Commissioner Releases Report on Adoption Website

February 24, 2003

Frank Work, Information and Privacy Commissioner, today issued his office’s report on Alberta Children’s Services adoption website. The report finds that Children’s Services has the authority under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP Act) to disclose the children’s personal information on the website for the purpose of finding homes for children who are available for adoption.

The initial descriptions of the children contained more personal information than was necessary for the operation of the website, but the revised descriptions are in compliance with the FOIP Act.

In response to concerns raised by the Commissioner, Children’s Services will conduct an evaluation in three months to determine the effectiveness of the website, and provide the Commissioner with a report of the findings of its three-month review.

Additionally, the Department has asked its social workers to confirm that every child is aware that he or she is available for adoption and is on the website.

Social workers will also ensure that, where appropriate, others involved in caring for the children are informed that a child will be on the website and be asked to inform the Department should any problem arise.

The Department has reported that it will ask children under 12 years of age if they have any objection to their personal information being placed on the website, and have given their assurance that if any child raises any objection, his or her personal information will not be placed on the website.