Adoption records opened for adoptees and natural parents
in Ontario on June 1st, 2009.
An adoptee can obtain his or her original Certificate of Live Birth/Birth Registration, with his or her original name and the name and address of his/her natural mother at the time of birth (very rarely is the father named as “unwed mothers” were routinely told to “leave it blank”).
Natural mothers can obtain a copy of the birth registration and adoption court order showing the adoptive name of the adoptee.
The following records are available for request in Ontario:
1. Vital Statistics Adoption File which includes:
a) Original Certificate of Live Birth/Birth Registration
This will include the name of the natural mother, her address at the time of birth, the name given to the adoptee at birth.
b) Adoption Order
This is the actual adoption order which will show the child’s adopted name, and in some cases the name of the natural mother. The names of Adopters are not released to natural families and may be redacted.
2. Children’s Aid Society Records
Adoption File: Mothers can apply to the Children’s Aid Society that processed the adoption. Send a registered letter requesting the contents of your file:
Your Address Here
BY REGISTERED MAIL
Childrens Aid Society of Toronto (Send to the Children’s Aid Society that handled the adoption)
33 Isabella Street
Re: Adoption Records
I am the mother of a child adopted in 1964. Please accept this letter as my formal request for the entire contents of my file related to that adoption. This is not a request for non-identifying information. Following are the particulars:
Date of Birth:
Child Born at:
Name of Mother:
Name given to child at birth:
Adopted Name of child:
Name of Adopted Parents: (Just fill out the information you have in your possession)
I am requesting the entire contents of the CAS file pertaining to this adoption including but not limited to the following:
1. All legal and other documents including any third party documents
2. All clinical notes of Social worker and any other CAS workers
3. All medical reports and documentation
4. All correspondence
5. All court related documents
6. Entire contents of file
I will look forward to receiving these documents at your earliest convenience.
3. 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. Adoptees can also obtain their hospital chart with respect to their birth and post natal newborn care.Request Your Records from the Salvation Army Grace Hospital in Toronto
4. Maternity Home Records
Mothers who resided in Maternity Homes may apply to directly to the Home (if still operating) or the religious organization which ran the home for any records which may have survived:
For the Salvation Army Homes contact:
Salvation Army Archives, 26 Howden Road, Scarborough, ON M1R 3E4
Phone: (416) 285-4344
United Church of Canada
3250 Bloor Street West, Ste. 300 Toronto, ON M8X 2Y4
Phone: (416) 231-7680
Once you have obtained the names of your natural parents or the child you lost to adoption, some useful tools for your search include:
Ontario’s Open Records Campaign
In 2009 Ontario became the fourth province in Canada to approve open records. Against much opposition by open records groups, this legislation was later amended to include veto provisions after a legal challenge by three adoptees and one biological father.