It takes a lot of courage to embark on an adoption search or reunion journey. Whether you’re looking for birth parents (or other family members) or a child you placed for adoption in BC, we have information and resources to help.

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Connecting with birth family or a child placed for adoption

No two searches or reunions are exactly alike. Many people have positive experiences. It can be hard to predict how you will feel, though, and how the other people involved will react. 

It’s a good idea to prepare yourself for any outcome by seeking advice from people who have gone through a search and reunion journey. Let your support network know that you’re pursuing this, so that they can be there for you too. 

Our Family Support team can help you through the ups and downs of search and reunion. We’d love to talk to you. Call 778-897-1315, or email

Search and reunion basics

Did you know that BC has open adoption records now? That wasn’t always the case. There are rules about who can access records and sometimes certain information is restricted, but it’s the best way to start your search.

In addition, social media and consumer DNA testing kits have made it much easier for people from closed adoptions to find each other.

Finding adoption records 

I was adopted in BC, or placed a child for adoption in BC.

The BC Adoption Reunion Registry (ARR) has helped thousands of people on their search and reunion journeys. To use their services, you’ll need to apply to access your birth records through the Vital Statistics Agency. You must be 19 years or older to use these services.

I was adopted outside of BC, or placed a child for adoption outside of BC.

Each province in Canada looks after their own set of adoption records in Canada. To find out information about your adoption in another province, you’ll need to find and contact the person or branch of government in charge of adoption for that province or territory. 

If you were adopted from another country, your best bet is to contact the agency that placed you as well as any lawyers or facilitators who were involved in the adoption.

Options for international reunions are improving. Many community groups online support adoptee reunions from specific countries. There are more reunion programs for adoptees from certain countries like Korea. Some countries also offer homeland tours for youth and adult adoptees who want to learn about their culture and country of origin.

Search and reunion resources

Resources from the Belonging Network

Resources from elsewhere

Search and reunion terminology

You may run into some new terms during your adoption search or reunion journey in BC. Here’s what they mean.

  • Disclosure veto: For adoptions completed prior to November 1996, birth parents and adoptees were legally promised anonymity. To reflect the laws at the time of placement, birth parents and adoptees of that era may file a disclosure veto to prevent the release of information.
  • No-contact declaration: Adult adoptees and birth parents who placed a child at any time (before or after the 1996 legislative changes) may file a no-contact declaration. This declaration permits the conditional disclosure of information. The applicant must first sign a release which legally prohibits personal contact between the parties. Birth parents may file a no-contact declaration at any time, regardless of the age of the child they placed for adoption. Adopted persons may file no-contact declarations any time after their 18th birthday.
  • Written statement: An adoptee or birth parent who files a disclosure veto or no-contact declaration has the option of filing a written statement with Vital Statistics. This written statement may include social, medical, and health information and information on why they do not want contact or disclosure of identifying information.
  • Rescinding a veto or no-contact declaration: Adoptees and birth parents who have filed a disclosure veto or no-contact declaration may cancel these at any time. If a person who files a disclosure veto never cancels it, it remains in effect until two years after their death.