27

 


Second Session, 47th General Assembly

62 Elizabeth II, 2013

BILL 27

AN ACT RESPECTING ADOPTIONS

Received and Read the First Time...................................................................................................

Second Reading.................................................................................................................................

Committee............................................................................................................................................

Third Reading.....................................................................................................................................

Royal Assent......................................................................................................................................

HONOURABLE PAUL DAVIS

Minister of Child, Youth and Family Services

Ordered to be printed by the Honourable House of Assembly

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES

This Bill would repeal and replace the Adoption Act to modernize and clarify the law respecting adoptions. It would

·         expand the definition of relative;

·         remove the requirement that a prospective adoptive parent reside in the province for at least 6 months before a child may be placed with him or her;

·         allow persons who have a court order for permanent custody of a child and who have had custody of that child, under a temporary or permanent custody order for at least 2 years, to adopt that child in the same manner as a relative or step-parent adoption;

·         provide for adult adoptions;

·         allow the court to authorize a person to apply for adoption records where the birth parent or adopted person is not capable of applying;

·         allow for the disclosure of information to an adopted person or a birth parent where the adopted person was born in the province but adopted in another province;

·         allow the provincial director to share information with other adoption authorities where the information is necessary for the authority to perform its duties or exercise its powers;

·         allow the registrar to enter into information sharing agreements;

·         improve search services on behalf of an adopted person; and

·         establish a statutory review process for a review of the Act.

 

A BILL

AN ACT RESPECTING ADOPTIONS

Analysis


        1.   Short title

        2.   Definitions

        3.   Labrador Inuit rights

        4.   Best interests principle

              PART I
ADMINISTRATION

        5.   Provincial director

        6.   Managers

        7.   Adoption agency licence

        8.   Protection from liability

              PART II
TRANSFER OF CUSTODY OF CHILD

        9.   Transfer of custody to manager

              PART III
PLACEMENT OF CHILD FOR ADOPTION

      10.   Application of this Part

      11.   Placement of child

      12.   Child's eligibility for placement

      13.   Approval of prospective adoptive parent

      14.   Matching by provincial director

      15.   Child's history

      16.   Direct placement

      17.   Placement with relative

      18.   Child's health care

              PART IV
CONSENT TO ADOPTION OF CHILD

      19.   Consents

      20.   Birth parent under 19 years

      21.   Form of consent

      22.   Dispensing with consent

      23.   Revocation of consent

      24.   Revocation by child

      25.   Revocation of consent given outside province

      26.   Court revocation

              PART V
COURT PROCEEDINGS TO ADOPT A CHILD

      27.   Who may apply to court

      28.   Required documents

      29.   Additional information

      30.   Inquiry requested by court

      31.   Appearance in court

      32.   Court proceedings private

      33.   Confidentiality

      34.   Change of child's name

      35.   Adoption order

      36.   Duties of court

      37.   Post adoption information

              PART VI
EFFECT OF ADOPTION

      38.   Effect of adoption order

      39.   Status of adopted child

      40.   Effect on access order or agreement

      41.   Status of child adopted in another province or country

              PART VII
INTERPROVINCIAL AND INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTIONS

      42.   Approval of provincial director

      43.   Convention has force of law

      44.   Definitions

      45.   Central authority

      46.   Authority to act in the province

      47.   Authority to act in a contracting state

      48.   Conversion of adoptions

      49.   Disclosure by provincial director

              PART VIII
ADULT ADOPTIONS

      50.   Adult adoptions

              PART IX
OPENNESS

      51.   Pre-adoption openness agreement

      52.   Post adoption openness agreement

      53.   Post adoption exchange of information

              PART X
DISCLOSURE BY REGISTRAR OF VITAL STATISTICS

      54.   Disclosure to adopted person

      55.   Disclosure to birth parent

      56.   Disclosure veto and statement

      57.   No-contact declaration and statement

      58.   Disclosure to person adopted in another province

      59.   Disclosure to birth parent - out of province adoption

      60.   Compliance with Vital Statistics Act, 2009

      61.   Information sharing agreements

              PART XI
POST ADOPTION SERVICES

      62.   Search and reunion services

      63.   Release of non-identifying information

              PART XII
CONFIDENTIALITY AND DISCLOSURE

      64.   Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act does not apply

      65.   Disclosure in the interest of adopted child or person

      66.   Contact by provincial director

      67.   Provincial director’s right to information

      68.   Disclosure of information

              PART XIII
DELEGATION, POWERS AND INSPECTION

      69.   Provincial director's and manager's power to delegate

      70.   Inspections

      71.   Search with warrant

      72.   Telewarrant

              PART XIV
REGULATIONS

      73.   Ministerial regulations

      74.   Lieutenant-Governor in Council regulations

      75.   Fees and forms

      76.   Service and notice

              PART XV
ACCOUNTABILITY PROVISIONS

      77.   Statutory review

      78.   Appeals

              PART XVI
OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

      79.   Prohibitions

      80.   Advertising prohibition

      81.   Making a false statement

      82.   Liability for an offence

              PART XVII
TRANSITIONAL, REPEAL AND COMMENCEMENT

      83.   Transitional

      84.   SNL2001 cC-12.01 Amdt.

      85.   SNL2010 cC-12.2 Amdt.

      86.   SNL2005 cF-3.1 Amdt.

      87.   SNL2008 cP-7.01 Amdt.

      88.   SNL2009 cV-6.01 Amdt.

      89.   NLR 11/07 Amdt.

      90.   NLR 43/09 Amdt.

      91.   NLR 28/07 Amdt.

      92.   SNL1999 cA-2.1 Rep.

      93.   Commencement

Schedule


Be it enacted by the Lieutenant-Governor and House of Assembly in Legislative Session convened, as follows:

Short title

        1. This Act may be cited as the Adoption Act, 2013.

Definitions

        2. In this Act

             (a)  "adopted child" means a child adopted under this Act or a former Act;

             (b)  "adopted person", except in sections 56 and 57, means a person who is 19 years of age or older who was, as a child, adopted under this Act or a former Act;

             (c)  "adoption agency" means an adoption agency licensed under section 7;

             (d)  "adoptive parent" means a person who has adopted a child under this Act or a former Act;

             (e)  "child" means an unmarried person under the age of 19 years;

              (f)  "convention" means the Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption attached in the Schedule;

             (g)  "court" means the Trial Division - Family Division or the Provincial Court;

             (h)  "custody" means the rights and responsibilities of a parent in respect of a child;

              (i)  "direct placement" means the selection, before a consent to adoption is irrevocable, of a prospective adoptive parent by a birth parent or other person having custody of the child and the approval of the placement of the child by a manager;

              (j)  "disclosure veto" means a document filed under this Act, a former Act or an Act of another province which prohibits the release of birth registration or adoption order information identifying the person who filed the document;

             (k)  "former Act" as the context requires, includes the Adoption Act, the Adoption of Children Act, the Adoption of Children Act, 1964 and Part V of the Child Welfare Act, 1952;

              (l)  "judge" means a judge of the court;

            (m)  "manager" means a manager appointed under the Children and Youth Care and Protection Act;

             (n)  "minister" means the minister appointed under the Executive Council Act to administer this Act;

             (o)  "no-contact declaration" means a document filed under this Act, a former Act or an Act of another province which prohibits a person seeking access to birth registration or adoption order information from contact with the person who filed the document;

             (p)  "openness agreement" means an agreement made under section 51 or 52 to facilitate communication or to maintain personal relationships after an adoption order is granted;

             (q)  "provincial director" means the provincial director appointed under section 5;

              (r)  "registrar" means the registrar general appointed under section 3 of the Vital Statistics Act, 2009;

             (s)  "relative" means a parent, grandparent, sibling, aunt, uncle or first cousin of a birth parent or a child by birth or adoption; and

              (t)  "undertaking" means a document signed by a person seeking access to birth registration or adoption order information under this Act, a former Act or an Act of another province in which he or she agrees not to contact the person who filed the no-contact declaration while the no-contact declaration is in effect.

Labrador Inuit rights

        3. This Act and the regulations made under this Act shall be read and applied in conjunction with the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Act and, where a provision of this Act or the regulations made under this Act is inconsistent or conflicts with a provision, term or condition of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Act, the provision, term or condition of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement Act shall have precedence over the provision of this Act or a regulation made under this Act.

Best interests principle

        4. (1) The purpose of this Act is to create new and permanent family ties through adoption.

             (2)  This Act shall be interpreted and administered in accordance with the principle that the overriding consideration in a decision to be made under this Act shall be the best interests of the child.

             (3)  In determining a child's best interests all relevant factors shall be considered, including

             (a)  the child's safety, health and well-being;

             (b)  the child's physical, emotional and developmental needs;

             (c)  the quality of the relationship the child has with a birth parent or other person significant to the child and the effect of maintaining that relationship;

             (d)  the child's identity and cultural and community connections;

             (e)  the child's views and wishes regarding his or her adoption, where possible;

              (f)  the importance of stability and permanency in the context of the child's care;

             (g)  the importance to the child's development of having a positive relationship with a parent and a secure place as a member of a family; and

             (h)  the effect on the child where there is delay in the making of a decision with respect to the child.

PART I
ADMINISTRATION

Provincial director

        5. The minister shall appoint a person to be the provincial director of adoptions who shall be responsible for

             (a)  matching a child with a prospective adoptive parent;

             (b)  interprovincial adoptions;

             (c)  adoptions to which the convention applies and other intercountry adoptions;

             (d)  establishing and reviewing standards and qualifications for adoption agency licensing;

             (e)  establishing province-wide policies, programs and standards;

              (f)  evaluating and monitoring adherence to the established policies, programs and standards; and

             (g)  advising and reporting to the minister on matters with respect to this Act and the regulations.

Managers

        6. (1) A manager appointed under the Children and Youth Care and Protection Act shall exercise the powers and perform the duties that are conferred or imposed upon a manager by this Act and the regulations.

