Searching in Ontario

This information applies only to adoptions finalized in the Province of Ontario. For detailed government information including adoption related forms, call: Service Ontario at 1-800-461-2156 (press ‘1’ for English, then ‘5’ for Adoption Disclosure Information) or go to:

The Custodian of Adoption Information will provide the following services:

  • Accept applications for immediate searches when the health need is urgent. The Custodian will decide whether the need is ‘urgent’.
  • Provide a Passive Registry for adoptees, birth parents, birth grandparents and siblings.

What information is available to Adult Adoptees?

Adult adoptees are entitled to:

  • receive a copy of their original birth registration showing their birth mother’s name and address at the time of the birth.
  • receive a copy of their Adoption Order showing the change to their new name.
  • This information is only available about birth parents who signed the original birth registration form, so many birth father names are not included on the document.

ADULT ADOPTEES who are 18 years of age or older can download the following form and guide, complete the form and submit to the Office of the Registrar General in order to obtain their original birth registration.

  1.  Application form for original birth registration.
  2. Guide for completing the application form for identifying information.

What information is available to Birth Parents or Other Birth relatives?

Birth parents are entitled to:

  • receive the new or amended name of their child at the time of the adoption.
  • receive a copy of the Adoption Order showing their child’s new name, but all third party information is removed – such as is the names of the adoptive parents.
  • This information is usually only available to birth mothers. Those birth fathers who did not sign the birth registration form are not permitted to have access to the amended name of their child.
  • No other birth relatives may apply. So if the birth parents are deceased, siblings may not have identifying information.


BIRTHPARENTS can download the following form and guide to request the new adoptive name of the child they relinquished for adoption. The adoptee must be 19 years of age and older!

  1. Application form for post adoption information.
  2. Guide for completing the post adoption birth information form.


How do I register with the Adoption Register?

This is a passive registry, that is they will not search for anyone but if there is a match both parties will be given the other’s identifying information.  Forms to register are available at:  or  call 1-800-461-2156 (press ‘1’ for English, then ‘5’ for Adoption Disclosure Information).  There is a great deal of information given so listen carefully.

What is a Disclosure Veto under the provision of Bill 12?

Adoptees and birth parents may register a Disclosure Veto barring identifying information from being given to the other party. Check with the Adoption Custodian for more information.

What is a Contact Preference?

A Contact preference allows you to choose the manner in which you may be contacted by the other party.

Is non-identifying information and family history still available from the CAS involved?

This information should still be available from the agency that handled the adoption. Most CAS s provide the information in a “redacted” form.  That means you will receive a copy of the actual file with all third party names and information removed.  Wait times vary, but are mostly very long.

My adoption was private (such as through a doctor or lawyer) what should I do?

Non-identifying information for adoptees and birth parents in a private adoption ‘may’ be available from the Office of the Custodian of Adoption.  Call Service Ontario at 1-800-461-2156 for more information




April 23, 2023

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Oct 8 2002 Bill 77 Protest (2)
Oct 8 2002 Bill 77 Protest (2)

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