Nova Scotia to tell 86-year-old former foster child who his father is
Nova Scotia Community Services agreed to release the name after a lengthy battle
An 86-year-old Nova Scotia man is getting his wish and will be provided his father's name by the provincial Department of Community Services.
The man, whose identity has not been released, was placed in foster care in May 1931 by his mother and his grandmother. The records only provide a name for the father and no other identifying information.
The man had been unable to get that name from government agencies, until now.
Backed by privacy commissioner
He took his fight to the province's information and privacy commissioner.
In a decision released last month, the commissioner recommended the Department of Community Services give the man the name listed as his father's in his foster records.
That recommendation is not binding, but the department has decided to grant the man's request.
No bearing on other cases
In a statement to CBC News, the department said the decision has no bearing on how it responds to requests for family information from people who were put up for adoption.
"Requests under the Adoption Information Act follow a separate and distinct process," department spokeswoman Heather Fairbairn wrote.
"As a result, this decision has no bearing on the province's adoption disclosure services."
The man and his daughter have waged a lengthy campaign to figure out the identities of his birth parents.
"The applicant's daughter contacted the regional health authority, Vital Statistics, a number of local churches and a local diocese," privacy commissioner Catherine Tully wrote in her decision last month.
"As a result of these efforts she was able to locate a short form baptismal certificate and obtained confirmation of the applicant's mother's name."
However, the mother's name was fairly common, so the man had to go through DNA testing to confirm her identity.
He tracked down a niece, who told him that his mother had subsequently married and had three children. The niece also said the mother died in 1961.
But neither the niece, nor any of his other surviving relatives, were able to shed light on his father's identity. That remained locked in government files. The only extra detail they gained was from the DNA testing, which revealed his father was Jewish. It isn't clear how the testing was able to determine that.