After Your Child is Adopted
Post-adoption Openness Registry Information
(for adopted children under 19 years of age)
What is the Post-Adoption Openness Registry?
The Post-adoption Openness Registry enables adoptive parents of a child under 19, and his/her pre-adoption parent or other relatives to register their interest in establishing some form of openness agreement. It is a means for applicants to exchange identifying or non-identifying information after an adoption order is granted.
It is a passive registry, which means that both parties must be registered before they are contacted about establishing an agreement.
The information exchange may range from medical information, letters, cards and pictures, to the full exchange of names and addresses for direct contact.
Who can apply?
Those who can apply are adoptive parents of a child under 19 years of age, and the adopted child's relatives, from either before or after the adoption:
- an adopted child's sibling who is under 19 years of age, with permission of the sibling's parents or guardian
- pre-adoption parents
- aunts and uncles
The registry cannot accept applications from former caregivers or foster parents unrelated to the adopted child.
How does the Post-Adoption Openness Registry work?
Once the registry receives a completed Post-Adoption openness application, the registry is checked to find out if a match can be found. If no match is found, the application is registered pending contact from the other person identified on the application.
The registry will only contact the parties if a match occurs. If there is a match, both parties will be asked to consent to a check of ministry records for any health or safety concerns. Applicants will also be asked to indicate whether they are interested in full disclosure or a non-identifying exchange of information. If one or both want a non-identifying exchange, then both parties will be asked to arrange for a facilitator to draw up on Openness Agreement.
A facilitator can be a representative of a licensed adoption agency or another professional in your community such as a counselor or lawyer. Each facilitator will work with the registry to develop an agreement, which is acceptable to both parties. You will need to discuss with your facilitator any fees that will apply for their services.
What are some reasons why parties might not want full disclosure?
Some people do not feel comfortable exchanging identifying information. In rare cases, it may not be advisable for parties to agree to full disclosure because of a personal safety risk.
You will be asked to sign a consent form in order for the registry to review ministry records for any possible health and/or safety concerns. When the registry has information indicating a potential risk, the registry will provide the parties with information necessary to make an informed decision.
The best interests of the adopted child are the most important consideration. All registry applicants should consider what degree of openness is comfortable for them and the child.
If you are the adoptive parent:
Your child's views towards openness should be your first consideration and should be respected.
Consider the full range of openness options. You may wish to start by exchanging non-identifying information and progress to full openness if you feel confident that direct contact is in the child's best interests.
You may register on behalf of your child for an exchange with a specific relative or you may register for an exchange with more than one relative. You are not obligated to make an agreement with any other relative who may register, and through written notification you can withdraw from the process at any time.
If you are a pre-adoption parent or former guardian:
Any decision to enter into an openness agreement should be based on what is best for the child. An openness agreement cannot be enforced; it is based on the voluntary cooperation of all parties.
An application to the Post-Adoption Openness Registry is in effect until:
- the adopted child reaches age 19
- a match occurs
- the application is withdrawn in writing
Further information about the Post-adoption Openness Registry is available by calling 250 387-3660 or writing:
Post-adoption Openness Registry
Ministry of Children and Family Development
PO Box 9705, STN PROV GOVT
Victoria, B.C., V8W 9S1
Applications for registration on the post adoption openness registry are available here or at any district office, licensed adoption agency or from the Post-adoption Openness Registry.