Adoption Records

Societal attitudes toward adoption have changed to create greater openness and access to information. Many adopted people want to know about their biological origins and cultural heritage. Many birth parents want information about the current health and well-being of children for whom they made an adoption plan.

Often, adopted people and birth parents want to meet one another.

Who is Eligible to Access B.C. Adoption Records?

In order to access B.C. adoption records, you must be:

  • An individual who was adopted in B.C. and who is 19 years of age or older; or
  • The birth parent(s) of an individual who was both adopted in B.C. and has reached 19 years of age

What Records are Available to Eligible Applicants?

The type of adoption records available to eligible applicants varies depending on who the applicant is.

Adopted indviduals who were born and adopted in British Columbia receive:

  • a copy of the original birth registration in their birth name (including the names of any birth parents on record); and
  • a copy of the adoption order provided a disclosure veto has not been filed

Birth parents of individuals born and adopted in British Columbia receive:

  • a copy of the adopted person's original birth registration
  • a copy of the adopted person's birth registration following adoption, including any change of name consequent to the adoption (all information identifying the adoptive parents is deleted to protect their privacy); and
  • a copy of the adoption order

Adopted individuals who were not born in British Columbia but were adopted in the province receive:

  • a copy of the adoption order and any identification particulars of the adopted person

Birth parents of individuals who were not born in British Columbia but were adopted in the province receive:

  • a copy of the adoption order and any identification particulars of the adopted person following the adoption

How to Apply for an Adoption Record

Whether you are an adopted individual or the birth parent of an adopted invidual, follow these steps to apply for an adoption record.

  1. Fill out the application found on page 3 and 4 of the guide, Accessing Records from the British Columbia Vital Statistics Agency under the Adoption Act (VSA 630) (PDF, 1.44MB).
  2. Attach a photocopy of your birth certificate to your application as proof of your identification.
  3. Mail your application along with a cheque, money order or credit card payment for $50 to:

Vital Statistics Agency
PO BOX 9657 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, B.C.
V8W 9P3

Or, take your application in person to any Service BC counter.

Applications take approximately six weeks to process.

Limitations

Disclosure vetoes and no-contact declarations limit the amount of information that the Vital Statistics Agency can release to an applicant. Find out about these limitations by reading Disclosure Vetoes and No-Contact Declarations.