Nova Scotia could move to unblock adoption records later this year
HALIFAX -- The only one of the provinces yet to unblock adoption records appears to be moving in that direction.
It's been a long wait for some in Nova Scotia, who are hoping for the kind of life-changing reunion that Rose Valade had.
She had to do all the work, though.
"I got absolutely no help," Valade said.
Valade found her biological mother by completing a mail-in DNA kit -- one way adoptees have been able get around Nova Scotia's system of blocking adoption records.
"We know there are changes on the horizon very soon," said Scott Pyke. "This has been a 30-year fight for many people."
Pyke is with the Nova Scotia Adoptee Advocacy Group.
"I am adopted and I spent some time searching for my information and hit a few different roadblocks when it came to accessing my information," Pyke said.
He too was only able to find his biological family through a private DNA test.
Both Pyke and Valade agree with the 82 per cent of respondents in a Nova Scotia government report, who feel there's not enough identifying information being given under the current law.
There have always been worries that an adopted child or birth parent could have their information made available when they don't want it to be.
In New Brunswick and P.E.I., either the biological parent or adopted adult can veto information from being shared.
"Privacy is key with us and we share the concerns of Nova Scotians to ensure that whatever comes out, there is privacy in place for people who don't want to participate," Pyke said. "We want to see updated medical information and we especially want to see a support service set up."
There's concern a veto might block a family's medical history from being made public, a key reason why Valade initially took action to find her birth family.
"Because any time I went to a doctor, the doctor would say, 'so, do you have any issues with cancer or diabetes or different common medical issues?' and I would have to say, 'I don't know,'" Valade said. "So, on all my medical files I have 'patient doesn't know.'"
Nobody with the Nova Scotia government would agree to an interview Tuesday on what will happen now, although legislation could be ready by the fall.