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3rd Session, 40th Legislature

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Bill 59

THE ADOPTION AMENDMENT AND VITAL STATISTICS AMENDMENT ACT (OPENING BIRTH AND ADOPTION RECORDS)


  Bilingual version (PDF) Explanatory Note

(Assented to                                         )

HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

PART 1

THE ADOPTION ACT

C.C.S.M. c. A2 amended

1           The Adoption Act is amended by this Part.

2(1)        Subsection 1(1) is amended by adding the following definitions:

"former Act" means The Adoption Act, S.M. 1997, c. 47, as it read immediately before the coming into force of this Act, and includes any predecessor Act; («  loi antérieure  »)

"openness agreement" means an agreement referred to in section 33; («  accord de communication  »)

2(2)        Subsection 1(1) is further amended in the definition "post-adoption registry" by striking out "section 108" and substituting "section 114".

3           Clause 30(4)(b) is replaced with the following:

(b) to the director;

4           Section 98 is amended as follows:

(a) by adding the following definitions:

"contact preference" means a document filed on the post-adoption registry under section 113.1, or on a registry in another jurisdiction, which describes the contact, if any, that a person wishes to have with another person respecting an adoption; («  acceptation limitée de prise de contact  »)

"pre-adoption birth registration" means the pre-adoption registration of birth document of a person who is subsequently adopted and any related pre-adoption and birth registration documents, that are maintained by

(a) the Director of Vital Statistics under clause 10(3)(a) of The Vital Statistics Act, or

(b) a person responsible for the registration of births in another jurisdiction; (« bulletin d'enregistrement de naissance antérieur à l'adoption »)

"substituted registration of birth" means the registration of birth document that under clause 10(5)(b) of The Vital Statistics Act replaces a pre-adoption birth registration; (« bulletin d'enregistrement de naissance de substitution »)

"undertaking" means a document, in a form approved by the director, signed by a person and stating that he or she agrees to abide by the terms of a contact veto or contact preference. («  engagement  »)

(b) by replacing the definitions "contact veto" and "disclosure veto" with the following:

"contact veto" means a document that was filed on the post-adoption registry under the former Act, or on a registry in another jurisdiction, stating that a person does not wish to be contacted by another person respecting an adoption; («  refus de prise de contact  »)

"disclosure veto" means a document filed

(a) on the post-adoption registry in relation to an adoption under the former Act, and includes a notation on the post-adoption registry made before March 15, 1999, or

(b) on a registry in another jurisdiction,

which prohibits the disclosure of identifying information about the person who filed the veto; («  refus de communication  »)

(c) in the definitions "identifying information" and "non-identifying information", by striking out "a birth parent, an adoptive parent or an adoptee" and substituting "a person".

5           Section 99 is amended

(a) by replacing the section heading with "Conflict with Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act"; and

(b) by striking out "The Freedom of Information Act" and substituting "The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act".

6(1)        Subsection 100(1) is replaced with the following:

Adoption proceedings closed to public

100(1)      Subject to subsection (2), court proceedings with respect to an adoption must be closed to the general public, but must be open to media representatives unless the court, on application, is satisfied that the presence of media representatives would be manifestly harmful to any person involved in the proceedings.

6(2)        Subsection 100(2) is amended in the part before clause (a) by striking out "Court proceedings with respect to an offence under Part 5 or under The Summary Convictions Act pertaining to an offence under this Act shall be" and substituting "The prosecution of an offence under Part 5 must be".

7           Subsection 102(2) is amended by striking out "or" at the end of clause (a), adding "or" at the end of clause (b) and adding the following after clause (b):

(c) the director for the purpose of carrying out responsibilities under this Act;

8(1)        Clause 104(1)(b) is amended by striking out "any court" and substituting "any court in Manitoba, to the person named in the order".

8(2))       Clause 104(2)(b) is amended by striking out "section 111" and substituting "this Part".

9           The following is added after section 105:

Restriction on disclosure of vital statistics documents

105.1       Where the director under this Act receives a copy of one of the following documents from the director under The Vital Statistics Act, the director under this Act must not further disclose the document, except in accordance with sections 107.1 to 107.5:

(a) a pre-adoption birth registration;

(b) a substituted registration of birth;

(c) a document relating to an adoption, as referred to in clause 10(3)(b) of The Vital Statistics Act.

