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Adoption records

Accessing your birth records

You can access your birth records if you don’t have them because you were adopted.

You need to be 18 or over to do this.

Everyone adopted before 12 November 1975 will need to attend a counselling session with an approved adoption advisor first.

You know your birth details

You can order a copy of your original birth certificate from the General Register Office.

For adoptions outside England or Wales, you need to contact the General Register Office where you were adopted.

You don’t know your birth details

You need to fill in an application for Birth Certificate Information Before Adoption (BIBA) service if you don’t know your birth details. 

 The Adoption Contact Register

You can add yourself to the Adoption Contact Register at the General Register Office to:

  • find a birth relative or an adopted person

  • say you don’t want to be contacted

This is not a tracking service - for a connection to be made between people, you must both be on the Adoption Contact Register.

Find birth relatives if you were adopted

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 to fill in form CR part 1 to add yourself to the register. 

You need:

  • your original birth name

  • your date of birth

  • the full name(s) of your birth mother (and birth father if known)

Find someone who was adopted if you’re a birth relative

You can add yourself to the register to try to find an adopted person by filling in form CR part 2.  You’ll only be able to find people who have also added themselves to it.

You need to be 18 or over.

More information

Want to find out more about Adoption?
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