Access To Adoption Records
Access to adoption records is possible if you are a birth relative but how do you go about it?
An adopted person can access their full adoption records, but other birth relatives cannot. They can, however, access a redacted version.
So how would you, as an adopted person, go about accessing your adoption records?
Access to adoption records.
My name is David Oates, I am the Head Researcher at Relative Connections, you can view my LinkedIn by clicking here. I am also the director of the adoption support agency which is regulated by Ofsted.
Please read on for information on accessing your adoption records.
In England and Wales once, an adopted person has reached the age of 18 they can access their records. You do this by making an application to the agency that dealt with the adoption. Or,
You can access your original birth certificate via the GRO.
For adoptions outside England or Wales you need to contact the General Register Office where you were adopted.
Accessing adoption records is usually done so that the adopted person can learn more about their adoption.
Possibly this can be with a views to carrying out some adoption tracing to find a birth relative.
Adoption records counselling
Everyone adopted before 12 November 1975 will need to attend a counselling session with an approved adoption advisor first.
Birth relatives accessing adoption records
It is also possible for a birth relative to access information within those records but nothing about the adoption person that would identify them.
For a birth mother it might be useful for her to know what information was recorded about her at the time. You are entitled as a birth mother to access that information.
If you wanted to access adoption records or if you wanted to find a birth relative when separated through adoption you might need the help of a professional.
That would usually be from an Ofsted registered adoption support agency or the agency that dealt with the adoption.
We are NOT a registered adoption support agency BUT we can help you via our sister company. More on that later.
It is the responsibility of the original agency to keep those adoption records. Historically, that was for a period of 75 years but more recently it’s been increased to 100 years.
This means for most living people those records should be accessible.
Problems arise as many agencies no longer exist. So, then you have to trace your records and where they have been transferred to.
Often that will be another adoption support agency, but they can also be transferred to a local authority. So, finding out where adoption records can be the trickiest part.
There are examples where accessing the record might not give you the information you need. It is possible the record has been lost or destroyed.
In these circumstances it is useful to know why you want to access an adoption record.
In this day and age, it is often for tracing and contacting birth relatives. If that is your reason, then we can help you do that so please feel free to get in touch with us.
How to find adoption records online
Unfortunately, there is no online database that you can access to find your adoption records online. Hopefully the information already given above will help you.
Find an adoption agency
To find the adoption agency that dealt with your adoption you can contact your local authority or use a service like the one provided by Joanna North Associates.
If you choose the local authority, then expect a long wait. As you can imagine they are not prioritising this work and are understaffed to do so.
It’s not just the authority that slows it down. Once they have written to the correct agency it can be many months or even years before they get in touch. This is something to consider if you are in a rush to access adoption records. If you can afford to pay for a professional service, it might be better to do so.
For example, all our adoption work including
- Intermediary services
Is carried out by our sister company Joanna North Associates (JNA).
Joanna North Associates are an Ofsted registered adoption support agency.
If you would like to know more about their service, you do so by calling the Relative Connections team but all work to find birth relatives where adoption is involved is carried out by JNA.
They can help you with a range of topics. This includes
- Accessing Adoption Records
- Finding an adoption agency
- How to trace an adopted child
- Finding adopted siblings
- The National Adoption Week when it is and what it is about.
- The Adoption Conference and how you can attend
Here are a few words from David Oates, Director at Joanna North Associates.
National adoption week is in October this year and there is a big focus on rekindling relationships.
With that in mind I thought it would be nice to bring you up to speed on our service and how it works.
I also wanted to tell you why we are best placed to help you if you want to rekindle a relationship.
Adoption tracing is complex work as you would imagine. Each search we do is different. We have to acknowledge that ensure that we provide the correct level of support for each client who comes to us.
Ensuring that clients and the people we locate feel supported is a key part of the JNA experience.
It is what has led to the positive exposure the company has been getting over the last two or so years. The reputation we have built means that we can proudly say that we are one of the most recognised adoption support agencies in the country.
This in turn has led to me being asked to guest speak at the up-and-coming adoption conference.
But why do I tell you this?
Well, it’s to hopefully demonstrate how we are best placed to help and support you. If you decide to go ahead with a search for a birth relative, then we want you to choose us.
Adoption tracing and intermediary work is regulated by Ofsted, you must use an Ofsted registered adoption support agency to carry out the search.
If you use an Ofsted registered adoption support agency.
You’ll be using an agency that is working to specific standards to ensure your safety and your birth relatives’ safety. You’ll be using an agency that will support you.
Not only that but you will be using an agency that has access to the relevant adoption records and can use them to help you
Accessing Adoption Records
If you are trying to access adoption records, you are best using an agency to help you. Adoption records can contain upsetting information and the older ones can use language that is outdated.
Tracing an adopted child
I’ve written at length about this. Firstly, we can only trace adults but usually when someone types in ‘trace an adopted child’ they are thinking of an adult.
Tracing people when adoption is involved is quite straight forward. The complex part is ensuring the search is done in line with adoption law and Ofsted regulations.
If you feel you need any help or support, please get in touch via Relative Connections or direct with Joanna North Associates.
We hope you have enjoyed this article about various aspects of adoption tracing and intermediary services. If you want to access adoption records, please get in touch.