Challenging New Adoption Information Disclosure Law
Author(s): Stacey L. Stevens*
January 29, 2007
When she was 14 years old, Toronto lawyer Stacey L. Stevens was told her stepfather had legally adopted her after her biological parents divorced and her mother remarried. More than two decades later, in 2002, Stevens went in search of her birth dad, a Toronto firefighter.
Through information obtained from a colleague of his, she tracked him down and called his home. A woman, his wife, answered the phone.
“She had no idea I existed — nor did my two stepsisters,” recalls Stevens, who was told her father had died six months before.
Now, Stevens, who practises at Thomson Rogers, has teamed up with Clayton Ruby to challenge the constitutionality of Ontario’s new Adoption Information Disclosure Act, which comes into effect Sept. 1 and would allow birth parents and adult adoptees to find out the identity of the other. Stevens and Ruby argue the law violates the privacy rights of those who opted to remain anonymous.