New disclosure veto addresses privacy concerns, adoption law strikes right balance: Commissioner Cavoukian

    TORONTO, Dec. 10 /CNW/ - Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann
Cavoukian applauds the Ontario government for moving quickly to introduce new
adoption legislation that includes both a disclosure veto for adoptees and
birth parents in adoptions that have already taken place and also promotes
openness for adoptions where a disclosure veto is not registered and for all
future adoptions. Commissioner Cavoukian had been seeking the inclusion of a
disclosure veto for past adoptions at the request of a number of adoptees and
birth parents.
    If passed, the bill introduced today will give adoptees and birth parents
the right of access to adoption records while also providing a right for them
to register a disclosure veto to prevent disclosure, for all adoption orders
made before September 1, 2008. After that date, all adoptions will be open.
    All adoptees and birth parents, regardless of when the adoption took
place, will have the right to register a notice that they do not wish to be
contacted by the other party. In addition, all adoptees and birth parents who
do wish to be contacted will have the ability to indicate how they prefer to
be contacted.
    "I am delighted that the government has taken such quick action to
introduce new legislation on this very important issue," said Commissioner
Cavoukian. "I have always supported openness in adoptions on a going-forward
basis. I was deeply concerned, however, for those adoptees and birth parents
who entered into adoptions prior to the change in the law, and who fear that
disclosing their identities now could have a devastating impact on their
lives. Those individuals should have the right to keep their privacy
protected. I believe that by including a disclosure veto for adoptions that
have already taken place, this bill strikes an appropriate balance in this
    Adoptees and birth parents who filed no-contact notices or
manner-of-contact notices with the government under the previous legislation
will not have to refile those notices under the new legislation. Anyone who
wants to file a disclosure veto will be able (if the new bill becomes law) to
file it with the Office of the Registrar General.
    In developing the bill, the government consulted with Commissioner
Cavoukian. "I thank the government for giving my office the opportunity to
provide comments on the draft legislation," said Commissioner Cavoukian. "I
look forward to continuing to work with the Ministry of Community and Social
Services as it moves towards implementation."

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Bob Spence, Communications
Co-ordinator, Direct line: (416) 326-3939, Cell phone: (416) 873-9746, Toll
free: 1-800-387-0073,

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