Adoption Records for 1920s Nova Scotia

+4 votes
Hello Wikitreers,

In researching my boyfriend's family tree, I've come across an interesting brick wall. I was talking to his grandfather about his family, who mostly come from Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, and he told me how his mother, Marguerite, was adopted. Alas, he couldn't tell me much in terms of dates, but the few names he knew gave me enough to find her marriage records and information on her adopted parents, John Byron Daley and wife Esther May.

What I was wondering is if there is a way to access adoption records for Nova Scotia in the 1920s (Marguerite was born about 1920). I really have no idea where to start with this - if anyone can offer some assistance, it would be much appreciated!

If any more information in needed, please let me know - not all the research I've done has been added to Wikitree yet, so there could be more I have that might be helpful.

Thank you!

- Gillian
WikiTree profile: Marguerite Williams
in Genealogy Help by Gillian Wagenaar G2G6 Mach 1 (18.3k points)

2 Answers

+1 vote
Best answer
Hi Gillian,

I have a couple of thoughts.

I understand Nova Scotia provides very limited information to adopted persons about themselves, and I don't know if this would be available to a son. The identity of the birth parents is confidential, and I'm quite sure that unrelated people like you and I will not be given access. If your boyfriend wants to explore it, this website may be a good place to start:

Second, I think timing may also be a factor. Nova Scotia birth records are available 100 years after a person is born, on this website: Right now, we have access to birth records for people who were born in 1918 and earlier, so it might be a few years before Marguerite's becomes available even if you do learn her birth name before then.

In my family, most of the Nova Scotia adoptions that occurred were within the family: an illegitimate child or an orphan was usually adopted by a member of the extended family. So when the records do come available, it might be useful to focus the search on the Daley and Pulsifer families before casting the net more broadly.

Which leads me to the last thought, which is DNA testing. My neighbor's adoption records are closed, but she was able to find her birth family through a half-sibling who also took a DNA test. If your boyfriend decides to do it, success may take time, because it depends on other members of the birth family deciding to take the tests for their own reasons.

Food for thought.
by Laurie Giffin G2G6 Mach 6 (66.5k points)
selected by Gillian Wagenaar
Awesome answer, Laurie - I really think that DNA testing is the way to go for this case. I agree with the idea that it's likely an adoption from within the family (my grandfather, also from Nova Scotia, had a grandfather himself who was adopted by an aunt) especially being from smaller communities within the province. Thank you so much!
+3 votes
As far as I know all adoption records  in NS are closed. I am also looking for records but cannot access them.

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