             (2)  The minister may set terms and conditions with respect to the appointment of a manager for the purposes of this Act and the regulations.

Adoption agency licence

        7. (1) A manager may issue a licence to operate an adoption agency to a person who

             (a)  submits an application in the required form;

             (b)  submits the documents and other information required under this Act and the regulations;

             (c)  submits satisfactory proof that he or she has the educational, employment and other qualifications required under this Act and the regulations;

             (d)  meets the requirements of this Act and the regulations respecting the establishment of an adoption agency; and

             (e)  pays the required fee.

             (2)  Where a corporation applies for a licence to operate an adoption agency, paragraph (1)(c) applies to the employees of the corporation.

             (3)  Where there is a change in employees in a corporation licensed under subsection (1), the corporation shall immediately notify the manager of the change and ensure that new employees meet the requirements of paragraph (1)(c).

             (4)  Where an application for a licence under subsection (1) is refused, the manager shall notify the person in writing of his or her refusal to issue the licence and provide to that person the reasons for the refusal.               

             (5)  A licence issued under this section may be issued subject to the terms and conditions that the manager may impose.

             (6)  A licence issued under this section may be renewed where it meets the requirements in subsection (1).

             (7)  An adoption agency licensed under this section shall keep as confidential all information with respect to adoptions except where it is required to be released under this Act, the regulations or another Act.

             (8)  A person shall not carry on the work of an adoption agency unless that person holds a licence issued under this section.

             (9)  A licence issued under this section is not transferable.

           (10)  Notwithstanding subsection (9), where a corporation licensed under this section transfers ownership it may transfer the licence where

             (a)  the prior approval of the manager is obtained; and

             (b)  the employees meet the requirements of paragraph (1)(c).

           (11)  Where an adoption agency does not comply with this Act or the regulations, a manager may, notwithstanding a penalty that may be imposed under section 82, revoke a licence issued to that agency under this section.

Protection from liability

        8. The provincial director, a manager, a social worker, the registrar or other person is not personally liable for anything done or omitted in good faith in the exercise or performance, or intended exercise or performance, of a power, duty or function

             (a)  conferred or imposed upon him or her by this Act or the regulations; or

             (b)  on behalf of or under the direction of a person on whom the power, duty or function is conferred or imposed by this Act or the regulations,

or for the costs in connection with an action or proceeding.

PART II
TRANSFER OF CUSTODY OF CHILD

Transfer of custody to manager

        9. (1) A birth parent or other person having custody of a child whom he or she wishes to place for adoption shall transfer the custody of that child to a manager for the purpose of the adoption.

             (2)  Where custody of a child is transferred to a manager under subsection (1), it  shall remain with that manager until an adoption order is granted or a consent to the adoption is revoked under this Act.

             (3)  Where a manager has custody of a child under subsection (1), the public trustee is the guardian of that child's estate.

             (4)  This section does not apply to

             (a)  an adoption by a relative of a child;

             (b)  a person applying to become a parent jointly with the parent of a child;

             (c)  an adoption by a person who has permanent custody of a child and has had custody of that child under a temporary or permanent court order for at least 2 years; and

             (d)  a child placed for adoption from another province or country.

PART III
PLACEMENT OF CHILD FOR ADOPTION

Application of this Part

      10. This Part does not apply to a person who

             (a)  wishes to become a parent jointly with the parent of a child; or

             (b)  has permanent custody of a child and has had custody of that child under a temporary or permanent court order for at least 2 years.

Placement of child

      11. A child may be placed for adoption with one prospective adoptive parent or 2 prospective adoptive parents jointly who are resident of the province.

Child's eligibility for placement

      12. (1) Before a child is eligible for placement for adoption, a manager or an adoption agency shall

             (a)  provide information on adoption and alternatives to adoption to the birth parent or other person having custody of the child and who is requesting the placement of that child for adoption;

             (b)  obtain as much information as possible about the medical and social history of the child's birth family and preserve the information for that child;

             (c)  ensure that the child,

                      (i)  where 5 years of age or older, has been counselled on the effect of adoption, and

                     (ii)  where 12 years of age or older, has given his or her consent to the adoption; and

             (d)  make reasonable efforts to obtain consents required under section 19.

             (2)  Where consent cannot be obtained under paragraph 12(1)(d), a manager or adoption agency shall apply to the court to dispense with consent.

             (3)  Where the documentation in subsection (1) is obtained by an adoption agency, the adoption agency shall forward the documentation to the manager.

Approval of prospective adoptive parent

      13. (1) Before a person may be approved as a prospective adoptive parent, a home assessment shall be completed.

             (2)  Where the home assessment referred to in subsection (1) is completed by an adoption agency the agency shall forward the completed home assessment to the manager.

             (3)  The manager, based on the home assessment completed under subsection (1), may approve a person to be a prospective adoptive parent.

             (4)  Where it is in the best interests of the child, a manager may revoke the approval of a prospective adoptive parent at any time before an adoption order is granted.

             (5)  Notwithstanding subsections (2) to (4), where the home assessment relates to an interprovincial or intercountry adoption

             (a)  the adoption agency shall forward the completed home assessment to the provincial director; and

             (b)  the provincial director may

                      (i)  approve a person to be a prospective adoptive parent, and

                     (ii)  where it is in the best interests of the child, revoke the approval of a prospective adoptive parent at any time before an adoption order is granted.

Matching by provincial director

      14. (1) The provincial director shall determine the manner in which           a child is matched with a prospective adoptive parent for placement in that prospective adoptive parent's home for the purpose of adoption.

             (2)  Before a prospective adoptive parent is matched with a child, the provincial director may request that a manager obtain further information from, and regarding, a prospective adoptive parent who has been approved under section 13.

             (3)  Before a prospective adoptive parent is matched with a child, the provincial director shall, where the birth parent or other person having custody of that child and requesting the placement wishes to select that child's prospective adoptive parent, provide the manager with information to share with the birth parent or other person having custody of that child.

             (4)  Information shared by the manager under subsection (3) may be, in the discretion of the manager, identifying or non-identifying information.

Child's history

      15. Before a child is placed with a prospective adoptive parent the manager shall give the prospective adoptive parent information relating to that child's social and medical history.

Direct placement

      16. (1) A birth parent or other person having custody of a child may request the placement of that child for adoption by a direct placement.

             (2)  Where a birth parent or other person having custody of a child requests a direct placement of that child, he or she shall submit a plan to a manager for approval.

             (3)  A manager may only approve a direct placement where

             (a)  the plan referred to in subsection (2) has been approved by a manager;

             (b)  the prospective adoptive parent has been approved by a manager to have that child placed with him or her; and      

             (c)  the prospective adoptive parent has received information relating to that child's social and medical history.

             (4)  Section 14 does not apply to a placement under this section.

Placement with relative

      17. (1) A birth parent or other person having custody of a child may place that child for adoption with a relative of that child.

             (2)  Sections 12 to 16 do not apply to a placement under subsection (1).

Child's health care

      18. Where a child has been placed with a prospective adoptive parent for the purpose of adoption, the prospective adoptive parent may

             (a)  authorize a health care provider to examine that child; and

             (b)  consent to routine health care for that child where, in the opinion of the health care provider, the health care should be provided.

PART IV
CONSENT TO ADOPTION OF CHILD

Consents

      19. (1) A child shall only be adopted in the province where the following persons have consented:

             (a)  the child, where the child is 12 years of age or older;

             (b)  the birth mother;

             (c)  the father; and

             (d)  where applicable, a person having custody of the child.

             (2)  For the purpose of giving consent for an adoption, a father is a person who

             (a)  has acknowledged paternity by signing the child's birth registration;

             (b)  is or was the person with custody or joint custody with the birth mother;

             (c)  has acknowledged paternity and has custody or access rights to the child by an order of the court or an agreement enforceable under Part III of the Children's Law Act or Part IV of the Family Law Act;

             (d)  has acknowledged paternity and has supported, maintained or cared for the child voluntarily or under a court order; or

             (e)  has acknowledged paternity and is named by the birth mother as the child's father.

             (3)  A birth mother's consent to the adoption of her child is only valid where her child is more than 7 days old when her consent is given.

             (4)  Notwithstanding subsection (1), where a child is in the continuous custody of a manager, the only consents required for the adoption of that child are those of the manager and of that child, where the child is 12 years of age or older.

             (5)  Notwithstanding subsection (1), where a child who has been adopted is to be adopted again, the consent of a person who became a parent at the time of the previous adoption is required instead of the person who ceased to have any parental rights and responsibilities upon the granting of the previous adoption order.

             (6)  Notwithstanding subsection (1), where a child from another province or country is to be placed for adoption in the province, the laws of that province or country shall apply with respect to the consents required.

             (7)  Where a person whose consent is required under this section is deceased, production of proof satisfactory to the court of that person's death is required.

Birth parent under 19 years

      20. A birth parent who is under 19 years of age may give a valid consent to the adoption of his or her child.

Form of consent

      21. (1) A consent to the adoption of a child in the province by a person resident in the province shall be in the required form.

             (2)  A consent to the adoption of a child in the province by a person resident outside the province shall be in the required form or in the form required by the province or country where the person resides.

Dispensing with consent

      22. (1) The court may, by order, dispense with a consent required under this Part where

             (a)  it is in the best interests of the child;

             (b)  the person whose consent is required is not capable of giving an informed consent;

             (c)  reasonable but unsuccessful efforts have been made to locate the person whose consent is required;

             (d)  the person whose consent is required

                      (i)  has abandoned the child,

                     (ii)  has not made reasonable efforts to meet his or her parental obligations to the child, or

                    (iii)  is not capable of caring for the child; or

             (e)  there are other circumstances that justify dispensing with consent.

             (2)  Notwithstanding subsection (1), the court may, by order, dispense with a required consent of a child only where that child is not capable of giving informed consent.

             (3)  Before granting an order under this section, the court may consider a recommendation made by the provincial director, a manager, a social worker, a parent or a person who has custody of the child.

