If you are adopted and wish to know more about your origins, the law gives you certain rights.
Adopted people who have reached their eighteenth birthday may apply to the Registrar General for access to their birth records at the following address:
Office for National Statistics
General Register Office (Adoptions Section)
Southport PR8 2HH
If you were adopted before the 12th November 1975, and you do not know your birth name, you are required to attend a counselling interview with an adoption worker before having access to your original birth record.
If you were adopted on or after 12th November 1975 you may choose whether or not to attend a counselling interview with an adoption worker. However, we know from experience that finding out about your birth family and perhaps wishing to trace them is a complex process and we offer counselling and support concerning the emotional and practical issues which can arise.
You will be given advice by the General Register Office about counselling services and you will be given the choice of receiving your counselling from one of the following:
You will also receive information from the General Register Office or from this Society about two Adoption Contact Registers through which adopted people and their birth families can register their wish to have contact with each other: the General Register Office Adoption Contact Register and the NORCAP Contact Register.
You can contact us by e-mail or call 0117 9350005.
If you were adopted through the Catholic Children’s Society (Diocese of Clifton) you may apply to this Agency for access to your adoption records either via the General Register Office or directly to us.
A formal application should be in writing and we will require the following information.
We will acknowledge your application. We aim to provide prompt allocation of an experienced post-adoption worker who will make contact with you to arrange a counselling interview. Sometimes there may be a delay when there is a very heavy demand for Post Adoption Services, in which case we will advise you about the estimated waiting time.
Your counselling interview with a post-adoption worker will usually take place at our offices at Pennywell Road, Easton, Bristol. However, if you are unable to travel to Bristol, it may be possible for your counselling interview to be undertaken by your local Diocesan agency for children and families, or by your Local Authority and we will copy your records to them.
The counselling interview gives you the opportunity to talk about your adoption and your wishes in seeking information about your origins. The post-adoption worker will also help you to consider the possible effects of any enquiries you may decide to make in order to locate your birth family. You will be asked to provide proof of your identity: passport, utility bills etc.
Adoption records are confidential, but we will share with you as much information as we can about yourself and your birth family without breaking the confidentiality of a third party, whose consent may be required before we can share their papers.
You may bring someone with you, a partner, adoptive parent or friend if you wish. If after you have learned of your background you decide you wish to trace your birth relatives, your post-adoption worker will offer help and advice on how to do this and can act as an intermediary if anyone is located.