Adoption records are being unsealed in New Brunswick, but an adopted man who fought almost two decades for information says the reforms are coming up too short and too late.       

Garth McCrea was adopted at birth and that's all he really knows about his early life despite years of trying to find out more.

McCrea suffered a heart attack in 2002 that prompted action to find out more about his medical history at the age of 37.

In 2014, McCrea explained his plea for the right to his own personal information to CTV.

“The cardiologist told me that I was far too young to have a heart attack and he said there must be a family history so what can you tell me about that and I said I can't tell you anything, I don't have access to that information because my adoption records is sealed,” he said.

McCrea formed the coalition for open adoption records in the province and says he spent the majority of his life lobbying the government.

In 2016, McCrea lost the use of his right arm when he suffered a stroke. The stroke left him with a limp and it affected his speech.

“My story is written for me now,” he says. “I don’t want my children’s’story to be the same as mine because all the doctors have told me the same thing, it was preventable, my stroke.”

The protocol for opening adoption records in New Brunswick took effect Sunday.

As part of the reforms, the biological parent or adopted child can veto any information from being shared. McCrea calls this provision unfair.

“I have the same rights as my birth mother does, and for another adult to say to me you can’t have it, or inconvenience or it is a secret for me.”

His wife Beth McCrea says it’s been a very emotional experience watching her husband’shealth decline.

“I’ve watched the door slammed in his face,” she says. “I’ve talked to them at post-adoption, they said because it’s none of his business.”

Garth says opening records is not about relationships; rather it’s about information for him.

McCrea says he’s now hoping to learn more, for both him and his children.

The Prince Edward Island government is looking at the possibility of opening of adoption information and there has been no indication of that happening in Nova Scotia.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Nick Moore.