             (4)  An application may be made under this section without notice to another person and may be joined with another application that may be made under this Act.

Revocation of consent

      23. (1) A person who has consented to a child's adoption may, in writing, revoke his or her consent.

             (2)  Where the consent was provided to a manager the revocation of consent shall be received by the manager not more than 21 days after the consent was given.

             (3)  As soon as possible after receiving the revocation, the manager shall make reasonable efforts to notify the prospective adoptive parent and each person who consented to the adoption.

             (4)  Where the person revoking consent had custody of the child immediately before giving consent, the child shall be returned to that person as soon as possible after the manager receives the revocation.

             (5)  Where the consent was provided to one of the following persons the revocation of consent shall be received by that person not more than 21 days after the consent was given:

             (a)  a relative of the child;

             (b)  a parent of the child; or

             (c)  a person who has permanent custody of a child and has had custody of that child under a temporary or permanent court order for at least 2 years.

Revocation by child

      24. (1) At any time before an adoption order is granted a child who consented to his or her adoption may revoke his or her consent.

             (2)  Revocation of consent under subsection (1) shall be provided to a manager or where the consent was provided to one of the following persons the revocation of consent shall be provided to that person:

             (a)  a relative of the child;

             (b)  a parent of the child; or

             (c)  a person who has permanent custody of a child and has had custody of that child under a temporary or permanent court order for at least 2 years.

Revocation of consent given outside province

      25. (1) Where consent to the adoption of a child in the province was given under the law of another province or country it may be revoked in accordance with the law of that province or country.

             (2)  Subsection (1) does not limit a child’s right under section 24 to revoke consent before an adoption order is granted.

Court revocation

      26. (1) A person may apply to the court to have his or her consent revoked where

             (a)  21 days have passed since the consent was given; and

             (b)  an adoption order has not been granted.

             (2)  A notice of an application to the court under subsection (1) shall be served on the manager who has custody of the child and each person who consented to the adoption.

             (3)  A notice is not required to be served on the manager under subsection (2) where the application to revoke consent relates to an adoption by

             (a)  a relative of a child;

             (b)  a person who wishes to become a parent jointly with the parent of a child; or

             (c)  a person who has permanent custody of a child and has had custody of that child under a temporary or permanent court order for at least 2 years.

             (4)  The court, in accordance with this section, may revoke a consent to an adoption where it is satisfied that it would be in the best interests of the child.

             (5)  Notwithstanding subsection (1), where a manager has custody of a child and the child has not been placed with a prospective adoptive parent an application to court for the revocation of a consent is not required and the approval of revocation may be given by a manager.

PART V
COURT PROCEEDINGS TO ADOPT A CHILD

Who may apply to court

      27. (1) One adult alone or 2 adults jointly may apply to the court to adopt a child under this Act.

             (2)  One adult may apply to the court to jointly become a parent with a parent of a child.

             (3)  Immediately before applying to the court to adopt a child the person shall

             (a)  be a resident of the province; and

             (b)  have had that child residing with him or her for at least 6 months.

Required documents

      28. (1) An application to the court to adopt a child shall include

             (a)  all consents required for the adoption, the orders dispensing with consent or the applications to dispense with consent;

             (b)  the child's birth registration or, where it cannot be obtained, satisfactory evidence of the facts relating to the child's birth;

             (c)  where the child was born outside Canada, proof of the child's Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status in Canada;

             (d)  information on the child's social and medical history, where available;

             (e)  where the child is 5 years of age or older, proof that he or she has been counselled on the effect of adoption;

              (f)  an approved home assessment;

             (g)  post placement reports;

             (h)  documentation from a manager certifying that the person applying to adopt is a resident of the province and

                      (i)  the child has lived with him or her for at least 6 months immediately before the date of the application and that, during that time the conditions under which the child has lived justify the making of the adoption order, or

                     (ii)  to the knowledge of the manager, the person applying to adopt is an appropriate person to adopt the child and stating the reasons why he or she may be exempted from the requirement under paragraph 27(3)(b); and

              (i)  additional information that may be required by the regulations.

             (2)  Notwithstanding paragraph (1)(h), where the application relates to an interprovincial or intercountry adoption the documentation in paragraph (1)(h) shall be certified by the provincial director.

             (3)  Notwithstanding subsection (1), paragraphs (1)(d), (f), (g) and (h) do not apply to an application made by a person where he or she

             (a)  is a relative of a child;

             (b)  wishes to become a parent jointly with the parent of a child; or

             (c)  has permanent custody of a child and has had custody of that child under a temporary or permanent court order for at least 2 years.

Additional information

      29. Where a person has applied for an adoption order the provincial director, a manager, a social worker or an adoption agency may file with the court

             (a)  information considered necessary to enable the court to determine whether the proposed adoption is in the child’s best interests; and

             (b)  a recommendation on an issue relating to the adoption.

Inquiry requested by court

      30. The court may require the provincial director, a manager, a social worker or an adoption agency to inquire into a matter respecting an application for an adoption order that the court considers necessary.

Appearance in court

      31. The provincial director, a manager or a social worker may appear in court in respect of a matter arising under this Act.

Court proceedings private

      32. An application under this Act or another Act for an order relating to a child placed for adoption, or an appeal from that order, may be heard and a decision made in the absence of the public.

Confidentiality

      33. (1) Where the identity of a birth parent or other person having custody of a child and the identity of a person applying for an adoption order are not known to each other, the court may order that their identities or information that could reveal their identities not be disclosed.

             (2)  An application for an order under this Act or a document filed in court in connection with the application may be searched only

             (a)  by order of the court; or

             (b)  with the approval of the provincial director.

Change of child's name

      34. (1) The court may change a child's given names or family name where

             (a)  the person applying to adopt a child requests a change of name; and

             (b)  the requirements in subsection (2) are met.

             (2)  Where the child to whom the application under subsection (1) relates is 5 years of age or older, his or her views shall be considered and, where the child is 12 years of age or older, his or her consent shall be obtained.

             (3)  A child’s consent under subsection (2) is not required where the court has dispensed with the child’s consent to the adoption.

Adoption order

      35. (1) The court may make an adoption order where the requirements in section 27 are met and based on the information and evidence provided under sections 28 to 31 the court is satisfied that it is in the child's best interests to be adopted by the person applying for the adoption order.

             (2)  Where there is a requirement under this Act that the child reside with the person applying to adopt for at least 6 months, the court may increase or decrease that time period or dispense with that requirement.

Duties of court

      36. (1) Where an adoption order is granted, the court shall send a certified copy of the order to

             (a)  the registrar; and

             (b)  the manager.

             (2)  Notwithstanding subsection (1), where the adoption order referred to in subsection (1) relates to an interprovincial or intercountry adoption, the court shall send

             (a)  2 certified copies of the order to the registrar; and

             (b)  one certified copy of the order to the provincial director.

             (3)  Paragraphs (1)(b) and (2)(b) do not apply to an adoption order where the person who is applying

             (a)  is a relative of a child;

             (b)  wishes to become a parent jointly with the parent of a child; or

             (c)  has permanent custody of a child and has had custody of that child under a temporary or permanent court order for at least 2 years.

             (4)  The court shall provide in a schedule to the adoption order information relating to the adoption and direct the registrar to record the information in compliance with the requirements of the Vital Statistics Act, 2009.

Post adoption information

      37. (1) The adoption order, application, documents filed and record of proceedings in relation to an application for adoption shall be kept by the court in a sealed packet and documents in the possession of or under the control of the provincial director relating to the adopted child shall be kept by the provincial director in a sealed packet and neither packet shall be opened except by an order of the court or upon the direction of the provincial director.

             (2)  A person is not entitled to obtain information in respect of an adoption or have a sealed packet referred to in subsection (1) searched or obtain information from it except as provided for in this Act or the regulations.

PART VI
EFFECT OF ADOPTION

Effect of adoption order

      38. (1) Where an adoption order is granted,

             (a)  the child becomes the child of the adoptive parent;

             (b)  the adoptive parent becomes the parent of the child;

             (c)  a birth parent ceases to have parental rights and obligations in respect of that child, except a birth parent who remains as a parent jointly with the adoptive parent;

             (d)  a person having custody of the child ceases to have that custody; and

             (e)  a person whose consent is required under section 19 ceases to have a right or obligation with respect to that child.

             (2)  Where a child is subsequently adopted,

             (a)  the child becomes the child of the subsequent adoptive parent;

             (b)  the subsequent adoptive parent becomes the parent of the child;

             (c)  an adoptive parent immediately before the subsequent adoptive parent ceases to have parental rights and responsibilities with respect to that child except an adoptive parent who remains as a parent jointly with the subsequent adoptive parent; and

             (d)  a person having custody of the child ceases to have that custody.

             (3)  An adoption order does not affect an interest in property or a right of the adopted child that vested in that child before the date of the adoption order.

Status of adopted child

      39. The status of an adopted child is as set out in Part I of the Children’s Law Act.

Effect on access order or agreement

      40. (1) Where an adoption order is granted, an order or an agreement that is enforceable under Part III of the Children’s Law Act or Part IV of the Family Law Act for access to the adopted child ceases unless the court orders otherwise under subsection (2).

             (2)  Where it is in the child’s best interests the court may continue or vary an access order or an access provision of an agreement that is enforceable under Part III of the Children’s Law Act or Part IV of the Family Law Act.

Status of person adopted in another province or country

      41. Where a person was adopted under the laws of another province or country, the person and his or her adoptive parent have the same status, rights and duties as if the adoption had been in accordance with this Act.

PART VII
INTERPROVINCIAL AND INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTIONS

Approval of provincial director

      42. (1) Before a child who is not a resident of the province is brought into the province for adoption, the provincial director shall approve the selection of a person with whom the child being adopted is to be placed.

             (2)  Section 11, paragraphs 12(1)(b), (c), and (d), subsection 12(2) and sections 13, 15 and 18 apply to interprovincial and intercountry adoptions.