10           Section 107 is amended in the part before clause (a) by striking out "or contact veto" and substituting ", contact veto or contact preference".

11          The following is added after section 107:

DISCLOSURE OF PRE-ADOPTION BIRTH REGISTRATIONS

Disclosure to Adult Adoptee Born in Manitoba and Adopted in Manitoba

Application by adult adoptee born and adopted in Manitoba

107.1(1)    An adult adoptee who was born in Manitoba and adopted under this Act or the former Act may apply to the director for a copy of his or her pre-adoption birth registration.

Disclosure of pre-adoption birth registration

107.1(2)    The director must give an applicant who complies with section 107.9 a copy of his or her pre-adoption birth registration unless a parent named on the pre-adoption birth registration has filed

(a) a disclosure veto; or

(b) a contact veto or contact preference.

Exception — disclosure veto filed

107.1(3)    If a parent named on the pre-adoption birth registration has filed a disclosure veto, the director must remove any identifying information respecting that parent before giving a copy of the pre-adoption birth registration to the applicant.

Exception — contact veto or preference filed

107.1(4)    If a parent named on the pre-adoption birth registration has filed a contact veto or contact preference, the director must remove any identifying information respecting that parent before giving a copy of the pre-adoption birth registration to the applicant, unless the applicant has signed an undertaking in relation to the parent who filed the contact veto or contact preference.

Disclosure to Adult Adoptee Born in Manitoba but Adopted Outside Manitoba

Application by adult adoptee born in Manitoba but adopted outside Manitoba

107.2(1)    An adult adoptee who was born in Manitoba and adopted in a jurisdiction outside Manitoba may apply to the director for a copy of his or her pre-adoption birth registration.

Disclosure of pre-adoption birth registration

107.2(2)    The director must give an applicant who complies with section 107.9 a copy of his or her pre-adoption birth registration unless the director determines, after making reasonable inquiries, that a parent named on the pre-adoption birth registration has filed

(a) a disclosure veto; or

(b) a contact veto or contact preference.

Exception — disclosure veto filed

107.2(3)    If the director determines that a parent named on the pre-adoption birth registration has filed a disclosure veto, the director must remove any identifying information respecting that parent before giving a copy of the pre-adoption birth registration to the applicant.

Exception — contact veto or preference filed

107.2(4)    If the director determines that a parent named on the pre-adoption birth registration has filed a contact veto or contact preference, the director must remove any identifying information respecting that parent before giving a copy of the pre-adoption birth registration to the applicant, unless the applicant has signed an undertaking in relation to the parent who filed the contact veto or contact preference.

Disclosure to Parent of Adult Adoptee Born in Manitoba and Adopted in Manitoba

Application by parent of adult adoptee born and adopted in Manitoba

107.3(1)    If an adult adoptee was born in Manitoba and adopted under this Act or the former Act, a parent named on the adoptee's pre-adoption birth registration may apply to the director for a copy of one or both of the following:

(a) the adoptee's pre-adoption birth registration;

(b) the substituted registration of birth.

Disclosure of birth registration documents

107.3(2)    The director must give an applicant who complies with section 107.9 a copy of the requested document unless the adult adoptee has filed

(a) a disclosure veto; or

(b) a contact veto or contact preference.

Exception — disclosure veto filed

107.3(3)    If the adult adoptee has filed a disclosure veto, the director must remove any identifying information respecting the adoptee before giving a copy of the requested document to the applicant.

Exception — contact veto or preference filed

107.3(4)    If the adult adoptee has filed a contact veto or contact preference, the director must remove any identifying information respecting the adoptee before giving a copy of the requested document to the applicant, unless the applicant has signed an undertaking in relation to the adoptee.

Identifying information of adoptive parent removed

107.3(5)    Before giving the applicant a copy of the substituted registration of birth referred to in clause (1)(b), the director must remove identifying information respecting the adoptive parents.

