N.S. introduces new privacy policies for adoption records
Nova Scotia is introducing new privacy tools for adoption records, giving people the option of protecting their information before adoption records are opened.
The province is accepting disclosure vetoes for adoptees or birth parents who do not wish to share information that can identify them. It is also accepting contact notices for those who allow the sharing of information but sets parameters around if and how they choose to be contacted.
"We want people to have time to consider their options and protect their privacy if they wish. This is a sensitive matter, and we want to be respectful of all those involved in sharing adoption records," says Karla Macfarlane, minister of community services, in a release.
Birth parents, potential birth parents, relatives and adoptees at least 19 years of age will be able to access adoption information if they choose and will apply to all adoption records.
Anyone who has indicated in the past they do not want their identifying information shared are to file a disclosure veto.
The province says the current law allows a search for an adopted person or a birth parent at the request of the other party to the adoption. When the person has been located they are to consent to their information being released and if they do not consent, the information cannot be shared.
"As adoptees ourselves, we understand the delicacy and importance of privacy being respected while we go through this process. We were adamant about a veto that gives those involved control over their information yet allows families who wish to reunite to do so," says Scott Pyke, administrator of Nova Scotia Adoptee Advocacy Group, in a release.
The Adoption Records Act will take effect in the spring.