             (3)  Upon receiving confirmation from the province or country in which the child is resident that the child is available for adoption and that there has been compliance with the laws of that province or country the provincial director may approve the placement of that child with the prospective adoptive parent.

             (4)  This section does not apply to a child who is brought into the province for adoption by

             (a)  a relative of a child;

             (b)  a person who wishes to become a parent jointly with the parent of a child; or

             (c)  a person who has permanent custody of a child and has had custody of that child under a temporary or permanent court order for at least 2 years.

Convention has force of law

      43. (1) The provisions of the Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption have the force of law in the province.

             (2)  This Act and the regulations and other laws of the province apply to an adoption to which the convention applies.

             (3)  Notwithstanding subsection (2), in respect of an adoption to which the convention applies, where this Act or the regulations or another law of the province conflicts with the convention, the convention prevails.

Definitions

      44. Words and expressions used in sections 45 to 49 have the same meaning as in the convention.

Central authority

      45. The provincial director is the Central Authority for the province for the purpose of the convention.

Authority to act in the province

      46. Where authorized by the provincial director, a body accredited in a contracting state may act in the province.

Authority to act in a contracting state

      47. The provincial director may authorize an adoption agency licensed under this Act to act in a contracting state.

Conversion of adoptions

      48. (1) Upon application by a person resident in the province, the court may make an order converting an adoption referred to in Article 27 of the convention to an adoption under this Act.

             (2)  An application for an order under subsection (1) shall be accompanied by proof that the consents required under Article 27 of the convention have been given.

Disclosure by provincial director

      49. The provincial director may, in accordance with this Act or the regulations, disclose to a person who is 19 years of age or older who, as a child, was adopted in accordance with the convention, information in the provincial director's records concerning the person's origin.

PART VIII
ADULT ADOPTIONS

Adult adoptions

      50. (1) One adult alone or 2 adults jointly who are resident of the province may apply to the court to adopt another adult under this Act.

             (2)  An adult may only be adopted in the province where he or she is a Canadian citizen or has the status of a permanent resident of Canada.

             (3)  The only consent required for an adult adoption is the consent of the adult being adopted.

             (4)  Notwithstanding subsection (3), the court may dispense with the consent of the adult being adopted where he or she is not capable of giving informed consent.

             (5)  At any time before an adoption order is granted an adult who consented to his or her adoption may revoke his or her consent.

             (6)  Where the court is satisfied with the reason for the adoption the court may grant an adoption order.

             (7)  Where an adoption order is granted under this Part, the court shall send a certified copy of the order to the registrar.

             (8)  The court shall provide in a schedule to the adoption order information relating to the adoption and direct the registrar to record the information in compliance with the requirements of the Vital Statistics Act, 2009.

             (9)  An adult adopted under this Part has the same rights, benefits and status as a child adopted under this Act.

PART IX
OPENNESS

Pre-adoption openness agreement

      51. (1) Before an adoption order is granted, an openness agreement may be entered into between a prospective adoptive parent of a child and one or more of the following:

             (a)  a birth parent of that child;

             (b)  a relative of that child;

             (c)  a person significant to that child; and

             (d)  a prospective adoptive parent or adoptive parent of a birth sibling of that child.

             (2)  An openness agreement may be entered into only after the consent to the adoption is given by the birth parent or other person having custody of the child.

             (3)  Where a child is 12 years of age or older, his or her consent to an agreement made under this section is required.

Post adoption openness agreement

      52. (1) After an adoption order is granted, an adoptive parent of a child and one or more persons referred to in paragraphs 51(1)(a), (b) and (c) may register with the provincial director to indicate his or her interest in entering into an openness agreement.

             (2)  The provincial director may assist the adoptive parent and one or more persons who have registered under subsection (1) in reaching an openness agreement.

             (3)  Where a child is 12 years of age or older, his or her consent to an agreement made under this section is required.

Post adoption exchange of information

      53. (1) After an adoption order is granted, an adoptive parent of a child and one or more persons referred to in paragraphs 51(1)(a), (b) and (c) may register with the provincial director to indicate his or her interest in exchanging information.

             (2)  After an adoption order is granted, an adopted person and an adult relative of that adopted person may register with the provincial director to indicate his or her interest in exchanging information.

             (3)  The provincial director may facilitate the exchange of non-identifying information between the persons registered under subsection (1) or (2).

             (4)  Where the persons registered under subsection (1) or (2) wish to exchange identifying information, the provincial director may disclose to a person the identifying information provided by the other.

PART X
DISCLOSURE BY REGISTRAR OF VITAL STATISTICS

Disclosure to adopted person

      54. (1) An adopted person may apply to the registrar for a copy of the following:

             (a)  his or her original birth registration; and

             (b)  the adoption order.

             (2)  Where an adopted person applying under subsection (1) complies with section 60, the registrar shall give him or her a copy of the requested documents unless

             (a)  a disclosure veto has been filed under section 56; or

             (b)  a no-contact declaration has been filed under section 57 and the person applying has not signed an undertaking.

             (3)  Notwithstanding subsection (2), where a disclosure veto or no-contact declaration has been filed by only one of the birth parents, the registrar shall provide the adopted person with the documents referred to in subsection (1), but shall first remove the information respecting the person who has filed a disclosure veto or no-contact declaration.

             (4)  Where an adopted person is not capable of applying for the documents referred to in subsection (1), the court may, by order, authorize a person to apply for the documents on behalf of the adopted person.

Disclosure to birth parent

      55. (1) A birth parent named on an adopted person's original birth registration may, with respect to that adopted person, apply to the registrar for a copy of one or more of the following:

             (a)  the original birth registration with a notation of the adoption and changes of name consequent to the adoption;

             (b)  the birth registration that was substituted for the adopted person's original birth registration; and

             (c)  the adoption order.

             (2)  The registrar shall remove identifying information of an adoptive parent from the documents given to a birth parent under this section.

             (3)  Where a birth parent applying under subsection (1) complies with section 60, the registrar shall give to him or her a copy of the requested documents unless

             (a)  a disclosure veto has been filed under section 56; or

             (b)  a no-contact declaration has been filed under section 57 and the person applying has not signed an undertaking.

             (4)  Where a birth parent is not capable of applying for the documents referred to in subsection (1) the court may, by order, authorize a person to apply for the documents on behalf of the birth parent.

Disclosure veto and statement

      56. (1) In this section and section 57, "adopted person" means a person who is 18 years of age or older who, as a child, was adopted under an Act of the province that was in force before April 30, 2003.

             (2)  The following persons may apply to the registrar to file a disclosure veto:

             (a)  an adopted person; and

             (b)  a birth parent named on the original birth registration of an adopted person.

             (3)  Where a person applying under subsection (2) complies with paragraph 60(a), the registrar shall file the disclosure veto submitted by that person.

             (4)  A person who files a disclosure veto under this section may file with it a written statement that includes the information he or she wishes to disclose.

             (5)  Where a person applying for information is informed that a disclosure veto has been filed, the registrar shall give to him or her the written statement filed under subsection (4).

             (6)  A person who has filed a disclosure veto may, in writing, request that the registrar cancel the veto and the registrar shall carry out that request.

             (7)  Unless cancelled under subsection (6), a disclosure veto continues in effect until one year after the death of the person who filed the veto.

             (8)  While a disclosure veto is in effect, the registrar shall not disclose information that is applied for under section 54 or 55 that relates to the person who filed the veto.                     

No-contact declaration and statement

      57. (1) A birth parent named on the original birth registration of an adopted person and who wishes not to be contacted by the person named as his or her child in the registration may apply, in writing, to the registrar to file a no-contact declaration.

             (2)  An adopted person who wishes not to be contacted by a birth parent named on his or her original birth registration may apply, in writing, to the registrar to file a no-contact declaration.

             (3)  Where a person applying under subsection (1) or (2) complies with paragraph 60(a), the registrar shall file the no-contact declaration.

             (4)  The registrar shall not give a person to whom a no-contact declaration applies a copy of a birth registration or other document naming the person who filed that declaration unless the person applying has, in the required form, signed an undertaking respecting that registration or document.

             (5)  A person who is named in a no-contact declaration filed under this section and has signed an undertaking under subsection (4) shall not

             (a)  knowingly contact or attempt to contact the person who filed the declaration;

             (b)  procure another person to contact or attempt to contact the person who filed the declaration;

             (c)  use information obtained under this Act or the regulations to intimidate or harass the person who filed the declaration; or

             (d)  procure another person to intimidate or harass, by the use of information obtained under this Act or the regulations, the person who filed the declaration.

             (6)  A person who files a no-contact declaration under this section may file with it a written statement that includes the information he or she wishes to disclose.

             (7)  Where a person to whom a no-contact declaration relates is given a copy of a birth registration under section 54 or 55, the registrar shall give to him or her the written statement filed under subsection (6).

             (8)  A person who has filed a no-contact declaration may request, in writing, that the registrar cancel the no-contact declaration and the registrar shall carry out that request.

Disclosure to person adopted in another province

      58. (1) An adult who was born in the province but as a child was adopted in another province may apply to the registrar for a copy of his or her original birth registration.

             (2)  The registrar may give a person who applies under subsection (1) a copy of his or her original birth registration where

             (a)  he or she provides a copy of his or her adoption order issued by the authority responsible for adoption records in the province where he or she was adopted;

             (b)  he or she complies with section 60;

             (c)  a disclosure veto has not been filed under an Act in the province where he or she was adopted; and

             (d)  either a no-contact declaration has not been filed under an Act in the province where he or she was adopted or a no-contact declaration has been filed in that province and the person applying has signed an undertaking.

             (3)  Notwithstanding subsection (2), where a disclosure veto or no-contact declaration has been filed by only one of the birth parents, the registrar may provide the person applying under subsection (1) with a copy of his or her original birth registration but shall first remove the information respecting the person who has filed a disclosure veto or no-contact declaration.

