Open adoption records
Open adoption records provide greater access to information for an adopted person, birth parent, birth sibling and other relatives.
Open adoption records allow an adopted person (who is now 19 or older) and birth parents to access adoption information if they want to. You still get to choose if your identifying information is shared, who can contact you (including birth siblings and other relatives) and how you want to be contacted.
Under the Adoption Records Act, open adoption records allow an adopted person (who is now 19 or older) and birth parents to access identifying information about the other person without first getting consent, unless the adopted person or birth parent filed a disclosure veto. Identifying information includes the name of the birth parent and the adopted person’s adopted name.
If the adopted person or birth parent doesn’t want their identifying information shared with the other person, they need to file a disclosure veto.
A person who was adopted in Nova Scotia can access information about their adoption. The adoption record includes a copy of their:
- original birth registration if they were born in Nova Scotia and a disclosure veto hasn’t been filed
- post-adoption birth registration (official record of birth after the adoption and includes the child’s new name and the names of the adoptive parents)
- Adoption Order (the court order issued after an adoption is finalized)
An adopted person can also access information about a potential birth parent if the potential birth parent hasn’t filed a disclosure veto or a contact notice. A potential birth parent is a person named in the adoption record but they’re not confirmed as a birth parent, or the adoption record includes credible information about paternity (for example, a birth mother describes a birth father but doesn’t include the name).
A birth parent whose child was adopted in Nova Scotia can access a copy of the:
- birth registration if the child was born in Nova Scotia
- post-adoption birth registration with the adoptive parents’ names removed
- Adoption Order with the adoptive parents’ names removed
Birth siblings and other relatives
Birth siblings and other relatives can request access to information about an adoption, but they can only request information that they meet the criteria to access.
Adoption records guideDisclosure Program: adoption records guide
Overview of supports, services and privacy options under the Adoption Records Act for an adopted person, birth parent, potential birth parent, birth sibling and other relatives.
Access information about an adoptionRequest access to information about an adoption
An adopted person, birth parent, birth sibling and other relatives can request access to information about an adoption.
Contact noticeFile a contact notice: adoption records
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.Change or remove (cancel) a contact notice: adoption records
You need to change or remove (cancel) your contact notice if you want to change how you can be contacted or if you don’t want to be contacted when the Disclosure Program releases your identifying information.
Disclosure vetoFile a disclosure veto: adoption records
A disclosure veto prevents the Disclosure Program from releasing your identifying information.Remove (cancel) a disclosure veto: adoption records
You need to remove (cancel) your disclosure veto if you no longer want to prevent the Disclosure Program from releasing your identifying information.