Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

Adoption: the lifting of confidentiality will soon come into force in Quebec

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This right to know one's origins comes into effect from June 8, 2024.

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Relief for adopted Quebecers who want to know the first chapter of their lives: starting June 8, 2024, they will be able to ask the government for the identity of their biological parents, even those who previously refused to allow the information to be released. transmitted.

The anonymity of biological parents is therefore no longer guaranteed, even if they can always refuse to be contacted. p>

This is the result of the entry into force of a set of measures relating to adoption included in Bill 2, which, in June 2022, amended the Civil Code in matters of filiation, personal rights and civil status.

Bill 2 provides in particular that the right to know one's origins is enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which for Caroline Fortin, the president of the Retrouvailles Movement, represents a big step.

We have been fighting for a long time to have access to this information. It is important to know our roots, our social and medical history, recalls the coordinator, whose organization has been campaigning since 1983 to have this right recognized.

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The president of the Reunion Movement, Caroline Fortin

Unlike other Canadian provinces, Quebec was slow to open adoption archives for a long time.

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During For decades we have made the right to privacy of original parents triumph, even if it means trivializing the identity aspirations of adopted people, observes Alain Roy, full professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Montreal.

It was considered that if the child adopted by a good family wanted to know his or her original parents, it was a good idea. order of a whim, of a misplaced curiosity. We know today that people need to know the first chapter of their existence in order to build themselves.

A quote from Alain Roy, full professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Montreal.

A first step in the right to know one's origins was taken with Law 113, which came into force on June 16, 2018. It partly lifted the seal of confidentiality on the 300,000 existing files in the archives of the Quebec government, but biological parents still living could veto the disclosure of their identity.

This right of veto will therefore soon no longer apply.

Put up for adoption at the age of one year, Patrick Villeneuve welcomes this new law as very good news, which reassures those who, like him, are in search of their origins. Even though this fifty-year-old says he was very pampered by his adoptive family, he talks about how the desire to know is stronger than anything.

They were all great, five stars, nothing to say. I had everything you could want. But at some point the quest for identity is stronger than you, even if I wanted to remain in solidarity with those who gave me so much.

A quote from Patrick Villeneuve, adopted while he was still A baby.

After the death of both his parents, he took steps. He found the identity of his biological mother, and even collected details about his grandfather, a doctor in Lanaudière. It's a bit like a police investigation, he describes.

He hopes that the new law will allow him to discover the identity of his father by accessing his complete adoption file.

Having his name would already be satisfying. The appetite comes with eating, and other ideas could come to me, but for the moment, what interests me is the name and the region where it comes from, he confides. /p>

The Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS) expects to receive between 30,000 and 70,000 applications starting in June 2024.

We hope that the processing times for files will not be counted in years, because the people who are going to make requests have been waiting for a very long time, worries Caroline Fortin.

After the entry into force of Law 113, it sometimes took more than two years for a request to be processed, she recalls.

The president of the Retrouvailles Movement therefore asks the ministry to take into account the age of the applicants and to put in place the necessary resources and personnel. Even if some applicants go to find their deceased relative, they must be given the information quickly so that they can contact their family, she insists.

The MSSS ensures that it will offer the necessary support and tools to teams so that they are adequately prepared to respond to the increased volume of requests.

However, he does not want to commit to deadlines, which vary depending on the nature of each request. Searching for and locating affected people so that they can consent to the disclosure of their identity or a reunion can take time, explains Marie-Pierre Blier, media relations manager.

Patrick Villeneuve insists on the urgency, especially for people older than him. I'm still relatively young. My father must be about twenty years older than me, so potentially he could still be alive, he hopes.

< em>With information from Aimée Lemieux and Rose St-Pierre

Source : Government of Quebec

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