When I was four or five, I learned that I was adopted. A big thing for a parent to tell a child – how will that child react? This is probably the best time to talk about adoption to your to your child. Thankfully my family wasn’t afraid to hide behind this fact.

I was always encouraged to do as I wanted in terms of searching for my birth family. I always wondered, there are people out there who are related to me, what do they look like? What are they doing with themselves? What is the link between genetics and environment? What were the circumstances?

I started my search in 1993 when I turned 19. It’s taken 11 years and finally as of October 2004, I am in contact with my birth family. In this article I describe the process I went through, and the changes in law that lead me to where I am today.

Prior to April 2002, the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador had a long drawn out process of applying for non-identifying information, applying for identifying information and then eventually a parental search. At that point the process of finding my adoptive family stopped. In April 2003, the laws changed and were updated such that Vital Statistics were authorized to release original birth certificates and adoption orders – however there was a year waiting period for birth families and adoptees to file vetos. From there, Post Adoption Services were authorized to conduct sibling searches.

I’ve been through the whole process.