Disclosure to Parent of Adoptee Born in Manitoba but Adopted Outside Manitoba

Application by parent of adoptee born in Manitoba but adopted outside Manitoba

107.4(1)    If an adult adoptee was born in Manitoba and adopted under an Act of another jurisdiction, a parent named on the adoptee's pre-adoption birth registration may apply to the director for a copy of one or both of the following:

(a) the adoptee's pre-adoption birth registration;

(b) the substituted registration of birth.

Disclosure of birth registration documents

107.4(2)    The director must give an applicant who complies with section 107.9 a copy of the requested document unless the director determines, after making reasonable inquiries, that the adult adoptee has filed

(a) a disclosure veto; or

(b) a contact veto or contact preference.

Exception — disclosure veto filed

107.4(3)    If the director determines that the adult adoptee has filed a disclosure veto, the director must remove any identifying information respecting the adoptee before giving a copy of the requested document to the applicant.

Exception — contact veto or preference filed

107.4(4)    If the director determines that the adult adoptee has filed a contact veto or contact preference, the director must remove any identifying information respecting the adoptee before giving a copy of the requested document to the applicant, unless the applicant has signed an undertaking in relation to the adoptee.

Identifying information of adoptive parents removed

107.4(5)    Before giving the applicant a copy of the substituted registration of birth referred to in clause (1)(b), the director must remove identifying information respecting the adoptive parents.

Disclosure Upon Application of Adopted Aboriginal Person

Disclosure upon application by adopted aboriginal person

107.5(1)    If an aboriginal person was born in Manitoba and subsequently adopted, he or she may apply to the director, in accordance with the regulations, for the following to be given to a person, government or organization for the purpose of an application by the aboriginal person for a benefit or service that is provided to aboriginal persons:

(a) a copy of his or her pre-adoption birth registration;

(b) identifying information respecting his or her birth parents;

(c) any other identifying or non-identifying information that the director considers relevant.

Who may apply

107.5(2)    An application by an aboriginal person under subsection (1) may be made

(a) by the person, if an adult; or

(b) if the person is a child, by his or her adoptive parent or guardian.

Director must give information

107.5(3)    If the person who applies under subsection (1) complies with section 107.9, the director must give the information to the person, government or organization, in accordance with the application.

Disclosure not affected by vetoes or preference

107.5(4)    The director may give information in accordance with this section despite a disclosure veto, contact veto or contact preference having been filed under this Act, the former Act or an Act of another jurisdiction.

Restrictions on use and disclosure of information

107.5(5)    A person, government or organization that receives information from the director under this section

(a) must maintain confidentiality with respect to the information;

(b) must use the information only for the purpose for which it was given; and

(c) must not further disclose the information without the written approval of the director.

Summary of Birth Information for Adult Adoptee Not Born in Manitoba

Application by adult adoptee not born in Manitoba

107.6(1)    An adult adoptee who was not born in Manitoba but was adopted under this Act or the former Act may apply to the director for a summary of birth information, including identifying information, that is set out in the pre-adoption birth registration, if this document is in the director's records.

Disclosure of summary of birth information

107.6(2)    The director must give an applicant who complies with section 107.9 the summary of birth information referred to in subsection (1), unless a parent named on the pre-adoption birth registration has filed

(a) a disclosure veto; or

(b) a contact veto or contact preference.

Exception — disclosure veto filed

107.6(3)    If a parent named on the pre-adoption birth registration has filed a disclosure veto, the director must remove any identifying information respecting that parent before giving the summary of birth information to the applicant.

Exception — contact veto or preference filed

107.6(4)    If a parent named on the pre-adoption birth registration has filed a contact veto or contact preference, the director must remove any identifying information respecting that parent before giving the summary of birth information to the applicant, unless the applicant has signed an undertaking in relation to the parent who filed the contact veto or contact preference.

DISCLOSURE OF ADOPTION ORDERS

Disclosure of adoption order

107.7(1)    The following parties to an adoption may apply to the director for a certified copy of the adoption order:

(a) an adult adoptee who was born in Manitoba and adopted under this Act or the former Act;

(b) an adult adoptee who was not born in Manitoba but was adopted under this Act or the former Act;

(c) an adoptive parent in relation to an adoption under this Act or the former Act.

