Adoption Disclosure Program

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Adoption Information Act - Link to NS Legislature Statute

Adoption Disclosure

Nova Scotia's Adoption Information Act establishes a balance between people's right to privacy and the opportunity for contact between adopted person and their birth families.

The Adoption Information Act creates an active registry to help people search for members of their birth family. Identifying information will be exchanged only after both parties have consented.

Adoption information on file:

The basic record for any adoption consists of legal documents and background information. In recent years there has been a general improvement in the type and amount of information recorded. In the past, records were not so complete and there may be little information available on a particular adoption.

Identifying and non-identifying information:

Identifying information is information that will likely reveal the identity of another person involved in the adoption. Under the Act, identifying information includes a person's name, birth date, residence or occupation.
Non-identifying information may include medical history, physical description, interests and level of education.

Who can obtain non-identifying information?

You can obtain non-identifying information about an adoption you were involved in if you are:
•An adopted person 19 or older
•An adopted person under 19 with the written consent of your adoptive parents
•A birth parent
•A birth sibling or birth relative 19 or older with the written consent of the birth parent (some exceptions apply)

Who can obtain identifying information?

To obtain identifying information, both you and the person you are looking for need to be 19 years or older. You may request identifying information if you are an adopted person, a birth parent, or a birth sibling with the written consent of your birth parent (some exceptions apply). Adopted persons may also request information about siblings who were placed for adoption in other families.
Under most circumstances identifying information will not be released without the consent of the person being identified.

 What if we can't locate my birth family member?

The Adoption Disclosure Services Program staff have been successful in locating more than 95% of the people being sought. If the Adoption Disclosure Services Program staff cannot locate the person you are seeking, you will be advised of the steps that were taken. If we can not locate them, identifying information cannot be released.

What happens to the Passive Adoption Register?

The Department of Community Services will continue to maintain the Passive Adoption Register. The Register contains the names of all the people who registered before the Adoption Information Act as well as those who registered after January 1, 1997.

If I am already on the Passive Registry do I have to register again?

If you want the Adoption Disclosure Unit to conduct a search, you need to apply again. Searches will be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis. Priority will be given to medical emergencies and in cases where the birth parents are over 65 years of age. If you only wish to remain on the Passive Adoption Register, there is no need to reapply.

Next steps

The first step in obtaining information is to register with the Passive Adoption Register (see How to Register, below). This will record you as someone who wants contact with another person involved in the adoption. Registering will also provide you with all non-identifying information that is available from your record.

Once you have registered, the Adoption Disclosure Services Program staff will check for a match. If both of you have registered as wanting contact, a social worker can help you to arrange contact.

The Search

If the other person has not registered, the staff will search for him or her on your behalf. The search is carried out in the strictest confidence to protect the privacy of the person you are seeking.

If the person is located, he or she will be asked if he or she consents to contact. If the person objects to contact for any reason, identifying information will not be released. He or she will be asked to provide updated non-identifying information for you.

If the person you are seeking has died, identifying information will be released.

If you do not want to be contacted

If you do not want to be contacted, you can formally register your wish by writing the Adoption Disclosure Services Program.

How to register

To register write:
Adoption Disclosure Services Program
Halifax District Office- Child Welfare
103 Garland Avenue Dartmouth, NS
B3B 0K5

Phone (902) 424-2755

Nov 30 2015 Press Release

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National Aboriginal
 Circle Against Family
nov2015 press Le Cercle National des
Autochtones Contre la
Violence Familiale

The NACAFV Calls for a Prevention Strategy for MMIW in Canada
KAHNAWAKE, Quebec (November 30, 2015)

On December 1, 2015 in Montreal, the NACAFV’s Forum will be coinciding with the 16 days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign with a special presentation: “Embrace her with Love” for the education and awareness of missing and murdered Indigenous women and children.

In addition to the recommendations from the 3 rd World Conference of Women’s Shelters held in The Hague, The Netherlands November 3-6, 2015. The NACAFV demands that the Indigenous Network’s “call for an international strategy to prevent murdered and missing Indigenous women and children worldwide” be implemented in Canada.

This year, about 100 Shelter and Transition House staff who provide frontline services to Indigenous women and children, survivors of violence will participate in the NACAFV’s Annual Training Forum. Shelters provide an essential refuge to women and children fleeing violence therefore their very existence is integral to preventing domestic homicides.

The 41 Shelters and transition houses that are funded by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) are funded at far lower levels than their counterparts within Canada. While evidence shows that Indigenous women and children experience a higher frequency of violence in Canada.

The National Aboriginal Circle Against Family Violence is an organization in special consultative status with the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council since 2015.  

Contact: Lindsey Decontie, Director   
National Aboriginal Circle against Family Violence
 2 River Road, P.O. Box 2169, Kahnawake, QC J0L 1B0   
Tel: 450-638-2968 Fax: 450-638-9415 

Family and Community Healing Program

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Through this program we work closely with our First Nation community members, elders and youth so as to collectively present information sessions on a variety of topics and issues affecting our families. Most importantly we do this while embracing our traditional teachings and methods of Mi’kmaw culture.

