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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 100995
Experience:  Lawyer
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Hello, I am adoptee from NFLD and had requested and recieved

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I am adoptee from NFLD and had requested and recieved my adoption records as they are "open". My birth mother was found a couple of years ago but she does not want to have contact which I completely understand and am ok with. What i do have an issue with however is her refusal to say who my birth father is. All she would say was that he died of "natural causes" in the 90's which could only put him at 35-40 yrs of age.
I now have a small child of my own and would really love to know my "family's" medical history. Not only that of my birth mother but also on my birth father's side. I also need to know what my heritage is; where did the b. father's and b. mother's family come from? Not having this basic information is a daily frustration for me.
My question is - what rights as an adoptee do I have to this information?

Thank you,

Thank you for your question.

Before I begin I want to explain a bit about how the site works.

It may be that I will find that I need to gather further information from you. As well, it's quite possible that you may feel the need to ask me additional questions for further clarification.Please do not worry that you will be charged additionally if I ask you questions or if you need to ask me questions. That is not at all how the site works.

As well, please understand that as a careful lawyer I will always give you an honest answer even if the answer is sometimes not what you were hoping for.

Finally, as we go through the process please do not feel rushed if I ask you a question. You are always free to take your time to gather more information before you post back. As well, please understand that even after you rate me the post will not lock and you could always come back for further clarification if you think of something a bit later on down the road.

I am sorry to hear this.

You don't actually have a right to any of this information.

But it may be possible, if the information is needed for health related reasons, especially for you child that you could get this information by way of a Court Order.

What may make sense, is to retain a lawyer to send her a letter essentially threatening a lawsuit. You may not be able to succeed in the lawsuit and perhaps cannot even afford the legal fees to sue but that letter very well may get you want you want as your birth mother certainly will not want you dragging her into Court.

A letter will not cost much and may be all it takes.

I suggest that you at least consider having a face to face consultation with a family lawyer.

You can contact the Law Society and use their Lawyer Referral Service. You will be given the name of a lawyer and can consult with the lawyer and the first half hour will be free.

The number is:

722-2643 or toll-free at


Let me know if you need any further clarification.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.



I have thought of sending a letter but I do not have any contact information for her i.e. address. All I have is her maiden and married name (she no longer goes by either).

From a basic, human right standpoint, how is it that i have no legal rights to my own background? Is it just because the laws surrounding this is so outdated?

I find it unfathomable that this woman, 42 yrs later, still gets to make decisions that greatly impact my life and now my son's life.


Thank you,




It's because adoption severs all rights and obligations.

So the law looks at your adoptive parents as if they were your natural or birth parents essentially.

It would make sense for you to be able to get all the information that is non-identifying, at least.
Debra and other Canada Law Specialists are ready to help you
Thanks very much for the rating.

Please take the time to participate in the customer satisfaction survey as that will go into my record with the site.You will be sent an email with the survey in a couple of days.

And feel free to keep my name in case you need me again down the road. You can always put my name into the subject line the next time you post so that your question will stand out for me and I will answer it just as soon as I can.

Thanks and take good care!