Copy of adoption order

107.7(2)    The director must give an applicant who complies with section 107.9 a certified copy of the adoption order.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Document not available

107.8       If a person is entitled under sections 107.1 to 107.7 to receive a copy of a document that is not available, but other information relating to the adoption is available, the director may give a summary of available birth and adoption information, including identifying information which the person is otherwise entitled to receive.

General requirements for information

107.9       A person who applies for a document or information under this Part, or who wishes to file a document or register on the post-adoption registry, must

(a) provide proof of his or her identity satisfactory to the director; and

(b) pay any required fee.

12          The centred heading before section 108 and sections 108 to 111 are repealed.

13          Sections 112 and 113 are replaced with the following:

Disclosure veto

112(1)      An application to the director to file a disclosure veto may be made respecting an adoption under the former Act or an Act of another jurisdiction

(a) by an adoptee who is 16 years of age or older; or

(b) by a parent named on a pre-adoption birth registration;

to prohibit the disclosure of identifying information respecting the applicant.

Filing disclosure veto

112(2)      Upon receiving an application under subsection (1), the director must file the disclosure veto on the post-adoption registry if

(a) the disclosure veto is in a form satisfactory to the director;

(b) the director is satisfied that the disclosure veto is not affected by an openness agreement; and

(c) the applicant complies with section 107.9.

Statement filed with veto

112(3)      A person who files a disclosure veto may file with it a written statement that includes any of the following:

(a) the reasons for wishing that identifying information not be disclosed;

(b) a brief summary of any available information about the medical and social history of the person and his or her family;

(c) any other relevant non-identifying information.

Non-identifying information given if veto filed

112(4)      When a person who requests information under this Part is informed that a disclosure veto has been filed, the director must give the person requesting the information any non-identifying information in any written statement filed with the disclosure veto.

Cancelling veto

112(5)      A person who files a disclosure veto may cancel the veto at any time by notifying the director in writing.

Veto terminates one year after death

112(6)      Unless cancelled under subsection (5), a disclosure veto terminates one year after the death of the person who filed the veto.

Effect of disclosure veto

112(7)      The director must not disclose any identifying information respecting the person who filed the disclosure veto, unless permitted to do so under this Part.

CONTACT VETOES FILED UNDER FORMER ACT

Contact vetoes under former Act

113(1)      A contact veto filed on the post-adoption registry under the former Act remains in effect until it is cancelled by the person who filed the veto.

Information given when veto filed

113(2)      When a person who requests information or contact with another person under this Part is informed that a contact veto was filed under the former Act, the director must

(a) give the person any written statement filed with the contact veto; and

(b) advise the person in writing of the prohibitions set out in subsection (5).

Effect of contact veto

113(3)      The director must not disclose any identifying information respecting the person who filed the contact veto, unless permitted to do so under this Part.

Cancelling veto

113(4)      A person who files a contact veto may cancel the veto at any time by notifying the director in writing.

Prohibitions

113(5)      A person who is named in a contact veto filed by another person must not

(a) knowingly contact or attempt to contact the person who filed the veto;

(b) procure another person to contact the person who filed the veto;

(c) use information obtained under this Act to intimidate or harass the person who filed the veto; or

(d) procure another person to intimidate or harass, by the use of information obtained under this Act, the person who filed the veto.

CONTACT PREFERENCES

Contact preference by adoptee or parent

113.1(1)    An application to the director to file a contact preference on the post-adoption registry may be made respecting an adoption under this Act, the former Act or an Act of another jurisdiction

(a) by an adoptee who is 16 years of age or older; or

(b) by a parent named on a pre-adoption birth registration;

to indicate the adoptee's or the parent's preferences concerning contact, if any, with the other person.

Filing contact preference

113.1(2)    Upon receiving an application under subsection (1), the director must file the contact preference on the post-adoption registry if

(a) the contact preference is in a form satisfactory to the director;

(b) the director is satisfied that the contact preference is not affected by an openness agreement; and

(c) the applicant complies with section 107.9.

