After 40 years of searching for her birth family, a Nova Scotia woman has finally found her brother.

Darlene Barkhouse was adopted as an infant and she has always been curious about her birth parents, but the Nova Scotia government can’t give her access to her birth certificate.

“They told me my mom and my dad wanted my records sealed from the day I was born, and they never wanted me to know who they were,” says Barkhouse.

“I was happy most times, and then other times I was very depressed and unknown and it really, really bothered me.”

Barkhouse’s parents were not together and her father went on to start a family of his own. He died nine months ago, and it was only then that the government would help her connect with her half-brother.

“I think it’s awful sad that you have to meet your parents when they’re dead,” says Barkhouse.

Ross MacDonald says he never knew he had a half-sister, and he was both shocked and hurt when he learned the truth.

“Me and dad, we were so close, and dad never mentioned anything about this at all,” he says.

“She knows she had a brother and she was trying to find me for all these years and I never really knew that this person was trying to find me.”

The New Brunswick government is considering opening sealed adoption records if certain criteria are met and 650 people have been consulted on the issue so far.

That information is now being analyzed and the New Brunswick government says it is moving to make a decision as quickly as possible, but it’s a different story in Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia Community Service Minister Joanne Bernard says commitments for continued privacy for birth parents were made decades ago and must be maintained.

“I have absolutely no intention of opening up the Adoption Act in this province,” says Bernard. “For as many people who want that Act opened, there is just as many people who say no.”

While Barkhouse has been reunited with her brother, she still has no way of knowing anything about her birth mother.

For now, she says she’s going to focus on catching up with MacDonald.

“I love it, I do. I really love it,” she says.

“I wish dad would have seen her before he passed, but he just, he just didn’t,” says MacDonald.

Unless the Nova Scotia government reverses its decision, Barkhouse fears she will one day go through the same experience with the sister she knows is out there somewhere.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Kayla Hounsell