February 25, 2016

Saskatchewan Improves Access to Birth Registration Information for Adoptees, Birth Parents

The Government of Saskatchewan is making changes to regulations to improve access to birth registration information on adoptions occurring in Saskatchewan for all adult adoptees and birth parents.

“We have seen a significant shift – both in terms of a strong recognition of the importance of remaining connected to one’s culture, language, family and history - and how adoption is viewed overall,” Social Services Minister Donna Harpauer said.  “Over time, society has become more open about adoption, and individuals directly involved in adoption want improved access to birth information to learn more about who they are, and to build a greater sense of identity.”

These changes will enable adult adoptees to more easily search for information on their birth families on their own, without having to wait.

While changes take effect January 2017, all adult adoptees and birth parents are being strongly urged to learn more about the changes being made to the sharing of the birth registration information.  Individuals may wish to file a veto to prevent the release of identifying information, or a contact preference to indicate if they wish to be contacted and how that contact should occur.

“We work every day with wonderful birth families and adoptive families," Adoption Support Centre of Saskatchewan Resource Director Leah Deans said.  "We know they will see this as a significant step forward in supporting adoptees in developing a better understanding of their own personal history."

Adult children of adoptees and adult children of birth parents can also apply to receive birth registration information in the event that the adult adoptee or birth parent is deceased.

“We also felt that it was vital to extend improved ease of access to family members in the event that an adoptee or birth parent has since passed away,” Harpauer said.  “For many, this journey of reconnection can also include siblings searching for each other and we want to ensure our regulations support making those important connections, as well.”

For more information, please visit www.saskatchewan.ca/adoptionrecords to learn more about these changes.  The website includes forms to apply for birth registration information, file a contact preference or veto in advance of the changes coming into effect.