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Published Tuesday May 26th, 2009 at 1:24pm

Original Article

Birth parents may soon get a knock at the door from the child they gave up for adoption.

OnJune 1, Ontario's adoption laws will change to allow access to names.Right now, only non-identifying information - age of mother, hospital,circumstances, etc. - was given to people starting a search, says SonjaDeline, adoption supervisor with the Simcoe County Children's AidSociety.

The Ministry of Community and Social Services has set anew policy so adopted children who are now adults, and their birthparents, can get copies of the adoption order and birth registration.

"It'sa basic instinct to want to know who you are, and all adoptees have amissing piece to their life. It's seen as a right for people to knowtheir history. This will help them without having to rely on going tothe Adoption Disclosure Registry," said Deline.

The informationgiven to adoptees now is general. "They find out about a parent'sinterests at the time, their age when the child were born, and how longthe child stayed in foster care."

The family medical historycould also be shared - that is, if detailed paperwork was done at thetime. Deline said earlier adoption records were vague, and didn'tprovide much information.

The new law has also created a sense of nervousness, said Deline.

"We'vereceived calls from birth mothers who gave up their children 40 to 50years ago, and some have never disclosed that to their family. They'reworried the child may find them."

When those parents made thedecision to put their child up for adoption, they were promised they'dnever be found, she said. "Thirty or 40 years ago, you were ostracizedif you were an 'unwed mother'. If you gave birth to a child, you did soin secret. So now, to all of a sudden have the possibility of thatchild coming before you, it brings up a lot of questions.

Delinesaid for the next week, there are still options for birth parents andadoptive children to keep that information private. Both can apply fora disclosure veto, which blocks your name from being revealed. This isavailable only for adoptions before Sept. 1, 2008.

The secondchoice is to apply for a no-contact notice. That means your name willbe available, but the other party won't be able to call or e-mail. Ifthey do, they could face a fine up to $50,000.

The third optionis to list a contact preference. It will give the other party your nameand a phone number or e-mail address if they want to search for you.

Delinesaid some adoptive parents are concerned about the change to the law,but they don't have a say in the matter. "Some are worried; theirchildren have been through the foster system and through traumatizingsituations, and they want to protect their kids. They are worried aboutthe birth parents showing up at their doorstep."

But information on the child's adoptive name is only given once that child turns 19.

Deline said there are still a lot of people who won't want to find out the names of their relatives.

Barrie'sDonna Danyluk is not convinced that it's always a good thing for birthparents and their adopted children to reconnect. "Most times, they gavetheir child up for a reason, and going back is not always the answer,"she said.

An adoptee herself, the Barrie woman has adopted two daughters from China in the last decade.

Yearsago, she decided to track down her birth mother. "I was adopted in 1963on Mother's Day, when I was two months old," said Danyluk. "I had greatadoptive parents, and my brother was also adopted from another family."

Danylukwanted to send her mother a letter to thank her for not choosing anabortion, for giving her life, and for giving her up. She told hermother she had a good life, and was expecting a baby of her own.

"That letter was forwarded to her and that, for me, was enough."

Whilethe provincial law doesn't affect her family, as an adoptive parent,she'd be worried about that family meeting ever happening.

"You'dhave to be a very strong person to go through your child searching fortheir birth parent," she said. "You're meeting a stranger who'sconnected to you by blood."

Danyluk doesn't think the changeswill make much difference in terms of searching for a blood relative."Adoptive kids have always used whatever tools available - Facebook,You Tube; if someone really wants to find you, they'll find you."

For more information on your adoption information being released, go to or call 1-800-461-2156.