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Adoption Records

What is an adoption?

An adoption is a legal process that establishes new parent-child relationships which are recognized by law. Adoptions are handled by Adoption Services in the Department of Community Services and Seniors.

A certified copy of the Adoption Order is provided by the court, to the Director of Vital Statistics. Vital Statistics is responsible for making an 'adopted' notation on the original registration of birth and ensuring the records remain secure and confidential. If you are adopted, you can apply for a Birth Certificate based on the information (name and parentage) contained in the Adoption Order. 

How to access adoption records:

The Vital Statistics office keeps a record of all adoptions on Prince Edward Island in the Adopted Children Register. The information in the Register is confidential and cannot be disclosed unless ordered by the court or as set out in the Adoption Act. If you are inquiring about an adoption file or looking for information related to an adoption you should contact Adoption Services.  

The majority of adoptions registered in PEI are 'closed' or 'secret' and Vital Statistics cannot disclose confidential information unless authorized by the Adoption Act or the Vital Statistics Act.  

If you are conducting genealogical or historical research, access to or disclosure of information from adoption records and documents, through Vital Statistics, MAY only be released if:

  • it is apparent that all individuals to the adoption (birth parents, child, adoptive parents) have been deceased for at least 20 years, and

  • there is no reason to believe that providing the information will be harmful to other living people.

Is there post adoption service on PEI?

Adoption disclosure services are available to adult adoptees, both family members and adoption families, whose adoption was legally finalized on PEI. The service includes:

  • written non-identifying background information

  • a reciprocal search register

  • an active search service on behalf of adult adoptees for their birth parents, and birth siblings who were adopted as well.

Counselling services are available and referral services to other provinces and states will be made, if applicable. Contact Adoption Services at (902) 368-6511 for more information.


Related Links:

Adoption on PEI is governed by the Adoption Act and the Intercounty Adoption (Hague Convention) Act. These Acts detail the legal processes involved in adoption from the time a plan of adoption is made to the granting of an adoption order by a judge.

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