In 1995, British Columbia became the first province in Canada to have open adoption records, meaning that family members can obtain the identifying information of the family member they have lost to adoption.
The following records are available for request in BC:
1. Vital Statistics Adoption Records:
In order to access B.C. adoption records, you must be:
An individual who was adopted in B.C. and who is 19 years of age or older; or
The natural parent(s) of an individual who was adopted in B.C. and has reached 19 years of age.
a) Adopted persons: who were born and adopted in British Columbia receive:
a) a copy of the original birth registration in their birth name (including the names of any birth parents on record); and
b) a copy of the adoption order provided a disclosure veto has not been filed.
b) Natural parents: can obtain copy of the adopted person’s original birth registration, a copy of the adopted person’s birth registration following adoption including any change of name consequent to the adoption, and a copy of the adoption order, provided a disclosure veto has not been filed.
Adopted individuals who were not born in British Columbia but were adopted in the province receive:
a copy of the adoption order and any identification particulars of the adopted person.
Natural parents of individuals not born in British Columbia but who were adopted in the province receive a copy of the adoption order and any identification particulars of the adopted person following the adoption.
More information is available from the Vital Statistics Website. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/life-events/births-adoptions/adoptions/how-to-access-adoption-records.html
2. Hospital Records:
Mothers can call the Medical Records department of the hospital in which the birth took place to obtain your hospital chart with respect to prenatal care, labour and delivery, birth, hospital stay, etc. Mothers should also apply for their child’s hospital record from birth until Adoption Consents were signed.
Adoptees can also obtain their hospital chart with respect to their birth and post natal newborn care.
3. Ministry of Children and Family Development Records:
a) Adoption File
Natural parents and adopted persons can apply to the Province of BC, Ministry of Citizens Services, for their Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) adoption case-file. http://www.gov.bc.ca/citz/iao/foi/submit/index.html
In filling out this form, request ALL information pertaining to the adoption, covering the time period from conception to present day. This will provide you with social workers notes, and all other relevant documents that you may have signed etc. and other non-identifying information.
b) Child Protection File
Natural parents can apply for your Ministry of Children and Family Development child protection file. In filling out this form ask for all information from your birth until the age of majority. http://www.gov.bc.ca/citz/iao/foi/submit/index.html
Adopted persons can also apply for your Ministry of Children and Family Development Child Protection file if you were in the care of the Province at any time. In filling out this form ask for all information from your birth until the age of majority. http://www.gov.bc.ca/citz/iao/foi/submit/index.html
4. Maternity Home Records
Mothers who resided in Maternity Homes may apply to the organization which ran the home for any records which may have survived:
For the Maywood Home for Unwed Mothers in Vancouver contact:
Salvation Army Archives, 26 Howden Road, Scarborough, Ontario M1R 3E4
Phone: (416) 285-4344