Researching Information on Adoption and Biological History, Biological Parents or Adopted Biological Child

Bill 113, An Act to amend the Civil Code and other legislative provisions as regards adoption and the disclosure of information, was passed on June 16, 2017. Several of the provisions introduced by this Act into the Civil Code and the Youth Protection Act will come into effect on the dates set by the government, no later than June 16, 2018. In the meantime, the current provisions will continue to apply.

For more information, see Amendments to the Legislation.

The information on this page does not replace that of the official legislation.

Individuals Adopted in Québec or Biological Parents of a Child Adopted in Québec

Adopted persons or adoptable persons who are not adopted may obtain information on their social and biological history and biological parents. They may also get help with contacting their biological parents if the latter have consented. Biological parents who have given a child up for adoption and the adoptive parents also have access to similar services. All such requests can lead to reunions.

These services are offered free of charge by integrated health and social services centres offering protection and rehabilitation services for youths in trouble of adaptation and their families. Depending on the region, these services are provided by either integrated health and social services centres (CISSS) or integrated university health and social services centres (CIUSSS).

Call the CISSS or CIUSSS adoption services in the region or territory where the adoption judgment was issued to receive more information on:

  • Your adoption and biological history
  • Your biological parents
  • Your adopted biological child

If you are an adoptable individual who has not been adopted, contact the CISSS or CIUSSS in charge of your child protection file. If in doubt, contact the CISSS or CIUSSS in your region.

Once a request is received, the CISSS or CIUSSS looks for the information in the archives and records of the healthcare institution where the child was born.

The applicant receives a summary of his or her antecedents based on the information contained in the adoption file. The information given in the summary protects the identities of the biological parents, the adopted child and the adoptive parents. This respect for the anonymity of persons is in accordance with the rules prescribed by the Civil Code of Québec and the Youth Protection Act. At this stage, applicants can receive psychosocial support if they wish or if they fear the information revealed may be upsetting.

Amendments to the Legislation

Bill 113, “An Act to amend the Civil Code and other legislative provisions as regards adoption and the disclosure of information”, was adopted on June 16, 2017. The new legislation replaces provisions in the Civil Code and the Youth Protection Act. Several of these provisions will come into effect on various dates set by the government by June 16, 2018. In the meantime, the current provisions will continue to apply.

Persons adopted in Québec prior to the law coming into effect

  • Your identity will remain protected and your personal information will remain confidential. This means, unless you consent to it, your identity cannot be revealed to your biological mother or father if they request it. If you agree that your identity and your information can be revealed to your biological parents, you must notify the appropriate authorities.
  • If the information is available, you will have the right to know your original first and last name when the law comes into effect starting June 16, 2018.
  • Twelve months after the law comes into effect, meaning June 16, 2019 at the latest, you will have the right to know the first and last names of your biological mother or father if they did not contact the appropriate authorities to indicate their refusal to have their identity disclosed.  

    In the event that your biological mother or father are dead, you will have the right to know their first and last name when the law comes into effect on June 16, 2018, if on that date, the parent has been dead for one year or longer. If, when the law comes into effect, your mother or father has not been dead for a year or longer, you must wait for a year to pass after the death to have access to information.

  • Twelve months after the law takes effect, meaning June 16, 2019 at the latest, you will be entitled to obtain information that will allow you to contact your biological mother or father. This will be possible if your biological parent has not indicated that he or she has refused to allow this information to be disclosed.

Persons adopted in Québec and their biological brothers and sisters

If you were adopted in Québec, or if you are the biological brother or sister of a person adopted in Québec, you will have the right to obtain information regarding the identity of your biological brothers and sisters, whether or not they have been adopted. You will also have the right to obtain information that will allow you to contact them.

You can do this from June 2019. However, the following 2 conditions apply:

  • Both of your brother or sister and you have both requested to know each other’s identity and to contact one another.
  • Disclosure of this information does not reveal the identity of either of your biological parents if they notified the appropriate authorities of their refusal to have their identity disclosed. This condition does not apply to biological parents who have been dead for a year or longer.

Persons who have given a child up for adoption in Québec prior to the law coming into effect

Your adopted child may know your identify starting June 2019, if he or she requests it.

However, if you want your identity to remain confidential, you can notify the appropriate authorities. You can do so by telephone starting June 2018. A telephone line will be established for that purpose. If you have already requested that your identity remains confidential, you do not need to submit a new request.

Information regarding the identity of your biological child will remain confidential. You will therefore be unable to receive information in that regard.

Individuals Adopted Abroad or Biological Parents of a Child Who Was Adopted Abroad

Persons who were adopted abroad or the parents of a child who was adopted abroad must contact the Secrétariat à l’adoption internationale This link open a new window..

To learn more

For more information on adoption and biological history, biological parents or adopted biological child, contact the CISSS or CIUSSS offering protection and rehabilitation services for youths in trouble of adaptation in your region.

Last update: July 24, 2017 11:34 AM

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