File a contact notice: adoption records
Open adoption records allow an adopted person (who is now 19 or older) and birth parents to access adoption information if they want to. A contact notice lets the Disclosure Program release your identifying information but lets the other person know how you want to be contacted or that you don’t want to be contacted.
You need to file a contact notice to let the Disclosure Program know how you want to be contacted or that you don’t want to be contacted when the program releases your identifying information under the Adoption Records Act.
Open adoption records allow an adopted person (who is now 19 or older) and birth parents to access adoption information if they want to.
A contact notice lets the Disclosure Program release your identifying information but lets the other person know how you want to be contacted or that you don’t want to be contacted. Before the program releases your information, the other person needs to sign an agreement (called a contact undertaking) stating that they agree to follow your contact preferences.
Adopted person and birth parents
Once an adopted person turns 19, they can file a contact notice at any time as long as the Disclosure Program hasn’t already released their identifying information. The adopted person can also remove or change their contact notice at any time.
A birth parent can file, change or remove a contact notice at any time.
Filing a contact notice on behalf of someone else
You can file a contact notice on behalf of someone who doesn’t have capacity under the Adult Capacity Decision-making Act (PDF). You need to provide information about yourself and the person you’re filing for. You need to include a copy of the court order granted under the Adult Capacity Decision-making Act as proof of consent to act as a representative. You also need to include 1 piece of government-issued identification for yourself.
Changing or removing (cancelling) a contact notice
You can change or remove (cancel) a contact notice at any time. It's possible that the Disclosure Program may release your identifying information before you file, change or remove your contact notice.
Help with your privacy options
The Disclosure Program can help you review your privacy options, complete the Contact Notice Form with you and provide more information about how open adoption records work. The program also provides an option for you to speak with someone who identifies as African Nova Scotian or Indigenous.
Who can use this form
If you’re an adopted person (who is now 19 or older) or a birth parent, you can protect your privacy by filing a contact notice.
You need to file a separate contact notice for each person (you can't complete the form for more than 1 person).
What you need to do
- Review detailed guidance in the Disclosure Program - Adoption Records Guide.
- Complete the form online.
- Check the form for details on all required supporting documents.
- Submit your completed form and supporting documents.
How long it takes
It should take 1 to 2 weeks for the Disclosure Program to file your contact notice. It can take longer if more information is needed or if your form hasn’t been filled in correctly.
There is no cost to file a contact notice.
Before you start
Make sure you have 2 pieces of government-issued identification (like a driver’s licence, Secure Certificate of Indian Status, passport or NEXUS card). One piece of identification needs to include your photo.
When you file online you need to upload any supporting documents in DOCX, PDF or JPEG format.
You can use the Contact Notice Form (PDF 142 kB) if you're unable to file online. Each person needs to complete a separate form (you can't complete the form for more than 1 person). Send your completed form and supporting documents by mail or email to the Disclosure Program.