Through partnering with other agencies we are able to provide relevant programs to our communities. Our partners have included:

M.A.D.D. Canada
Red Cross Canada
  Walking the Prevention Circle
   10 Steps Safe Community
Mi’kmaw Healing Centres
Community Health Directors
Community Interagency

content 13Some of the Parenting Programs offered are:

  • Sacred Teaching – Aboriginal Parenting
  • First Nations Parenting
  • “Nobody’s Perfect”
  • “No More Misbehavin”
  • Fatherhood: Indigenous Men’s Journeys
  • Basic Shelf Cooking and Nutrition
  • Parental Self Care
  • Stress/Anger Management
  • Self Esteem
  • Community Parent Support Groups

 Programs specific to Youth:

  • Girl Power
  • 2BBoys

 Programs are offered at various times throughout the year and in various communities.

Check out EVENTS for the date and times of what is being offered in your community!

Family Support

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What is a Family Support Worker and how do they help families?

 Our Family Support Workers provide both emotional and practical help and advice to families who are having long or short-term difficulties. This would include support in helping children to stay with their families, if that is what's best for them in the particular situation.  If a child has been removed from the family, a Family Support Worker continues to help the family develop the skills needed to effectively parent their child so their child may be returned to them.

The work of a Family Support Worker varies depending on the particular needs of the family.

Families are referred to the Family Support program by a social worker. The Family Support Worker and family work together as they develop goals to address the family’s issues. For example, if a family needed help to improve their home management and parenting skills, the role of the family support worker may include teaching and encouraging the parent(s) to:

-- gain an understanding of the developmental needs of their child(ren) and as such develop appropriate expectations.

-- learn how to teach children through play

-- understand how to deal with behavior difficulties

-- gain control of and manage the family budget

Family Support workers often model specific skills as a way of teaching and then support the parents as they develop the same skill set for themselves.   Our Family Support Workers provide families with the parenting skills, life skills and access to community resources that will help them provide a better life for themselves and for their children. This is done through:

  • Specialized skill based Support/Guidance (through home visitation, team internal/external meetings, Family Group Conferencing), Education (workshops and presentations of interest to families, youth, and community stakeholders), and Information (lending libraries of books, videos, etc. and how to access other resources and services in the community and urban centers).

Family Support Workers are an essential component of the case management team with families open to services within the agency.

Family Support utilizes a family centered approach in which it provides families with the opportunities that strengthen family functioning, enhance new competencies, and work with families in ways that are culturally sensitive and socially relevant. (Guidelines for Family Support Practice 1996).

Mission Statement:

To develop and nurture a meaningful and culturally relevant delivery of family support to Mi’kmaw families; to empower Mi’kmaw families by recognizing the role of parents and caregivers is to raise children who become productive, responsible adults, having strong sense of worth. Recognize and respect the importance of traditional teachings, which say that children are gifts from the creator. Acknowledge that all members of the community are responsible in creating and sustaining a healthy environment for our Mi’kmaw child based on mutual trust and respect.


  • Promote children’s intellectual, social, emotional and spiritual development within the family context
  • Support family strengths and enhance their parenting skills; promote parents’ view of themselves as their child’s most important resource and teacher.
  • Encourage families to participate in and contribute to their communities.
  • Programs are flexible and continually responsive to the emerging family and community issues.

content 12A Family Support Worker’s Tools:

  • Evaluation: Every component of our work has an element of evaluation.
  • Duty to report form
  • Case Plan Forms: Our family support case plans involving our work with individual families reflect input from parents, caseworkers, and extended family and community resources. The parents assist the worker in designing the family support plan.
  • Parents need sheet: a useful tool in assisting parents in recognizing their strengths and helping them assess their skills in areas where they need help.
  • Video/viewing materials based on parent learning style
  • Home work : How parent applies skills in real life
  • Certificates of Achievement: After every module (i.e. parenting, budgeting, stress and anger management, etc.)
  • Facilitate community workshops/events with Family and Community Healing Program

 Programs used by our Family Support Workers:

  • Virtues: (Self Esteem: Exploring Your Gifts of Character)
  • A Simple Gift: Hospital for Sick Children Toronto: 3 part Video Program : Attachment , Parenting and components of father involvement
  • Beyond the Basics Parenting
  • Sacred Children Program
  • Nobody’s Perfect
  • The First Five Years: Comfort, Play and Teach Model (Invest In Kids)
  • Skills for families, Skills for life
  • SOS Parenting
  • Healthy/Unhealthy Relationships and Domestic Violence
  • “No More Misbehavin” :Simple Strategies for Everyday Challenges
  • Common Sense Parenting
  • Basic Shelf Program: Budgeting, Meal Planning, preparation and nutrition education
  • Anger management
  • Teaching Play to parents
  • FASD
  • Parenting Teens
  • A Healing Journey: A workbook for women experiencing domestic violence
  • Active Parenting Now 6 week Parenting Program
  • The Dad Difference
  • Fatherhood: Indigenous Men’s Journey
  • Little Eyes Little Ears (how violence against a mother shapes children as they grow)
  • Ages and Stages
  • Attachment Program: NCAST Baby Cues