Court strikes down new adoption law

from: CBC news

Last Updated: Wednesday, September 19, 2007 | 2:25 PM ET
The Canadian Press

A Superior Court judge has quashed an Ontario law allowing past adoption records to be opened.

The legislation, which was years in the making and took effect Monday, allowed birth parents and adoptees to access information about each other, but Wednesday's ruling struck down the law.

Noted civil rights lawyer Clayton Ruby launched a constitutional challenge to the Adoption Information Disclosure Act last year, arguing a form that parents and adoptees could sign saying they preferred not to be contacted was too flimsy to protect their identities.

He filed the challenge on behalf of four Ontario residents: three adoptees and one who gave up a child for adoption.

British Columbia, Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador each have similar legislation, but those provinces have a "disclosure veto," which allows birth parents and adoptees to retain their anonymity.

Ontario's information commissioner says the ruling confirms the importance of an individual's right to privacy.

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