Home > After the Adoption > Research into Family Origins > Reunions

The SAI has become the SASIE

Since October 25, 2022, the Secrétariat à l’adoption internationale (SAI) has changed its name for the Secrétariat aux services internationaux à l’enfant (SASIE). For more information, see the News section of our website.

Training prior to adopting a child domiciled outside Québec will become mandatory

As of August 10, 2023, the International Adoption: First Steps and Thoughts training program will be mandatory for all persons domiciled in Québec considering international adoption. For more information, see the News section of our website.


Bill 113, An Act to amend the Civil Code and other legislative provisions as regards adoption and the disclosure of information (2017, Chapter 12), was adopted and received assent on June 16, 2017. The amendments to the confidentiality rules regarding the identity of adopted persons and their parents of origin came into effect on June 16, 2018. For more information, visit the section Legislative amendments.

The information on this page does not replace that of the official legislation.

Under Québec legislation, for a reunion to take place, the persons sought must first have consented to it. The legislation provides that before the identity of the person sought is disclosed, he or she must be informed of the request for information about him or her and given the opportunity to register a contact veto.

In Québec, the Secrétariat à l’adoption internationale (SAI) makes arrangements for reunions in the case of an interprovincial or international adoption.

Searching for a parent of origin

To find a parent of origin domiciled in Québec at the time of the adoption, the SAI has access to certain documents and information kept by various bodies.

When it is a case of finding a parent of origin domiciled outside Québec at the time of the adoption, the SAI contacts the adoption authorities in the adopted person’s province or country of origin.

These conduct searches in their country in accordance with their legislation and administrative practices.

However, there may be obstacles to a search, such as:

  • foreign legislation prohibiting disclosure of information about identity or allowing contact;
  • the absence of official registers in the country of origin making it possible to locate a person;
  • the foreign government's inability to respond to requests for a search.

Beware of personal initiatives

When researching family origins, a person’s consent to reveal his or her identity and establish contact with the other party is the foundation of the process to renew ties.

Any attempt to contact a parent directly entails risks. In fact, a reunion may have repercussions on the parent who:

  • was not expecting it;
  • was not prepared for it;
  • did not consent to it.

In some cases, because of cultural or religious practices or special circumstances, a mother who gave up a child for adoption could suffer serious consequences if her family and friends learned that she had given birth to a child without their knowledge.

In cases of mistaken identity, a reunion could lead to unfortunate situations.

Some individuals contacted during a search may be tempted to take advantage of the situation and the vulnerability of the person looking for his or her parent of origin.

Searching for an adopted child 

If the child is a minor when the search is made, the SAI must wait until the child is 18 years old before informing him or her of the parent of origin's request.

When a parent of origin domiciled outside Québec wishes to find his or her child who was adopted by people domiciled in Québec, the SAI tries to locate the child in order to inform him or her of the request and to obtain consent to a reunion. The same applies when a person from Québec who was adopted by people domiciled outside Québec requests a reunion with his or her parents of origin from Québec.

Submitting a request for a reunion

An adopted child or a parent of origin who wishes to submit a request for a reunion must contact the SAI to obtain the information relevant to his or her situation. The SAI will then send the forms to be completed in order to open a file.

For the SAI's contact information, see the Contact us page.