O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Adoption Disclosure and Register

Date: 2008


In the hopes of making contact with her brother who was given up for adoption at birth, a woman listed her personal information with the province’s Adoption Disclosure Register (ADR).

When the search turned up nothing, she suspected it had not been done properly.

Ombudsman staff discovered the birth mother’s name had in fact been spelled incorrectly in the ADR records, preventing an accurate match.

But while the ADR acknowledged the error, it still would not give out any information about the brother because the legislation on adoption records had now changed, and her request no longer fit its criteria.

The woman argued that she had made her request prior to the change and she shouldn’t be penalized for the time it took the ADR to discover its own mistake.

The Ombudsman’s Office asked that special consideration be given in this case.

The ADR agreed and located the woman’s brother, who was happy to meet his long-lost sister.