What Happens To Original Birth Certificate After Adoption?

relative connections icon 18

What Happens To Original Birth Certificate After Adoption?

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.

We are often asked what happens to original birth certificate after adoption, if you were adopted or you are looking for someone that was adopted then you’ll more than likely know it’s no easy feat to access any information.

Adoption regulations determine who can access such records.  To actually access any adoption records you need to be Ofsted registered.

All this being said, there is always still record of an original birth certificate. When adoptions take place an adoption certificate (as some adoptees refer to as their now birth certificate) is issued at the time of adoption.

Effectively this then supersedes the original birth record and replaces it in a sense but the original birth record still exists.

The first step for most adopted adults wishing to know more is to obtain a copy of their original birth record. Most adoptees experience some form of name change through the adoption process but once you know more about you birth details then an original birth record can then be sourced and ordered through sites such as Ancestry, Find My Past or direct through the GRO (the General Register Office of England and Wales).

If you don’t know your name at birth then you will need to make a special application here https://www.gov.uk/adoption-records

If you were adopted, then you can also access your adoption records direct through your local authority or agency that dealt with your adoption (if you need help then we can help with this too). However, if you were adopted before 12th November 1975 then there will mandatory counselling involved to share such records.

This can be provided through the local authority where you live (in the UK), the adoption agency who hold the records now or a registered adoption support agency.

Your adoption files will often contain more specific information about your birth family and the circumstances around your adoption.  The amount of information can vary from adoption to adoption and sometimes very little information is found.

If you want to know if someone was adopted, then the best way to find out is to order a copy of their original birth certificate. Because the original birth certificate is superseded when the adoption takes place, a notation is always made on the original document to say the adoption has occurred.

Please note, no information is given about the adoption; it will just be a notation signed by the registrar at the time.

If you know someone has been adopted and are looking for them, then things can prove a little more difficult. Again, you can access the original birth certificate for a birth relative by knowing their name at birth and date of birth, but you cannot access or glean any information from a local authority, adoption agency or the GRO surrounding the adoption itself.

This is where we come in.

Working alongside our adoption support agency, we can help trace adoptees and eventually facilitate contact with them for you though our Ofsted registered intermediary process.

This means that everyone’s data is protected at each stage and all searches are fully regulated by Ofsted and conducted within adoption law to ensure the best chances of success in helping you reconnect with your adopted relative.

So, in summary of what happens to original birth certificate after adoption.

  1. It is superseded and replaced by and adoption certificate which is protected under adoption law and can only be sourced and accessed by a local authority or adoption support agency or Ofsted registered team.
  2. As an adoptee you have the right to access your own data but bear in mind that you will need to go through mandatory counselling if you were born before 1975.
  3. To find out if someone was adopted then you can order their original birth certificate and check for a physical notation on the actual document.
  4. If you are looking for an adoptee and already know they were adopted, then you would always need support of an Ofsted registered team to help you locate them. You can only access their birth certificate but not their adoption records without this support (this is where come in)

If you were adopted and are looking for a birth relative or you are looking for someone who has been adopted and need help then please don’t hesitate to get in touch on 0113 282 5900

Or visit our Adoption tracing page.

We hope you have found this article on what happens to original birth certificate after adoption.