FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government will be able to provide basic birth and adoption information starting on April 1.

Changes to the Family Services Act will allow adoptees and birth parents to apply for access to available identifying information through the Department of Social Development’s Post-Adoption Disclosure Services branch.

“Providing information about someone’s birth family is something that is really close to my heart,” said Families and Children Minister Stephen Horsman. “I think it is important that we recognize attitudes about adoption have changed and we want to help people if we can.”

As of April 1, the process of applying for information can begin for adult adoptees; birth parents of adoptees; adult children of a deceased adult adoptee; and adult children of a deceased birth parent whose child was placed for adoption.

Information can only be released if the youngest adoptee in a sibling group is 19 years old.

The government recognizes that some people do not want their information released and it is encouraging those who wish to remain anonymous to file disclosure vetoes as soon as possible. Filing a disclosure veto will prevent the release of any identifying information.

More information is available from the department’s Post Adoption Disclosure Services branch at 1-844-851-0999 (toll-free in Canada and the United States) or at postadoptionservices@gnb.ca. Forms and information are also available online.

“On April 1, individuals who are interested in obtaining information can launch the process by making an official request,” said Horsman. “We understand how important this information is to people and we will process applications – that are not limited by vetoes - as quickly as possible. But it is equally important that we ensure the quality of our work.”

Applicants can also file a contact preference, which will not prevent the release of identifying information but allows limits to be placed on contact from the person requesting the information. Options may include contact by email or phone, visits or no contact.

The department may release upon request identifying information, subject to the terms of the contact preference. The person receiving the information must agree to the terms before they will be given the information. A contact preference can be modified or removed at any time by the person who placed it and it expires upon their death.

The New Brunswick Post Adoption Registry maintains provincial records for those adoptions that have occurred in the province, and has access to more than 100 years of records.