Searching in Québec


Canadian Council
of Natural Mothers

Contact ParentFinders Montreal and Mouvement Retrouvailles for search information and assistance.

To further aid in your search the following information was compiled in 2003.

There is no centralized adoption registry in Québec. You must submit a written request to the Youth Centre (Centre Jeunesse) where the adoption took place, that is, the location where the adoptive parents resided at the time of adoption. Most anglophone adoptions go through Batshaw Youth Centre. If it was a private adoption, you must contact the lawyers involved in the adoption. The particulars of the various Youth Centres can be found at the Mouvement Retrouvailles website.

If you are unsure which Youth Centre has your file, you may contact Hélène Quesnel at Les Centres Jeunesse de Montréal, 514-896-3155.

There's a $450 fee to do a search. The fee is applied in stages starting with $150 to perform the search, then $180 to contact the found person and provide pre-reunion counselling and finally $120 for a reunion. Batshaw Youth Centre may require the total fee upfront. For individuals on low income, the fee may be reduced to $50.00. There is no fee to open a file and provide non-identifying information.

There is no form to fill out for an accelerated medical search. Once registered with the applicable youth centre, they will determine if a medical search is warranted and will then request a doctor's letter from the person searching.

There are two major search groups in Montreal: Parent Finders Montreal and Mouvement Retrouvailles.

Parent Finders' website PFMTL - Welcome / Bienvenue presently has a notice
that they are unable to carry out searches or answer telephone inquiries. They have telephone support buddies on request. Their membership fee is $40 for the first year with annual renewals at $20.

Mouvement Retrouvailles Mouvement Retrouvailles is the main group in Québec and serves primarily the French-speaking community. They have representatives who speak English. Their membership fee is $35 to register for the first year with annual renewals at $12.

The following is from the Mouvement Retrouvailles website under Resources:

Accessing your post-adoption records and starting a search in Québec

I - How to go about searching for a parent or child

You will need to submit a written request to the Youth Centre (Centre Jeunesse, or formerly the C.S.S.) in the region where the child was born.
For a complete list of the Youth Centres,
click here. (Pdf, 10ko)

It is essential that you follow this procedure. There are two things you should request.

A] Ask to be sent non-identifying information about your birth parent or your child.

If you are an adoptee looking for your birth mother, you should address your request to the Youth Centre in the region where you were adopted. This document is a synopsis with no information that would allow you to identify the person you are looking for.

If you are a birth mother looking for your child, you should address your request to the Youth Centre in the region where the child was given up for adoption. This document is a synopsis with no information that would allow you to identify the adoptive family.

If you are an orphan, you should address your request to the Youth Centre in the last region in which you were living before you reached adult age or to the Youth Centre in the region where you were born.

B] Ask to be added to the post-adoption registry so that your name can be forwarded to other people looking for you.

The Québec Youth Centres are the only places where the adoption records are kept. As a result, they are the only people who know the identity of the people concerned. The original names and the names given at baptism are often fictitious, and thus of no use.. The Youth Centres give priority to the following cases:

  • children whose mother is older than 70
  • serious illness
  • orphans
  • social distress (psychological disorders)
  • matches

At present, you must pay a fee before the Youth Centre will begin processing your file.

There are three stages in this process.
Performing the search (CDN$ 150)
Contacting the other person to let them know you want to know their identity (CDN$ 180)
Reunion* (CDN$ 120)

Depending on the region, the reunion may be free of charge to members of

Mouvement Retrouvailles accompanied by a representative (check with your Youth Centre). If you are unable to pay this amount, the fee may be reduced to $50, if the Youth Centre is subsidized, and if you can provide proof of your need.

II - Registration with Mouvement Retrouvailles

If you register with Mouvement Retrouvailles before you sign up for this program with its processing fees, you have the chance of finding a match if both parties are already Mouvement Retrouvailles members. If this is the case, you could avoid the costs linked to this program.

If you do decide to sign up for the program and you are a Mouvement Retrouvailles member, you can request to be accompanied by Mouvement Retrouvailles during the third stage of the process, i.e. the reunion. We offer this service free of charge to our members. We have helpers who will be happy to provide you with guidance and support during this period.

Do not hesitate to request this service. People are there, waiting to help you, in a completely non-judgmental setting. Remember, we are all going through the same situation, some are just more affected than others. Click here to receive a membership application by mail for Mouvement Retrouvailles.

© The Canadian Council of Natural Mothers