Disclosure to birth parent - out of province adoption

      59. (1) A birth parent named on an original birth registration of an adult who was born in the province but as a child was adopted in another province may, with respect to that adult, apply to the registrar for a copy of one or more of the following:

             (a)  the original birth registration with a notation of the adoption and changes of name consequent to the adoption;

             (b)  the birth registration that was substituted for the adult's original birth registration; and

             (c)  the adoption order.

             (2)  The registrar may give a birth parent applying under subsection (1) a copy of the requested documents where

             (a)  the registrar receives written confirmation that

                      (i)  a disclosure veto or no-contact declaration has not been filed under an Act in the province where the adult was adopted, or

                     (ii)  a no-contact declaration has been filed under an Act in the province where the adult was adopted and the birth parent has signed an undertaking;

             (b)  the registrar receives written consent to release the information in paragraph (a) to the birth parent; and

             (c)  the birth parent complies with section 60.

             (3)  The written confirmation and consent referred to in subsection (2) may only be accepted by the registrar where it is provided by a senior official from the authority responsible for adoption records in the province where the adult was adopted.

             (4)  The registrar may release identifying and non-identifying information to the authority responsible for adoption records in another province where it is necessary to determine if a disclosure veto or no-contact declaration has been filed in that province.

             (5)  The registrar shall remove identifying information of an adoptive parent from the documents given to a birth parent under this section.

Compliance with Vital Statistics Act, 2009

      60. A person who applies to the registrar under this Part shall

             (a)  supply proof of identity that the registrar may require; and

             (b)  where the application is for a copy of information, pay the required fee.

Information sharing agreements

      61. (1) The registrar may enter into agreements respecting the sharing of information, including personal information, obtained under the authority of this Act or the regulations.

             (2)  In this section, "personal information" means personal information as defined in the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

PART XI
POST ADOPTION SERVICES

Search and reunion services

      62. (1) An adult who has obtained a copy of documents under section 54 or 55 may apply to the provincial director for assistance in locating

             (a)  where he or she is an adopted person, his or her

                      (i)  birth parent,

                     (ii)  birth grandparent,

                    (iii)  adult birth or adopted sibling, and

                    (iv)  other adult birth or adopted relatives; or

             (b)  where he or she is a birth parent, his or her adult adopted child.

             (2)  A person who signed a consent to an adoption or a person who was named by the mother as the father of the adopted person and who has acknowledged paternity of the adopted person may apply to the provincial director for assistance in locating that adopted person.

             (3)  An adopted person may apply to the provincial director for assistance in locating

             (a)  a person who signed a consent to an adoption or a person who was named by the mother as the father of an adopted person and who has acknowledged paternity of the adopted person; and

             (b)  an adopted sibling.

             (4)  After the death of an adopted person an adult son or daughter or adult grandchild of the deceased may apply to the provincial director for assistance in locating

             (a)  a birth parent of the deceased;

             (b)  a birth grandparent of the deceased;

             (c)  an adult birth or adopted sibling of the deceased; and

             (d)  other adult birth or adopted relatives of the deceased.

             (5)  An adult birth sibling of an adopted person may apply to the provincial director for assistance in locating the adopted person where

             (a)  the birth parent of both the sibling and the adopted person is deceased; or

             (b)  where the sibling and the adopted person share 2 birth parents, both parents are deceased.

             (6)  A person applying under subsection (4) or (5) shall provide to the provincial director a copy of the deceased's death certificate.

             (7)  A person is not entitled to assistance under this section in locating a person who has filed a disclosure veto or a no-contact declaration under section 56 or 57.

             (8)  The provincial director shall advise a person applying under this section that the person whom he or she requested assistance in locating

             (a)  wishes to be contacted;

             (b)  does not wish to be contacted;

             (c)  cannot be contacted; or

             (d)  is deceased.

             (9)  Where a person located by the provincial director wishes to be contacted by a person applying under this section, the provincial director may assist them to meet or communicate.

           (10)  Where a person located by the provincial director does not wish to be contacted by a person applying under this section, the provincial director shall not disclose identifying information regarding the person.          

Release of non-identifying information

      63. Upon a request of an adopted person or birth parent registered under section 53, the provincial director may release to him or her non-identifying information with respect to the adoption.

PART XII
CONFIDENTIALITY AND DISCLOSURE

Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act does not apply

      64. Notwithstanding the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Privacy Act (Canada), the use of, disclosure of and access to information in records pertaining to adoptions, regardless of where the information or records are located, shall be governed by this Act.

Disclosure in the interest of adopted child or person

      65. (1) The provincial director may disclose identifying or non-identifying information to a person where the disclosure is necessary for

             (a) the health or safety of an adopted child or adopted person; or

             (b)  the purpose of allowing an adopted child or adopted person to receive a benefit.

             (2)  Where identifying information is disclosed under subsection (1), the provincial director shall, where possible, notify the person being identified.

Contact by provincial director

      66. In circumstances affecting a person's health or safety, the provincial director may contact the following persons to provide to or obtain from them necessary identifying or non-identifying information:

             (a)  a birth parent;

             (b)  where a birth parent cannot be contacted, a relative of a birth parent;

             (c)  an adopted person; and

             (d)  an adoptive parent.

Provincial director’s right to information

      67. (1) The provincial director has the right to information that is in the possession of or under the control of a public body as defined in the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act that is necessary to enable the provincial director to perform the duties or to exercise the powers and functions given under this Act or the regulations.

             (2)  A public body referred to in subsection (1) that has possession or control of information to which the provincial director is entitled under subsection (1) shall, upon request, disclose that information to the provincial director.

             (3)  This section applies notwithstanding another Act.

Disclosure of information

      68. (1) The provincial director may disclose information to an adoption agency, including information obtained by him or her under section 67, where the disclosure is necessary to enable the agency to perform the duties or to exercise the powers and functions given to the agency under this Act or the regulations.

             (2)  The provincial director may disclose information to an authority responsible for adoptions or adoption records in another province, including information obtained by him or her under section 67, where the disclosure is necessary to enable the authority to perform the duties or to exercise the powers and functions given to the authority under an Act or regulations of that province.

             (3)  An adoption agency or authority shall not use or disclose information provided under subsection (1) or (2) except for the purpose for which it was provided.

PART XIII
DELEGATION, POWERS AND INSPECTION

Provincial director's and manager's power to delegate

      69. (1) The provincial director may delegate to a person or class of persons a power, duty or function given to the provincial director under this Act or the regulations.

             (2)  A manager may delegate to a person or a class of persons a power, duty or function given to a manager under this Act or the regulations.

             (3)  The delegation of the powers, duties or functions of the provincial director or a manager shall be in writing and may include terms and conditions that the provincial director or a manager considers appropriate.

Inspections

      70. (1) The provincial director or a manager may, at all reasonable times, for a purpose related to the administration or enforcement of this Act or the regulations, inspect or examine premises, processes, books and records of an adoption agency that the provincial director or a manager may consider relevant for the purpose of determining compliance with this Act or the regulations, and the provincial director or a manager may, without a warrant,

             (a)  enter

                      (i)  an adoption agency,

                     (ii)  a premises where anything is done or is suspected by the provincial director or the manager of being done in connection with a requirement of this Act or the regulations, or

                    (iii)  a premises where property, books or records relating to an adoption agency are or may be kept;

             (b)  make copies, extracts, photographs or videos the provincial director or the manager considers necessary;

             (c)  require the owner or person in charge of an adoption agency or premises to

                      (i)  give the provincial director or the manager all reasonable assistance, including the production of books and records as requested by the provincial director or the manager, and to answer all questions relating to the administration or enforcement of this Act or the regulations and, for that purpose, require the owner or person in charge to attend at an adoption agency or premises with the provincial director or the manager, and

                     (ii)  make available the means to generate and manipulate books and records that are in machine readable or electronic form and any other means or information necessary for the provincial director or the manager to assess the books and records;

             (d)  interview staff of an adoption agency to determine if the agency is complying with this Act and the regulations; and

             (e)  inquire into all matters relating to the adoption agency, its employees and former employees.

             (2)  Notwithstanding subsection (1), the provincial director or a manager shall not enter a dwelling-house without the consent of the occupant except under the authority of a warrant issued under section 71 or 72.

Search with warrant

      71. (1) Where the provincial director or a manager believes on reasonable grounds that there has been a contravention of this Act or the regulations, the provincial director or a manager may file an application with the Provincial Court for a warrant.

             (2)  Where a Provincial Court judge is satisfied upon oath or affirmation that there are reasonable grounds to believe there is in an adoption agency or premises anything that may provide evidence with respect to a suspected offence under this Act or the regulations, the judge may issue a warrant authorizing the provincial director or a manager to

             (a)  enter the adoption agency or premises and carry out an inspection under this Act; and

             (b)  seize or remove books or records that may be required as evidence of a contravention and retain those documents until the time they are required in a court proceeding.

             (3)  The owner or person in charge of an adoption agency or premises shall not obstruct the provincial director or a manager while he or she is exercising the powers and performing the duties as authorized by the warrant.

Telewarrant

      72. (1) Where, in the opinion of the provincial director or a manager it would not be practical to appear in person before a Provincial Court judge to apply for a warrant, the provincial director or a manager may make the application by telephone, facsimile or other means of telecommunication.

             (2)  Where an application for a warrant is submitted by telephone, facsimile or other means of telecommunication, the information to support the application shall be given under oath or affirmation, and the oath or affirmation may be administered by telephone, facsimile or other means of telecommunication.

             (3)  The sworn or affirmed information submitted by telephone, facsimile or other means of telecommunication shall include a statement of the

             (a)  circumstances that make it impractical for the provincial director or a manager to appear personally before a Provincial Court judge; and

             (b)  the grounds relied upon by the provincial director or a manager for believing that a person has contravened this Act or the regulations or that entry onto public or private premises where a contravention of this Act or the regulations is believed to occur has been denied.

             (4)  The sworn or affirmed information submitted by telephone, facsimile or other means of telecommunication by the provincial director or a manager shall specify the name of the person giving evidence, the facts and the manner and location in which evidence was received, and a record of that information shall be filed by the Provincial Court judge with the court over which the judge presides.

