The Adoption Council of Ontario urgently requests the province address the Ontario Superior Court's decision to strike down sections of The Adoption Information Disclosure Act



    TORONTO, Sept. 25 /CNW/ - The Adoption Council of Ontario (ACO) strongly
urges the Ontario government to act swiftly to bring in amendments to the new
Adoption Information Disclosure Act. This Act, in effect for only two days,
was struck down as unconstitutional by Mr. Justice Edward Belobab on
September 19th, 2007.
    "The ACO had recently applauded this new Act as being a significant step
forward in granting all adult adoptees across Ontario the rightful access to
their original birth registration," said ACO co-chair, Mary Allan. "After all,
this is a fundamental privilege afforded to every other citizen in Ontario."
    The Adoption Council of Ontario has made the following recommendations:

    
     -  Provide unqualified access for the adult adoptee to their original
        birth registration
     -  Reinstate the Adoption Disclosure Register as a fully active register
        functioning to search and seek consent to the disclosure of adoption
        information from adult adoptees and birth family members
     -  Ensure this search service is retroactive, efficient and accessible
    

    This new law was the culmination of over a decade of effort on the part
of adoption advocates across Ontario. The unique features of this law, which
include access to information for both adult adoptees and birth parents and
the inclusion of a "No Contact" order, were deemed inadequate to protect the
privacy of those who did not wish to have their identities revealed.
    In its ruling, the Court acknowledged the importance and heart-felt need
of searching birth parents and adult adoptees to have access to adoption
information. However, he determined that this is not a Charter-protected
right.
    Whether the "personal uncertainties" created through the lack of access
are equal in their fundamental nature for both adult adoptees and birth
parents is a question that will likely never be completely answered to
everyone's satisfaction. "However," said Allan, "the Adoption Council of
Ontario continues to believe that adult adoptees' rights to learn about their
history and therefore their identity is fundamental, as is their unqualified
access to their original birth registration."

    The Adoption Council of Ontario's mission is to educate, support and
advocate on behalf of those touched by adoption in Ontario.
(www.adoption.on.ca)





For further information:

For further information: Kristen Maynard at (416) 482-0021,
Kristen.Maynard@adoptontario.ca

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ADOPTION COUNCIL OF ONTARIO

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