When adoptees reach the age of 18, they may apply to the Department of Indian Affairs who will verify their claim. The Registrar will provide them with a registry number and the name of the Indian band to which they may be registered*. An adopted child, registered as an Indian may then be eligible for benefits**.
Indian Affairs investigates a claim by an adult adoptee or by the adoptive parents of a minor adoptee by contacting the social service agency where the adoption was completed. For example, the Children\s Aid Society would reveal the birth name to Indian Affairs who then checks their open or published Indian Registry. Once their Indian status is verified in the Open Indian Registry, the adoptee's name is placed in the closed or unpublished Adoption Register which is part of the Indian Registry but no identifying information is given out.
Adoptees must write to Indian Affairs to request registration on the Indian Registry. There is approximately a 10-month waiting list for the process to begin and then there is an additional wait for the social service agency to respond to Indian Affairs with the necessary information.
Write to: Julien Gagnon
Indian Affairs will not help with searches; they will refer you to the provincial post-adoption agencies.
Birth parents will not be given the adoptive name of their child. They are referred to provincial post-adoption services.
Publication available from Indian Affairs:
"Adoption and the Indian Child"
Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
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