Statement filed with contact preference

113.1(3)    A person who files a contact preference may file with it a written statement that includes one or more of the following:

(a) a description of the person's preferences regarding contact;

(b) an explanation for the person's preferences regarding contact;

(c) a brief summary of any available information about the medical and social history of the person and his or her family;

(d) any other relevant non-identifying information.

Information given when preference filed

113.1(4)    When a person who requests information or contact with another person under this Part is informed that a contact preference has been filed, the director must

(a) give the person any written statement filed under subsection (3); and

(b) advise the person in writing of the prohibitions set out in subsection (7).

Effect of contact preference

113.1(5)    The director must not disclose any identifying information respecting the person who filed the contact preference, except in accordance with this Part.

Cancelling contact preference

113.1(6)    A person who files a contact preference may cancel the contact preference at any time by notifying the director in writing.

Prohibitions

113.1(7)    A person who is named in a contact preference filed by another person must not

(a) knowingly contravene any term set out in the contact preference;

(b) procure another person to contravene any term set out in the contact preference;

(c) use information obtained under this Act to intimidate or harass the person who filed the contact preference; or

(d) procure another person to intimidate or harass, by the use of information obtained under this Act, the person who filed the contact preference.

14          The centred heading before section 114 and sections 114 to 119 are replaced with the following:

POST-ADOPTION REGISTRY

Post-adoption registry continued

114         The post-adoption registry is continued.

Purpose of registry

115         The purpose of the post-adoption registry is to facilitate information sharing and contact, by consent, for persons in relation to an adoption granted under this Act or the former Act.

Information on registry

116         The post-adoption registry is to be maintained by the director, who must include the following on it:

(a) information obtained from records relating to the granting of an order of adoption made under this Act or the former Act;

(b) documents filed with the director, including openness agreements, disclosure vetoes, contact vetoes, contact preferences and undertakings;

(c) information given by persons entitled to register on the post-adoption registry or by members of their families.

Disclosure of information from registry

117         All information on the post-adoption registry is confidential and access to and disclosure of information in the registry may be given only in accordance with this Act.

Who May Register to Request a Search

Request for search by adult adoptee

118         An adult adoptee may register on the post-adoption registry to request a search by the director to locate

(a) his or her birth mother;

(b) his or her birth father; and

(c) his or her adult birth siblings.

Request for search by birth parents or siblings

118.1       The following persons may register on the post-adoption registry to request a search by the director to locate an adoptee who is 18 years of age or older:

(a) the adult adoptee's birth mother;

(b) the adult adoptee's birth father;

(c) the adult adoptee's adult birth siblings.

Request for search by adoptive parent or guardian

119(1)      An adoptive parent or guardian of an adoptee under the age of 18 years may register on the post-adoption registry to request a search by the director to locate

(a) the adopted child's birth mother;

(b) the adopted child's birth father; and

(c) the adopted child's adult birth siblings.

Consent of adoptee required if 12 years or older

119(2)      An adoptive parent or guardian may not request a search under subsection (1) without the adopted child's consent if the child is 12 years of age or older.

Request for search if adoptee has died

119.1(1)    If an adoptee has died, his or her adoptive parents, adult adoptive siblings and adult children may register on the post-adoption registry to request a search by the director to locate the adoptee's birth mother, birth father and adult birth siblings.

Request for search by grandparent if birth parent has died

119.1(2)    If an adoptee's birth parent has died and the adoptee is 18 years of age or older, a parent of the deceased birth parent may register on the post-adoption registry to request a search by the director to locate the adoptee.

Proof of death

119.1(3)    A person who wishes to register on the post-adoption registry under this section to request a search must provide proof satisfactory to the director of the deceased's death.

Cancelling registration or search request

119.2       A person who registers on the post-adoption registry or requests a search by the director may cancel the registration or search request at any time by notifying the director in writing.

Limits on Search

Limits on search

119.3(1)    A person is not entitled to assistance from the director in searching for another person if the other person has filed one of the following documents on the post-adoption registry:

(a) a disclosure veto;

(b) a contact veto;

(c) a contact preference in which the other person requests to have no contact with the person.