             (5)  Where the provincial director or a manager acts under the authority of a warrant obtained under this section, the provincial director or a manager shall provide a facsimile of the warrant to the owner or employee of the adoption agency or premises at the time the warrant is carried out.

             (6)  In subsection (5), "facsimile" includes a record produced by electronic means or a written record of a telephone conversation made by both parties to the conversation while it is in progress and which the parties have confirmed as to its accuracy by reading their record of the conversation to one another at the end of the conversation.

PART XIV
REGULATIONS

Ministerial regulations

      73. The minister may make regulations

             (a)  respecting residency in the province for the purpose of this Act or a part or section of this Act;

             (b)  respecting the placement of children for adoption;

             (c)  respecting the efforts to be made by a manager or an adoption agency to notify a birth parent or other person having custody of a child as to the placement of the child for adoption;

             (d)  respecting adoption consents;

             (e)  respecting home assessments, post placement reports and other required reports;

              (f)  prescribing additional information to be filed with the court before an adoption order is granted;

             (g)  respecting the disclosure of information concerning the origin of a person adopted in accordance with the convention;

             (h)  designating the competent authorities for the purpose of the convention;

              (i)  respecting disclosure vetoes and no-contact declarations;

              (j)  respecting adult adoptions;

             (k)  respecting the search for and disclosure of information required and obtained under this Act;

              (l)  respecting agreements that the provincial director and managers may enter into for the purpose of this Act and prescribing some or all of the contents of those agreements;

            (m)  respecting the powers, duties and functions of adoption agencies;

             (n)  respecting the delegation of a power, duty or function of the provincial director and managers under this Act to adoption agencies;

             (o)  respecting the licensing of adoption agencies;

             (p)  respecting the suspension, revocation and reinstatement of licences;

             (q)  respecting educational and other requirements for employees of adoption agencies;

              (r)  respecting the information, documents and reports adoption agencies are required to submit to the provincial director or a manager, the frequency of the submissions and the assessment of the information, documents and reports by the provincial director or a manager;

             (s)  respecting the disclosure of information by adoption agencies to the provincial director and managers;

              (t)  respecting the surrender of records, accounts or other documents and information by adoption agencies and former adoption agencies to the provincial director and managers;

             (u)  respecting any other matter necessary for the proper operation, management, administration and accountability of adoption agencies;

             (v)  respecting the registration of information under this Act, the length of time that a registration shall stay in force and its cancellation or removal;

            (w)  respecting who may access information provided by a person who has registered that information under this Act and respecting the confidentiality, security, disposal and disclosure of the information;

             (x)  respecting openness and openness agreements;

             (y)  respecting post adoption information disclosure;

             (z)  for the purpose of paragraph 79(5)(d);

           (aa)  respecting promotional material, advertising restrictions and exemptions from advertising restrictions under this Act; and

          (bb)  generally to give effect to this Act.

Lieutenant-Governor in Council regulations

      74. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations respecting the services for which an adoption agency may charge fees.

Fees and forms

      75.  The minister may set fees and establish forms for the purpose and administration of this Act and the regulations.         

Service and notice

      76. Where, under this Act or the regulations, service upon or notice to a person is required, that service or notification shall be made in person or by registered mail at the last known address of the person and where that person is a corporation, that service or notification shall be made in the same manner upon a director or chief executive officer of the corporation.

PART XV
ACCOUNTABILITY PROVISIONS

Statutory review

      77. (1) The minister shall, every 5 years, conduct a review of this Act and the regulations and consider the areas which may be improved.

             (2)  A review conducted under subsection (1) shall include public consultations.

Appeals

      78. An appeal lies from a decision of a judge under this Act to

             (a)  the Trial Division - General Division where the order, decision or judgment under appeal was made by a Provincial Court judge; or

             (b)  the Court of Appeal where the order, decision or judgment under appeal was made by a judge of the Trial Division - Family Division.

PART XVI
OFFENCES AND PENALTIES

Prohibitions

      79. (1) A person shall not place or arrange the placement of a child for the purpose of adoption except in accordance with this Act and the regulations.

             (2)  A person shall not receive a child into his or her home for the purpose of adoption except in accordance with this Act and the regulations.

             (3)  A person shall not receive a child into his or her home by direct placement except in accordance with this Act and the regulations.

             (4)  A person shall not give, receive or agree to give or receive a payment or reward, whether directly or indirectly,

             (a)  to procure or assist in procuring a child for the purpose of adoption in or outside the province; or

             (b)  to place or arrange the placement of a child for the purpose of adoption in or outside the province.

             (5)  Subsection (4) does not apply to

             (a)  a lawyer receiving reasonable fees and expenses for legal services provided in connection with an adoption;

             (b)  a health care provider receiving reasonable fees and expenses for medical services provided to a child who is the subject of an adoption or to the birth mother in connection with the pregnancy or birth;

             (c)  an adoption agency receiving fees and expenses that do not exceed those allowed under the regulations; and

             (d)  another person prescribed by the regulations.

Advertising prohibition

      80. (1) A person shall not publish or have published in any form or by any means an advertisement dealing with the placement or adoption of a child.

             (2)  Subsection (1) does not apply to

             (a)  the publication of information under a court order;

             (b)  the publication of information authorized by the provincial director;

             (c)  an advertisement by an adoption agency advertising, in accordance with the regulations, its services only, without reference to specific children;

             (d)  an announcement of an adoption that has been finalized by court order; and

             (e)  other forms of advertisement specified by the regulations.

Making a false statement

      81. A person shall not willfully make or cause to be made a false or misleading statement, either orally or in writing, in

             (a)  an application or in connection with an application for a copy of a birth registration or other record under this Act or the regulations;

             (b)  an application or in connection with an application to file a disclosure veto or no-contact declaration; or

             (c)  another document required under this Act or the regulations.

Liability for an offence

      82. (1) A person who fails to comply with or otherwise contravenes a provision of this Act or the regulations is guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction for a

             (a)  first offence to a fine of not less than $1,000 and not more than $5,000 or to a term of imprisonment of not more than 60 days or to both the fine and imprisonment; and

             (b)  subsequent offence to a fine of not less than $5,000 and not more than $10,000 or to a term of imprisonment of not more than 90 days or to both the fine and imprisonment.

             (2)  Where a person convicted under subsection (1) is a corporation the judge may, in addition to a fine that may be imposed upon that corporation, impose a fine or imprisonment upon one or more directors and the chief executive officer of that corporation.

             (3)  In addition to a penalty that a judge may impose under subsection (1) or (2), the judge may make an order revoking the licence of an adoption agency.

PART XVII
TRANSITIONAL, REPEAL AND COMMENCEMENT

Transitional

      83. (1) Upon the coming into force of this Act, where, under the Adoption Act

             (a)  a child has been placed for adoption;

             (b)  a birth parent or other person having custody of a child has consented to the placement of the child for adoption;

             (c)  a manager has been given custody of a child with the intent that the child be placed for adoption;

             (d)  a prospective adoptive parent has requested that he or she have a child placed with him or her for the purpose of adoption; or

             (e)  a home assessment, post placement report or other required report has been commenced or carried out in respect of a person,

and an adoption order has not been granted under that Act, this Act shall apply to those persons referred to in paragraphs (a) to (e).

             (2)  Where a proceeding has been commenced under the Adoption Act and no adoption order has been granted, the proceeding, on the coming into force of this Act, shall be considered to be a proceeding commenced under this Act.

SNL2001 cC-12.01 Amdt.

      84. Paragraph 21(1.3)(b) of the Child and Youth Advocate Act is repealed and the following substituted:

             (b)  information that is not permitted to be made public by section 37 of the Adoption Act, 2013.

SNL2010 cC-12.2 Amdt.

      85. (1) Paragraph 38(c) of the Children and Youth Care and Protection Act is amended by deleting the reference "Adoption Act" and substituting the reference "Adoption Act, 2013".

             (2)  Paragraph 39(1)(c) of the Children and Youth Care and Protection Act is amended by deleting the reference "Adoption Act" and substituting the reference "Adoption Act, 2013".

             (3)  Subsection 39(3) of the Children and Youth Care and Protection Act is amended by deleting the reference "Adoption Act" and substituting the reference "Adoption Act, 2013".

             (4)  Subparagraph 72(a)(i) of the Children and Youth Care and Protection Act is amended by deleting the reference "Adoption Act" and substituting the reference "Adoption Act, 2013".

SNL2005 cF-3.1 Amdt.

      86. Subparagraph 2(b)(i) of the Family Violence Protection Act is amended by deleting the reference "Adoption Act" and substituting the reference "Adoption Act, 2013".

SNL2008 cP-7.01 Amdt.

      87. Section 9 of the Personal Health Information Act is amended by deleting the reference "Adoption Act" and substituting the reference "Adoption Act, 2013".

SNL2009 cV-6.01 Amdt.

      88. (1) Paragraph 5(6)(a) of the Vital Statistics Act, 2009 is repealed and the following substituted:

             (a)  an adoption order has been issued by the court under section 35 of the Adoption Act, 2013; or

             (2)  Subsection 6(1) of the Vital Statistics Act, 2009 is repealed and the following substituted:

Registration of adoption orders

        6. (1) Upon receipt of a certified copy of an adoption order issued under section 35 of the Adoption Act, 2013, or of a certified copy of an order, judgment or decree of adoption made by a court of competent jurisdiction of another province or of a foreign state, issued under the seal of the proper certifying authority, the registrar general shall register the order, judgment or decree.

             (3)  Paragraph 30(2)(e) of the Vital Statistics Act, 2009 is repealed and the following substituted:

             (e)  a person or agency who or which requires it to comply with the Adoption Act, 2013 or the Children and Youth Care and Protection Act; or

NLR 11/07 Amdt.

