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Nova Scotia not looking to open up adoption records, minister says

Nova Scotia not looking to open up adoption records, minister says
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HALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s community services minister says the province isn’t looking to open up adoption records, even as many other provinces ease access.

Kelly Regan said the province took steps a few years ago to provide more information to adopted children, and also heard “loud and clear” from parents who had given up their children that they are opposed to opening up the records.

“We make a lot of information available to adopted children if they want to learn about their families, but I think we need to respect the women who have decided to give up their children and who may not for very good reasons want to be contacted,” she said.

“At this point it’s not something we are considering.”

That doesn’t mean her department may not revisit the issue in the future, but the current priority is transforming its programs, she said.

“I’m not saying not ever. I’m saying right now we have a lot of work underway and that’s what we are focusing on.”

Prince Edward Island is holding public consultations on adoption records in the new year.

Nova Scotia, Quebec, P.E.I., and New Brunswick are the only provinces to have closed adoption records, although birth records will be unsealed in New Brunswick beginning in April 2018.

British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador have all changed their laws to make it easier for adoptees and birth parents to access adoption records.

Manitoba decided to unseal 75 years of adoption records in June, resulting in a flood of applications that prompted the province to add more staff to deal with the backlog.

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