If you were adopted before this date, by law we are required to provide you with access to records counselling before we are able to share information relating to your adoption and birth relatives. The word counselling can be misleading, but it is essentially a consultation where information, advice, support and guidance is offered. The reason for this is that for any adoption which took place prior to this date the birth and adoptive families were advised that no identifying information could be shared. The law changed in 1975 to allow adopted adults the right to apply for information to access their original birth certificate.
The first step will be to contact the General Register Office (GRO) and fill in an application for the Birth certificate Information Before Adoption (BIBA) service. Further information can be found at: www.gov.uk/adoption-records
Once you have completed this, the General Register Office will send us your details prior to adoption in order for you to be able to access your birth certificate. You will be notified by the GRO that we have received this.
Please note: The GRO will advise you to wait 5 days before contacting us, however we cannot guarantee that we will be able to respond to your request immediately following this. We receive a high volume of requests and unfortunately there is often a waiting list for this service. We do however prioritise those adoptions which took place longest ago or where there are specific circumstances requiring this to be expedited.
Once an adoption social worker is available, they will contact you to arrange the access to birth records meeting. The meeting with an adoption social worker will give you the chance to think about the implications and impact receiving information from your original birth certificate and adoption records may have for you.
After this you will be able to apply for a copy of your birth certificate and you may wish for your social worker to request to access any records held by the local authority, agency or court that was involved in your adoption. Records vary significantly in volume, quality and the recording of information, particularly the longer ago the adoption took place. Your social worker will prepare a summary of the information and include any copies of relevant documents that they are able to share with you.