      89. Paragraph 5(a) of the Access to Information Regulations is repealed and the following substituted:

             (a)  sections 64 to 68 of the Adoption Act, 2013;

NLR 43/09 Amdt.

      90. (1) Paragraph 9(a) of the Child and Parental Benefits Regulations is amended by deleting the reference to "Adoption Act" and substituting the reference "Adoption Act, 2013".

             (2)  Subparagraph 9(g)(i) of the Child and Parental Benefits Regulations is repealed and the following substituted:

                      (i)  the placing of a child with a prospective adoptive parent under section 14 or 16 of the Adoption Act, 2013,

NLR 28/07 Amdt.

      91. Paragraph 1.02(1)(a) of the Provincial Court Family Rules, 2007 is repealed and the following substituted:

             (a)  Adoption Act, 2013;

SNL1999 cA-2.1 Rep.

      92. The Adoption Act is repealed.

Commencement

      93. This Act comes into force on a day to be proclaimed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council.


Schedule

CONVENTION ON PROTECTION OF
CHILDREN
AND CO-OPERATION IN RESPECT OF
INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTION

             The States signatory to the present Convention,

             Recognizing that the child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding,

             Recalling that each State should take, as a matter of priority, appropriate measures to enable the child to remain in the care of his or her family of origin,

             Recognizing that intercountry adoption may offer the advantage of a permanent family to a child for whom a suitable family cannot be found in his or her State of origin,

             Convinced of the necessity to take measures to ensure that intercountry adoptions are made in the best interests of the child and with respect for his or her fundamental rights, and to prevent the abduction, the sale of, or traffic in children,

             Desiring to establish common provisions to this effect, taking into account the principles set forth in international instruments, in particular the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, of November 20, 1989, and the United Nations Declaration on Social and Legal Principles relating to the Protection and Welfare of Children, with Special Reference to Foster Placement and Adoption Nationally and Internationally (General Assembly Resolution 41/85, of 3 December 1986),

             Have agreed upon the following provisions,

CHAPTER 1 - SCOPE OF THE
CONVENTION

Article 1

             The objects of the present Convention are,

             (a)  to establish safeguards to ensure that intercountry adoptions take place in the best interests of the child and with respect for his or her fundamental rights as recognized in international law;

             (b)  to establish a system of co-operation amongst Contracting States to ensure that those safeguards are respected and thereby prevent the abduction, the sale of, or traffic in children;

             (c)  to secure the recognition in Contracting States of adoptions made in accordance with the Convention.

Article 2

        1. The Convention shall apply where a child habitually resident in one Contracting State ('the State of origin') has been, is being, or is to be moved to another Contracting State ('the receiving State') either after his or her adoption in the State of origin by spouses or a person habitually resident in the receiving State, or for the purposes of such an adoption in the receiving State or in the State of origin.

        2. The Convention covers only adoptions which create a permanent parent-child relationship.

Article 3

             The Convention ceases to apply if the agreements mentioned in Article 17, subparagraph (c), have not been given before the child attains the age of 18 years.

CHAPTER II - REQUIREMENTS FOR
INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTIONS

Article 4

             An adoption within the scope of the Convention shall take place only if the competent authorities of the State of origin,

             (a)  have established that the child is adoptable;

             (b)  have determined, after possibilities for placement of the child within the State of origin have been given due consideration, that an intercountry adoption is in the child’s best interests;

             (c)  have ensured that,

                     (1)  the persons, institutions and authorities whose consent is necessary for adoption, have been counselled as may be necessary and duly informed of the effects of their consent, in particular whether or not an adoption will result in the termination of the legal relationship between the child and his or her family of origin,

                     (2)  such persons, institutions and authorities have given their consent freely, in the required legal form, and expressed or evidenced in writing,

                     (3)  the consents have not been induced by payment or compensation of any kind and have not been withdrawn, and

                     (4)  the consent of the mother, where required, has been given only after the birth of the child; and

             (d)  have ensured, having regard to the age and degree of maturity of the child, that,

                     (1)  he or she has been counselled and duly informed of the effects of the adoption and of his or her consent to the adoption, where such consent is required,

                     (2)  consideration has been given to the child’s wishes and opinions,

                     (3)  the child’s consent to the adoption, where such consent is required, has been given freely, in the required legal form, and expressed or evidenced in writing, and

                     (4)  such consent has not been induced by payment or compensation of any kind.

Article 5

             An adoption within the scope of the Convention shall take place only if the competent authorities of the receiving State,

             (a)  have determined that the prospective adoptive parents are eligible and suited to adopt;

             (b)  have ensured that the prospective adoptive parents have been counselled as may be necessary; and

             (c)  have determined that the child is or will be authorized to enter and reside permanently in that State.

CHAPTER III - CENTRAL
AUTHORITIES
AND ACCREDITED BODIES

Article 6

        1. A Contracting State shall designate a Central Authority to discharge the duties which are imposed by the Convention upon such authorities.

        2. Federal States, States with more than one system of law or States having autonomous territorial units shall be free to appoint more than one Central Authority and to specify the territorial or personal extent of their functions. Where a State has appointed more than one Central Authority, it shall designate the Central Authority to which any communication may be addressed for transmission to the appropriate Central Authority within that State.

Article 7

        1. Central Authorities shall co-operate with each other and promote co-operation amongst the competent authorities in their States to protect children and to achieve the other objects of the Convention.

        2. They shall take directly all appropriate measures to,

             (a)  provide information as to the laws of their States concerning adoption and other general information, such as statistics and standard forms;

             (b)  keep one another informed about the operation of the Convention and, as far as possible, eliminate any obstacles to its application.

Article 8

             Central Authorities shall take, directly or through public authorities, all appropriate measures to prevent improper financial or other gain in connection with an adoption and to deter all practices contrary to the objects of the Convention.

Article 9

             Central Authorities shall take, directly or through public authorities or other bodies duly accredited in their State, all appropriate measures, in particular to,

             (a)  collect, preserve and exchange information about the situation of the child and the prospective adoptive parents, so far as is necessary to complete the adoption;

             (b)  facilitate, follow and expedite proceedings with a view to obtaining the adoption;

             (c)  promote the development of adoption counselling and post-adoption services in their States;

             (d)  provide each other with general evaluation reports about experience with intercountry adoption;

             (e)  reply, in so far as is permitted by the law of their State, to justified requests from other Central Authorities or public authorities for information about a particular adoption situation.

Article 10

             Accreditation shall only be granted to and maintained by bodies demonstrating their competence to carry out properly the tasks with which they may be entrusted.

Article 11

             An accredited body shall,

             (a)  pursue only non-profit objectives according to such conditions and within such limits as may be established by the competent authorities of the State of accreditation;

             (b)  be directed and staffed by persons qualified by their ethical standards and by training or experience to work in the field of intercountry adoption; and

             (c)  be subject to supervision by competent authorities of that State as to its composition, operation and financial situation.

Article 12

             A body accredited in one Contracting State may act in another Contracting State only if the competent authorities of both States have authorized it to do so.

Article 13

             The designation of the Central Authorities and, where appropriate, the extent of their functions, as well as the names and addresses of the accredited bodies shall be communicated by each Contracting State to the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law.

CHAPTER IV - PROCEDURAL
REQUIREMENTS IN INTERCOUNTRY
ADOPTION

Article 14

             Persons habitually resident in a Contracting State, who wish to adopt a child habitually resident in another Contracting State, shall apply to the Central Authority in the State of their habitual residence.

Article 15

        1. If the Central Authority of the receiving State is satisfied that the applicants are eligible and suited to adopt, it shall prepare a report including information about their identity, eligibility and suitability to adopt, background, family and medical history, social environment, reasons for adoption, ability to undertake an intercountry adoption, as well as the characteristics of the children for whom they would be qualified to care.

        2. It shall transmit the report to the Central Authority of the State of origin.

Article 16

        1. If the Central Authority of the State of origin is satisfied that the child is adoptable, it shall,

             (a)  prepare a report including information about his or her identity, adoptablity, background, social environment, family history, medical history including that of the child’s family, and any special needs of the child;

             (b)  give due consideration to the child’s upbringing and to his or her ethnic, religious and cultural background;

             (c)  ensure that consents have been obtained in accordance with Article 4; and

             (d)  determine, on the basis in particular of the reports relating to the child and the prospective adoptive parents, whether the envisaged placement is in the best interests of the child.

        2. It shall transmit to the Central Authority of the receiving State its report on the child, proof that the necessary consents have been obtained and the reasons for its determination on the placement, taking care not to reveal the identity of the mother and the father if, in the State of origin, these identities may not be disclosed.

Article 17

             Any decision in the State of origin that a child should be entrusted to prospective adoptive parents may only be made if,

             (a)  the Central Authority of that State has ensured that the prospective adoptive parents agree;

             (b)  the Central Authority of the receiving State has approved such decision, where such approval is required by the law of that State or by the Central Authority of the State of origin;

             (c)  the Central Authorities of both States have agreed that the adoption may proceed; and

             (d)  it has been determined, in accordance with Article 5, that the prospective adoptive parents are eligible and suited to adopt and that the child is or will be authorized to enter and reside permanently in the receiving State.

Article 18

             The Central Authorities of both States shall take all necessary steps to obtain permission for the child to leave the State of origin and to enter and reside permanently in the receiving State.

Article 19

        1. The transfer of the child to the receiving State may only be carried out if the requirements of Article 17 have been satisfied.

        2. The Central Authorities of both States shall ensure that this transfer takes place in secure and appropriate circumstances and, if possible, in the company of the adoptive or prospective adoptive parent.

        3. If the transfer of the child does not take place, the report referred to in Articles 15 and 16 are to be sent back to the authorities who forwarded them.

Article 20

             The Central Authorities shall keep each other informed about the adoption process and the measures taken to complete it, as well as about the progress of the placement if a probationary period is required.