Search of the registry

119.3(2)    In providing assistance, the director is not obligated to do more than search the information and documents on the post-adoption registry.

Search if adoptee under 18

119.3(3)    The director must not undertake a search that could result in contact between an adoptee who is under 18 years of age and his or her birth mother or birth father or an adult birth sibling without the consent of

(a)  an adoptive parent or guardian of the adoptee; and

(b) the adoptee, if he or she is 12 years of age or older.

Search Results

Director to advise of search results

119.4(1)    The director must advise a person who requests a search under sections 118 to 119.1 of the results of the search, and advise whether the person being searched for

(a) wishes to be contacted;

(b) does not wish to be contacted;

(c) cannot be contacted; or

(d) is deceased.

If persons wish to exchange information or be in contact

119.4(2)    If a person located by the director as a result of a search wishes to exchange identifying information or have contact with the person who requested the search, the located person must register on the post-adoption registry and the director may then facilitate communication between the two persons.

If contact not desired

119.4(3)    If a person located by the director as a result of a search does not wish to be contacted, the director must not disclose any identifying information about the located person to the person who requested the search. This applies whether or not the located person has filed a disclosure veto, contact veto or contact preference.

DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION TO OTHER JURISDICTIONS

Disclosure of information to other jurisdictions

119.5(1)    Pursuant to an agreement entered into under subsection (2), the director may disclose identifying and non-identifying information to an appropriate authority in another jurisdiction where it is necessary

(a) to enable the director to determine if a disclosure veto, contact veto or contact preference has been filed in that jurisdiction; or

(b) to enable the authority to determine if a disclosure veto, contact veto or contact preference has been filed under this Act or the former Act.

Information-sharing agreement

119.5(2)    The director may enter into an agreement with the government of another jurisdiction respecting the sharing of information, including personal information, for the purposes mentioned in subsection (1).

Information safeguards

119.5(3)    An agreement must provide reasonable safeguards

(a) to protect the confidentiality and security of any personal information that the director discloses; and

(b) to ensure that personal information will be used only for the purposes for which it was disclosed.

Meaning of "personal information"

119.5(4)    In this section, "personal information" means personal information as defined in The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and personal health information as defined in The Personal Health Information Act.

15          Section 123 is amended by striking out "subsection 113(6)" and substituting "subsection 113(5)".

16          The following is added after section 123:

Contravening a contact preference

123.1       A person who contravenes subsection 113.1(7) is guilty of an offence and is liable as set out in section 126.

17          Subsections 126(1) and (3) are amended by striking out "$20,000" and substituting "$50,000".

18          Clauses 127(1)(e) and (f) are replaced with the following:

(e) respecting the maintenance and security of records under this Act;

(f) respecting the post-adoption registry, including specifying the information to be provided by a person applying to register;

(f.1) respecting applications for documents or information under Part 4;

(f.2) respecting giving documents or disclosing information under Part 4;

(f.3) respecting disclosure vetoes, contact vetoes and contact preferences under Part 4;

(f.4) governing how and by whom applications for documents or information under Part 4, or the filing of documents on the post-adoption registry, may be made on behalf of persons who are incapable of applying or filing for themselves;

(f.5) respecting searches by the director under Part 4;

(f.6) respecting consents by adopted children or other persons to searches under Part 4;

(f.7) respecting agreements that the director may enter into under section 119.5;

19          Part 7 (Transitional Provisions) is repealed.

PART 2

THE VITAL STATISTICS ACT

C.C.S.M. c. V60 amended

20          The Vital Statistics Act is amended by this Part.

21          Subsection 3(10) is amended in the part before clause (a) by adding ", before the statement is registered or at any time after it has been registered," after "the director may".

22          Section 10 is replaced with the following:

Order of adoption to be sent to director

10(1)       Within 10 days after a judge of the Court of Queen's Bench makes an order of adoption under The Adoption Act, the registrar of the court must send one or more certified copies of the order to the director.

