Nova Scotia Adoption Records


The Adoption Records Act will open adoption records to provide greater access to information for persons adopted, birth parent, birth sibling, adoptive parent and other relatives. The change takes effect in Spring 2022.  

See changes here:

Adoption Disclosure
Disclosure Program
Department of Community Services
Phone: 902-424-2755 

Obtain your 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, post natal care, hospital stay, etc.  Mothers should also apply for their child’s hospital record.  (Hint:  Do not use the word “adopted” if possible,  and if asked why records are required the answer is “for my personal record”.)

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 Salvation Army Homes contact:

Salvation Army Archives
26 Howden Road, Scarborough, Ontario
M1R 3E4    Telephone:  416-285-4344

4. Cross Border Adoption/Baby Trafficking to the United States

Many children from the Maritimes were trafficked to the USA for adoption…here is some information re US Immigration

See Karen Balcom’s book “The Traffic in Babies: Cross Border Adoption and Baby-Selling between the United States and Canada 1930-1972.


A campaign for open records in Nova Scotia led by people affected by adoption resulted in the introduction of Bill 12, the Adoption Information Act (1996) in the Provincial Legislature (First Reading on April 9, 1996, Second Reading Debates May 3, May 7, May 9, 1996). After lobbying by a handful of social workers and adoptive parents, this bill did not pass as presented, and records in Nova Scotia remain closed.