News Release Archive


Nova Scotia's new Adoption Information Act balances the need for
adoptees and their birth families to learn about each other while
maintaining everyone's right to privacy, said Community Services
Minister John MacEachern.

The act, which will implement a new search service for people
seeking birth children, siblings or parents separated by adoption
becomes effective Jan. 1, 1997 with applications being accepted
Jan. 2. Once a request is made, trained social workers conduct
the search and ask for the consent of the person before any
identifying information is released.

Mr. MacEachern said the act gives Nova Scotians one of the most
open and fair disclosure services in Canada. "The Adoption
Information Act places Nova Scotia along side British Columbia
and Saskatchewan on the Canadian forefront of adoption
information disclosure."

The act also has special provisions to allow for the release of
non-identifying information which may include medical history,
physical description, interest and level of education and any
other general information that will not identify the person.

The cost for a full search is $250, with the cost of less
involved services being less expensive. So as not to exclude
anyone, arrangements have been made to reduce fees as low as $50
for individuals on limited income.

The information contained in personal adoption files will be used
to help locate people. Unfortunately the information in some
files, especially older ones, is not complete. Staff will try to
find the person through other means, but they may be limited by
the lack of available information.

The staff at the Adoption Services Disclosure Program are
expecting an overwhelming number of applications when the service
becomes operational. They indicate it could take up to three
years to process the initial rush of applicants, because of the
high number expected. After these are dealt with, staff expects
searches to take less than a year. If the person cannot be
located, identifying information will not be released.

The program begins taking applications as of Jan. 2, 1997.
Searches will be done on a first-come-first-serve basis. Priority
will be given for medical emergencies and in situations where the
birth parents are more than 65 years of age.


Contact: Tom Peck  902-424-4038

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trp                          Dec. 30, 1996 - 11:15 a.m.