Article 21

        1. Where the adoption is to take place after the transfer of the child to the receiving State and it appears to the Central Authority of that State that the continued placement of the child with the prospective adoptive parents is not in the child’s best interests, such Central Authority shall take the measures necessary to protect the child, in particular,

             (a)  to cause the child to be withdrawn from the prospective adoptive parents and to arrange temporary care;

             (b)  in consultation with the Central Authority of the State of origin, to arrange without delay a new placement of the child with a view to adoption or, if this is not appropriate, to arrange alternative long-term care; an adoption shall not take place until the Central Authority of the State of origin has been duly in formed concerning the new prospective adoptive parents;

             (c)  as a last resort, to arrange the return of the child, if his or her interests so require.

        2. Having regard in particular to the age and degree of maturity of the child, he or she shall be consulted and, where appropriate, his or her consent obtained in relation to measures to be taken under this Article.

Article 22

        1. The functions of a Central Authority under this Chapter may be performed by public authorities or by bodies accredited under Chapter III, to the extent permitted by the law of its State.

        2. Any Contracting State may declare to the depositary of the Convention that the functions of the Central Authority under Articles 15 to 21 may be performed in that State, to the extent permitted by the law and subject to the supervision of the competent authorities of that State, also by bodies or persons who,

             (a)  meet the requirements of integrity, professional competence, experience and accountability of that State; and

             (b)  are qualified by their ethical standards and by training or experience to work in the field of intercountry adoption.

        3. A Contracting State which makes the declaration provided for in paragraph 2 shall keep the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law informed of the names and addresses of these bodies and persons.

        4. Any Contracting State may declare to the depositary of the Convention that adoptions of children habitually resident in its territory may only take place if the functions of the Central Authorities are performed in accordance with paragraph 1.

        5. Notwithstanding any declaration made under paragraph 2, the reports provided for in Articles 15 and 16 shall, in every case, be prepared under the responsibility of the Central Authority or other authorities or bodies in accordance with paragraph 1.

CHAPTER V - RECOGNITION AND
EFFECTS OF THE ADOPTION

Article 23

        1. An adoption certified by the competent authority of the State of the adoption as having been made in accordance with the Convention shall be recognized by operation of law in the other Contracting States. The certificate shall specify when and by whom the agreements under Article 17, subparagraph (c), were given.

        2. Each Contracting State shall, at the time of signature, ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, notify the depositary of the Convention of the identity and the functions of the authority or the authorities which, in that State, are competent to make the certification. It shall also notify the depositary of any modification in the designation of these authorities.

Article 24

             The recognition of an adoption may be refused in a Contracting State only if the adoption is manifestly contrary to its public policy, taking into account the best interests of the child.

Article 25

             Any Contracting State may declare to the depositary of the Convention that it will not be bound under this Convention to recognize adoptions made in accordance with an agreement concluded by application of Article 39, paragraph 2.

Article 26

        1. The recognition of an adoption includes recognition of,

             (a)  the legal parent-child relationship between the child and his or her adoptive parents;

             (b)  parental responsibility of the adoptive parents for the child;

             (c)  the termination of a pre-existing legal relationship between the child and his or her mother and father, if the adoption has this effect in the Contracting State where it was made.

        2. In the case of an adoption having the effect of terminating a pre-existing legal parent-child relationship, the child shall enjoy in the receiving State, and in any other Contracting State where the adoption is recognized, rights equivalent to those resulting from adoptions having this effect in each such State.

        3. The preceding paragraphs shall not prejudice the application of any provision more favourable for the child, in force in the Contracting State which recognizes the adoption.

Article 27

        1. Where an adoption granted in the State of origin does not have the effect of terminating a pre-existing legal parent-child relationship, it may, in the receiving State which recognizes the adoption under the Convention, be converted into an adoption having such an effect,

             (a)  if the law of the receiving State so permits; and

             (b)  if the consents referred to in Article 4, subparagraphs (c) and (d), have been or are given for the purpose of such an adoption.

        2. Article 23 applies to the decision converting the adoption.

CHAPTER VI - GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 28

             The Convention does not affect any law of a State of origin which requires that the adoption of a child habitually resident within that State take place in that State or which prohibits the child’s placement in, or transfer to, the receiving State prior to adoption.

Article 29

             There shall be no contact between the prospective adoptive parents and the child’s parents or any other person who has care of the child until the requirements of Article 4, subparagraphs (a) to (c), and Article 5, subparagraph (a), have been met, unless the adoption takes place within the family or unless the contact is in compliance with the conditions established by the competent authority of the State of origin.

Article 30

        1. The competent authorities of a Contracting State shall ensure that information held by them concerning the child’s origin, in particular information concerning the identity of his or her parents, as well as the medical history, is preserved.

        2. They shall ensure that the child or his or her representative has access to such information, under appropriate guidance, in so far as is permitted by the law of that State.

Article 31

             Without prejudice to Article 30, personal data gathered or transmitted under the Convention, especially data referred to in Articles 15 and 16, shall be used only for the purposes for which they were gathered or transmitted.

Article 32

        1. No one shall derive improper financial or other gain from an activity related to an intercountry adoption.

        2. Only costs and expenses, including reasonable professional fees of persons involved in the adoption, may be charged or paid.

        3. The directors, administrators and employees of bodies involved in an adoption shall not receive remuneration which is unreasonably high in relation to services rendered.

Article 33

             A competent authority which finds that any provision of the Convention has not been respected or that there is a serious risk that it may not be respected, shall immediately inform the Central Authority of its State. This Central Authority shall be responsible for ensuring that appropriate measures are taken.

Article 34

             If the competent authority of the State of destination of a document so requests, a translation certified as being in conformity with the original must be furnished. Unless otherwise provided, the costs of such translation are to be borne by the prospective adoptive parents.

Article 35

             The competent authorities of the Contracting States shall act expeditiously in the process of adoption.

Article 36

             In relation to a State which has two or more systems of law with regard to adoption applicable in different territorial units,

             (a)  any reference to habitual residence in that State shall be construed as referring to habitual residence in a territorial unit of that State;

             (b)  any reference to the law of that State shall be construed as referring to the law in force in the relevant territorial unit;

             (c)  any reference to the competent authorities or to the public authorities of that State shall be construed as referring to those authorized to act in the relevant territorial unit;

             (d)  any reference to the accredited bodies of that State shall be construed as referring to bodies accredited in the relevant territorial unit.

Article 37

             In relation to a State which with regard to adoption has two or more systems of law applicable to different categories of persons, any reference to the law of that State shall be construed as referring to the legal system specified by the law of that State.

Article 38

             A State within which different territorial units have their own rules of law in respect of adoption shall not be bound to apply the Convention where a State with a unified system of law would not be bound to do so.

Article 39

        1. The Convention does not affect any international instrument to which Contracting States are Parties and which contains provisions on matters governed by the Convention, unless a contrary declaration is made by the States Parties to such instrument.

        2. Any Contracting State may enter into agreements with one or more other Contracting States, with a view to improving the application of the Convention in their mutual relations. These agreements may derogate only from the provisions of Articles 14 to 16 and 18 to 21. The States which have concluded such an agreement shall transmit a copy to the depositary of the Convention.

Article 40

             No reservation to the Convention shall be permitted.

Article 41

             The Convention shall apply in every case where an application pursuant to Article 14 has been received after the Convention has entered into force in the receiving State and the State of origin.

Article 42

             The Secretary General of the Hague Conference on Private International Law shall at regular intervals convene a Special Commission in order to review the practical operation of the Convention.

CHAPTER VII - FINAL CLAUSES

Article 43

        1. The Convention shall be opened for signature by the States which were Members of the Hague Conference on Private International Law at the time of its Seventeenth Session and by the other States which participated in that Session.

        2. It shall be ratified, accepted or approved and the instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval shall be deposited with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, depositary of the Convention.

Article 44

        1. Any other State may accede to the Convention after it has entered into force in accordance with Article 46, paragraph 1.

        2. The instrument of accession shall be deposited with the depositary.

        3. Such accession shall have effect only as regards the relations between the acceding State and those Contracting States which have not raised an objection to its accession in the six months after the receipt of the notification referred to in subparagraph (b) of Article 48. Such an objection may also be raised by States at the time when they ratify, accept or approve the Convention after an accession. Any such objection shall be notified to the depositary.

Article 45

        1. If a State has two or more territorial units in which different systems of law are applicable in relation to matters dealt with in the Convention, it may at the time of signature, ratification, acceptance, approval or accession declare that this Convention shall extend to all its territorial units or only to one or more of them and may modify this declaration by submitting another declaration at any time.

        2. Any such declaration shall be notified to the depositary and shall state expressly the territorial units to which the Convention applies.

        3. If a State makes no declaration under this Article, the Convention is to extend to all territorial units of the State.

Article 46

        1. The Convention shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of three months after the deposit of the third instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval referred to in Article 43.

        2. Thereafter the Convention shall enter into force,

             (a)  for each State ratifying, accepting or approving it subsequently, or acceding to it, on the first day of the month following the expiration of three months after the deposit of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession;

             (b)  for a territorial unit to which the Convention has been extended in conformity with Article 45, on the first day of the month following the expiration of three months after the notification referred to in that Article.

Article 47

        1. A State Party to the Convention may denounce it by a notification in writing addressed to the depositary.

        2. The denunciation takes effect on the first day of the month following the expiration of 12 months after the notification is received by the depositary. Where a longer period for the denunciation to take effect is specified in the notification, the denunciation takes effect upon the expiration of such longer period after the notification is received by the depositary.

Article 48

             The depositary shall notify the States Members of the Hague Conference on Private International Law, the other States which participated in the Seventeenth Session and the States which have acceded in accordance with Article 44, of the following,

             (a)  the signatures, ratifications, acceptances and approvals referred to in Article 43;

             (b)  the accessions and objections raised to accessions referred to in Article 44;

             (c)  the date on which the Convention enters into force in accordance with Article 46;

             (d)  the declarations and designations referred to in Articles 22, 23, 25 and 45;

             (e)  the agreements referred to in Article 39;

              (f)  the denunciation referred to in Article 47.

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