Do I have to file another veto?

  • No, you do not have to file another veto. This is because all existing Disclosure Vetoes and Contact Vetoes filed with the Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry before June 15, 2015 will continue to be effective and respected.
  • There is one exception: A Disclosure Veto will remain in effect for one year after the death of the person who filed the veto. After this period, information may be released to the adoptee or the birth parent(s) upon request and with proof of death.

I am an adoptive parent and I do not want my identifying personal information to be disclosed to my adoptive child’s birth parent(s). How do I prevent this?

  • The Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry cannot share identifying information about the adoptive parents with a birth parent. However, if a birth parent applies for access to records, the adoptee’s full name by adoption (including their adoptive surname – i.e., your last name) will be provided, unless they have filed a Disclosure Veto

Where can I learn more about legislation related to adoption?

  • You can learn more about Manitoba’s adoption legislation and regulations on the Province’s Manitoba Laws website.  
  • You can read more about the legislative changes to The Adoption Act and The Vital Statistics Act online by visiting manitoba.ca/adoptionrecords.
  • If you have further questions, assistance is available. Contact:
    • Your local Child and Family Services agency, or
    • The Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry at 1-855-837-5542 (toll free in Canada and the US).

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Filing forms to protect information

How do I file a Disclosure Veto or a Contact Preference?

To file a Disclosure Veto or a Contact Preference:

  1. Download and print the form Disclosure Veto or Contact Preference
    • If you do not have access to a printer, please contact :
      1. Your local CFS agency, or
      2. The Manitoba Post-Adoption Registry at 1-855-837-5542 (toll free in Canada and the US).
  2. Follow the instructions on the form to complete it. Sign it in front of a witness.
  3. Submit the form and required documentation following the submission instructions on the form.

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Fees

I am an adult adoptee. What is the fee for obtaining a copy of my original birth registration or other adoption related records?

  • As an adult adoptee, there are no fees for you to access your pre-adoption birth registration.
  • You will be charged the $20 fee that is required by the Manitoba Court to access your certified adoption order.
  • Your substituted registration of birth is available to you for a $30 fee through the Manitoba Vital Statistics Agency.

I am a birth parent. What is the fee for obtaining a copy of my child’s pre-adoption birth registration or their substituted registration of birth?

  • As a birth parent, there are no fees to access birth records related to adoption.

Are there any fees charged for filing a Disclosure Veto or Contact Preference?

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