Registration of adoption orders

10(2)       The director must register the following upon receipt:

(a) a certified copy of an order of adoption made under The Adoption Act or any former Act relating to adoptions;

(b) a certified copy of an order, judgment or decree of adoption made by a court of competent jurisdiction outside Manitoba, respecting a person born in Manitoba.

Confidentiality of pre-adoption and adoption documents

10(3)       The following documents received by the director must be maintained in a confidential manner:

(a) all pre-adoption birth registrations, including any documents relating to these registrations;

(b) all associated court orders, judgments, decrees and other documents relating to adoptions.

Limited disclosure of pre-adoption and adoption documents

10(4)       The director may give a copy of a document maintained under subsection (3) only

(a) upon request, to the director under The Adoption Act for the purpose of carrying out responsibilities under that Act; or

(b) in accordance with an order of a court in Manitoba, to the person named in the order.

Substituted registration of birth for adoptee born in Manitoba

10(5)       If a person's birth and adoption are registered under this Act, the director may, upon production of satisfactory evidence of the identity of the person, together with an application for the reregistration of the birth in the approved form and payment of the prescribed fee,

(a) set aside the person's pre-adoption birth registration made under this Act; and

(b) replace the pre-adoption birth registration with a substituted registration of birth, in accordance with the facts contained in the adoption order, judgment or decree and the application for reregistration.

Cross-referencing birth registrations and adoption orders

10(6)       Whether or not an application is made for the substitution of a registration of birth under subsection (5), the director must

(a) annotate the adopted person's pre-adoption birth registration and any substituted registration of birth with a reference to the registration of the adoption;

(b) annotate the adoption order, judgement or decree registered under subsection (2) with reference to the pre-adoption birth registration of the adopted person; and

(c) in accordance with the adoption order, judgment or decree,

(i) replace the adopted person's name, if ordered, and

(ii) replace the birth parent's name and particulars with the adoptive parent's name and any particulars given in the adoption order, judgment or decree.

Adoptee born in another Canadian jurisdiction

10(7)       If the director receives an adoption order under subsection (1) respecting a person born in another province or territory of Canada, the director must give a certified copy of the order to the person responsible for the registration of births in that province or territory.

Adoptee born outside Canada

10(8)       If the director receives an adoption order under subsection (1) respecting a person born in a jurisdiction outside Canada, upon a request accompanied by the relevant particulars, the director may give a certified copy of the order to a person responsible for the registration of births in that jurisdiction.

Additional documents or information

10(9)       At the director's request, a person requesting registration of a document under this section must give any additional documentation or information in respect of the adoption, including evidence of the identity of any parties to the adoption.

Additional requirements

10(10)      The documentation or information given by a person requesting registration of a document under this section must

(a) be satisfactory to the director; and

(b) meet any prescribed requirements.

Birth certificate issued after adoption registered

10(11)      After a pre-adoption birth registration is replaced with a substituted registration of birth under subsection (5), every certificate of birth subsequently issued for the adopted person

(a) must be in accordance with the substituted registration of birth; and

(b) must not indicate anything that would disclose the adoption.

Restriction on changes to pre-adoption birth registration

10(12)      After an adoption is registered under subsection (2), the director must not at any time amend the pre-adoption birth registration, add information or particulars to it, correct errors on it, substitute a subsequent registration for it or cancel it, unless permitted to do so under subsection (6) or section 41.1.

23          The following is added after section 41:

Information that does not meet registration requirements

41.1(1)     Despite anything in this Act, the director may refuse to register a document submitted for registration under this Act — or may register the document and sever information from it — if the director

(a) is not satisfied that the document or information meets all the registration requirements under this Act and the regulations;

(b) is not satisfied as to the truth or sufficiency of any statements made in the document; or

(c) has reason to believe that the document submitted for registration or any supporting document submitted with it

(i) is false or contains any false or misleading information, or

(ii) was submitted in bad faith or for an unlawful or improper purpose.

Severing information on documents

41.1(2)     The director may sever information from a document in accordance with subsection (1), before the document is registered, or at any time after it has been registered.

24          The following is added after section 43:

Protection from liability

43.1        No action or proceeding may be brought against the director or any person acting under the authority of this Act for anything done, or omitted to be done, in good faith, in the exercise or intended exercise of a power or duty under this Act or the regulations.

