Why was I adopted?
There are a whole number of reasons why an authority would feel that it is in the child’s best interest to be adopted. Every situation is different, and we would always advise that you speak to your adoptive parents if you can in the first instance.
However, if this is not possible please contact us for further advice. Alternatively, you can download the tracing guide which offers practical information for people who have previously been adopted.
If you are not in contact with your siblings then we would always advise that you speak to your adoptive parents if you can in the first instance.
However, if this is not possible please contact us for further advice.
I am confused about my adoption
This is not uncommon and it is important to remember that you are not alone and that you should talk to your adoptive parents if you can to help you manage these feelings.
You can also seek help from a range of support groups. For more information please contact us.
I think I have found my birth relative online – should I contact them directly?
While we accept that it must be very tempting to contact a birth relative directly, contacting someone completely out of the blue can often bring back issues not just for yourself but for your birth family as well. We would advise that in these circumstances you talk to an adoption worker first.
I’m adopted and under 18 – who do I talk to?
We understand that for an adopted young person, it may not be easy talking to your adoptive parents as you may not wish to appear disloyal in wanting to learn more about your past. You can, however, ask your adoptive parents if they can call us on your behalf and then we will be able to offer you the following:
- Information and advice on your particular situation.
- Background information on your birth family
- Put you in touch with other adopted young people
With the increased use of social networking sites we realise that this may seem a quick and easy way to contact your birth family. However, we would strongly advise you not to. And, if you don’t feel able to talk to your adopters for whatever reason, please do not hesitate to contact us.
If you were adopted – finding birth relatives
You can add yourself to the Adoption Contact Register if you’re 18 or over and your birth or adoption was registered with the General Register Office. You need:
- your original birth name
- your date of birth
- the full name(s) of your birth mother (and birth father if known)
For more information visit the Adoption Contact Register.
What can I do if I don’t want to be contacted by my birth relatives?
There are a couple of steps you can take if you don’t want to be contacted by a birth relative
You can register on the Adoption Contact Register a wish for no contact or you can register a Qualified or Absolute Veto with the agency that placed you for adoption. You must be eighteen years of age and over before you can register a wish for no contact or a veto.
The Adoption Contact Register is held by the Registrar General Office.
What is the difference between a Qualified and Absolute veto?
A Qualified Veto means that you can specify the circumstances you would want to be contacted such as:
- If there is important medical information you should know about
- If you have been named as a beneficiary in a birth relative’s will
- If there is a particular person you would like to hear from or have news from.
An Absolute Veto means that you do not want to be contacted under any circumstances. Once you have registered an Absolute Veto it means that the Intermediary Agency cannot make contact with you on behalf of a birth relative.
How can I register either a Qualified or Absolute Veto?
You will need to contact the adoption agency that arranged your adoption if you know which one it was.
How can I find where the contact details of the voluntary adoption agency that placed me?
The intermediary services directory lists all the current adoption agencies in England and Wales. If yours is listed then you will be able to make contact with them as the address, telephone number and email address will be listed/available.
If my adoption agency is not listed what can I do?
This could mean that your adoption agency has closed. However, when adoption agencies close they have to pass their records to another agency for safe keeping. This could either be the local authority where the adoption agency was situated or to another voluntary adoption agency that is still in existence. Also on this website you will find a searchable database that will provide information about where the records are held or the adoption agency that placed you.
Once I know the agency where I can register what should I do next?
You will need to write to the agency and ask for an appointment to meet with one of their adoption advisers.
Why do I need to see an adoption adviser?
Before a Qualified or Absolute veto can be registered the adoption agency ]or the local authority] need to be satisfied that you understand the full implications of what it means. For example, if you register an Absolute veto, it would mean that an intermediary agency would not be able to contact you under any circumstances and that the veto will be life-long unless you say otherwise.
What is an Intermediary Agency?
An intermediary agency can be a Local Authority, a Voluntary Adoption Agency or a registered Adoption Support Agency. These agencies can if registered to do so, provide an intermediary service for a birth relative who is wishing to contact an adopted adult or to find out information about the adopted person’s wellbeing.
What is the Adoption Contact Register?
The Adoption Contact Register came into existence in 1991 and is located at the General Register’s Office. The Register was introduced to help adopted people and their birth relatives let each other know of their interest to have contact. However, the Adoption and Children Act 2002 enhances the Register so that an applicant can specify with whom he or she desires contact, or the applicant can specify the person with whom he or she does not want contact. This means that adopted people and birth relatives will be able to have their wish for “no contact” registered on the Adoption Contact Register.