Alberta Adoption Search (National Institute)

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The original content for this article was contributed by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies in June 2012. It is an excerpt from their course Canadian Vital Statistics Records Part 2  by by Sharon L. Murphy. The Institute offers over 200 comprehensive genealogy courses for a fee ($).

Adoption Search Service[edit | edit source]

In Alberta the Post Adoption Registry, established in 1985, houses confidential information about adoptions and is operated by the Alberta Children’s Services.

Who can apply for this service?
An adopted adult; an adopted person aged 16-18 living independently; adoptive parent/guardian on behalf a minor; birth parent; adult sibling; descendant of a deceased adopted person; adult interested person (an adult interested person is a blood relative of the adopted person or a member of the same Indian Band).

Individuals can apply to the registry for a copy of their adoption order. The Registry can also tell individuals what their birth surname was if the person does not know this. If a person was adopted between 1966 and 1985 the birth family’s surname does not appear on the Adoption Order.

A birth parent or sibling can also place their name on the registry and give permission to have their name released. Where this has occurred the registry can provide the person’s name and address.

Initiating the Search[edit | edit source]

The process for initiating the search is as follows:

  • Complete the Application for an Adoption Search.
  • The Licensed Adoption search agency will try to locate the person and will have access to the identifying information from the Post Adoption Registry.
  • If the person is located the adoptee will be contacted to confirm the agreement to meet or not to meet.
  • Arrangement to reunite can be made by the agency if wanted.
  • If there is no agreement the family member will sign a “veto”. The veto means the agency cannot reveal the person’s identity.
  • Any information that has been approved will be passed on to the party searching.
  • The confidential information received from the Post Adoption Registry will be returned to the Registry when the search is concluded.

Post Adoption Registry[edit | edit source]

The Registry can provide Non-Identifying Information.

Identifying Information would be provided once both parties have given their consent for this release or to the Licensed Adoption Search Agency to help them with their search. If a veto is already on file, you will not be able to conduct a search through a licensed search agency.

What’s the difference between the Post Adoption Registry and a licensed adoption search agency? The Post Adoption Registry makes a reunion when two or more individuals are registered with the Registry. Its services are free.

If the individual you are seeking has not registered with the Registry, you may hire a licensed adoption search agency to find that person. The agency charges for this service.

Registration[edit | edit source]

It is best to register with the Post Adoption Registry first. If the person you are seeking has also registered, the Registry can reunite you at no cost. If the person you are seeking has not registered with the Registry, then consider hiring a licensed adoption search agency.

Alberta Post Adoption Registry
11th Floor, Sterling Place 9940 - 106 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2N2
Telephone: 780-427-6387


Information in this Wiki page is excerpted from the online courses Canadian Vital Statistics Records Part 2 offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. To learn more about these courses or other courses available from the Institute, see our website. We can be contacted at

We welcome updates and additions to this Wiki page.