113 people searching for family after P.E.I. opens adoption records

·2 min read
There have been about 4,000 adoptions on P.E.I. in the last 100 years, officials say.  (CBC - image credit)
There have been about 4,000 adoptions on P.E.I. in the last 100 years, officials say. (CBC - image credit)

The Prince Edward Island government says 113 people have requested information since P.E.I.'s adoption records became available in late January 2021.

The province had officially opened the records a year previous, in January 2020, but allowed a year for birth parents or children who were adopted to file a veto to prevent their information from being shared.

Fifty-five people applied for vetos to keep their information private. That veto will remain in effect for a year after their death.

Now, the province is working through the applications from people asking for the names of their birth parents, or for information on the children they put up for adoption.

We do believe over the coming year we'll certainly hear some more stories, hopefully good news stories about those reunifications. — Kelly Peck

"It was something that we felt was definitely due, in terms of people having access to information they felt they needed, especially adoptive children who have now become adults, wanting that information to know who they were, their identity," said Kelly Peck, the province's director of child protection.

"It's been a process, but I'm really glad we've made it here and people have access to that information."

Government will help search, too

Peck said information has been provided to 76 people so far, and others are in the process.

Fifty have applied to the province for help tracking down the people behind the names they were provided, in the hopes of arranging contact. The province will help search for birth parents or children and help facilitate safe reunifications, Peck said.

"We do believe over the coming year we'll certainly hear some more stories, hopefully good news stories about those reunifications," Peck said.

Peck said 42 of the requests for information so far have come from people living outside P.E.I., including 16 requests that came from outside the country.

She said in some cases the province has had to refer requests to another jurisdiction if that's where the adoption in question was finalized.

Provincial officials have estimated there have been about 4,000 adoptions on the Island in the last 100 years.

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