PART 3

CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENTS

AND COMING INTO FORCE

Consequential amendment, S.M. 2013, c. 47, Schedule A (unproclaimed)

25          Section 118 of The Provincial Offences Act, as enacted by Schedule A to The Provincial Offences Act and Municipal By-law Enforcement Act, S.M. 2013, c. 47, that amends subsections 100(1) and (2) of The Adoption Act, is repealed.

Consequential amendment, C.C.S.M. c. F20

26          Subsection 24(5) of The Family Maintenance Act is amended by striking out "On receipt of a statement" and substituting "Subject to subsection 10(12) of The Vital Statistics Act, on receipt of a statement".

Coming into force

27          This Act comes into force on a day to be fixed by proclamation.

Explanatory Note

This Bill amends The Adoption Act and The Vital Statistics Act to create a scheme that allows for more openness with respect to adoption records and pre-adoption birth records, subject to certain privacy rights.

Currently under The Adoption Act identifying information regarding adoptions granted before March 15, 1999, cannot be released without the written consent of the parties. For an adoption granted on or after that date eligible family members may obtain identifying information about the parties once all of them are adults, unless a veto prohibiting disclosure of identifying information ("disclosure veto") is filed on the post-adoption registry. Currently under The Vital Statistics Act pre-adoption birth registrations and related adoption orders are confidential and can be disclosed only by court order.

Adoption Act Amendments

Part 1 of this Bill amends The Adoption Act. The key changes are as follows:

  • A person who was born in Manitoba, was adopted, and is now an adult may now apply to the director under The Adoption Act for a copy of his or her pre-adoption birth registration and the new registration of birth document that was substituted for it after the adoption. The parent named on the person's pre-adoption birth registration ("registered birth parent") may also apply for those documents, but the copies they get will not show information about the adoptive parents.
  • A person who was born outside Manitoba but adopted here and is now an adult may apply for his or her pre-adoption birth registration information that is available in the director's records.
  • Disclosure vetoes can be filed only by adopted persons who are 16 or older or their registered birth parents, and only if the adoption was granted in Manitoba before these amendments take effect, or outside the province.
  • Adult parties to an adoption granted in Manitoba will continue to be able to file contact vetoes until these amendments take effect. However, after these amendments take effect, adopted persons who are 16 or older and their registered birth parents will be able to file a contact preference to specify the contact with the other that they are prepared to have, if any.
  • An aboriginal person who was born in Manitoba and adopted will be able to request that his or her pre-adoption birth registration and identifying information about his or her birth parents be given to another person, or to a government or organization, for the purpose of applying for benefits or services provided to aboriginal persons. These requests are not subject to vetoes or contact preferences.
  • The director under The Adoption Act will operate as the "central desk" for the Vital Statistics Agency and the court in dealing with requests for adoption and pre-adoption birth registration records, information and Manitoba adoption orders. As well, search services offered by the director are expanded.
  • Provisions relating to adoption proceedings in the court will reflect the court's practice of adoption proceedings being closed to the public.
  • To help protect parties' privacy rights, the director will be able to disclose identifying information to an appropriate authority in another jurisdiction to determine if a veto or contact preference has been filed there. The director will also be able to enter into information-sharing agreements with other jurisdictions.
  • Fines for offences under the Act are increased from $20,000 to $50,000, in line with the fines for offences under The Child and Family Services Act.

Vital Statistics Act Amendments

Part 2 of this Bill amends The Vital Statistics Act. The key changes are as follows:

  • Section 10 of the Act, concerning adoption orders and pre-adoption birth registrations is replaced to reflect the increased transparency of these records.
  • The director under The Vital Statistics Act will be allowed to give previously sealed pre-adoption birth registrations and related adoption orders to the director under The Adoption Act so he or she can carry out responsibilities under that Act.
  • As well, the director is given the power to examine registrations or proposed registrations under the Act and to sever information from them if the truthfulness or legitimacy of the information is in doubt.

Consequential Amendments

Part 3 makes consequential amendments to two Acts.