Adoption records consultation

Government sought input from Nova Scotians on whether provincial adoption records should be more accessible.

This is a sensitive and personal matter to people impacted by adoption, and we wanted to have a full discussion with Nova Scotians.

Provinces, with the exception of Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, have legislation to allow more access to identifying information from adoption records.

Open adoption records mean identifying information about one of the people in an adoption (either an adult adopted person or a birth parent) can be released to the other party without first obtaining consent, unless there is a Disclosure Veto preventing identifying information from being released.

Attitudes towards adoption have changed over the years and Nova Scotians may wish to consider open adoption records legislation.

Before any change to the legislation is even considered, government wanted to hear the views of Nova Scotians. We reached out to all people involved in adoption — adopted persons, birth parents and adoptive parents, as well as family members and anyone with an interest in this issue. In 2019, Nova Scotians were invited to participate in an online survey, to give their thoughts on open adoption records in Nova Scotia. In-person consultations were also held throughout the province.


This discussion paper outlines the history of adoption and adoption records in Nova Scotia, how government handles the release of adoption records now, and the approach that other provinces take.

The What We Heard report details the results of the online survey and other public consultations.


All questions about specific adoption records should be directed to the Adoption Disclosure Services Program:

Phone: 902-424-2755


Adoption Disclosure Services Program
Halifax District Office – Child Welfare
103 Garland Avenue
Dartmouth, NS B3B 0K5


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