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Always check to see if the person you are looking for is looking for you. Try www.google.co.uk and in the search box type eg "john smith" london using the quotes and it will return every web page with the occurrence of John Smith and London.
People adopted (in England and Wales) before 12 November 1975 are required to see a counsellor before they can be given access to their records. If you were adopted after 11 November 1975 you can choose whether or not you want to see a counsellor. Ask for leaflet ACR100 "Access to Birth Records" - Information for people adopted in England or Wales.
You can apply to the Office for National Statistics (address below) for an application form for access to your birth records. They will then advise of the next steps to be taken.
This is maintained at the General Register Office for the purpose of putting persons adopted in England and Wales in touch with their relatives if that is what they both want. Apply for the leaflet "The Adoption Contact Register" (ACR110) - if you live outside the UK and want the records sent to your own country then you have to apply for ACR 101. To use the Register an adopted person must be at least 18 years old.
This leaflet gives information for people adopted in England or Wales and their *birth relatives.
* 'Relative' includes the adopted person's birth parents, and anyone related by blood, half blood or marriage - it doesn't include those who are relatives as a result of adoption.
Office for National Statistics
The General Register Office
Adoptions Section, Contact Register
Trafalgar Road, Birkdale
Tel: 44 (0) 151 471 4200 Fax: 44 (0) 1704 563354
The Register is in 2 parts. Part 1 is a list of adopted people and Part 2 is a list of birth parents and other relatives of an adopted person. Not everyone is on this Register - only the people who want to make contact with other relatives. The Registrar General can only pass on a name and address if and when that name and address are supplied to him.
Not being on the Register does not mean that they don't want to be found - you would be surprised at how few people are aware of the registers and facilities offered.
If the adopted person is on the Register, the Registrar General will send to the adopted person the name and address of any relatives who have also registered and will notify the relative that this has been done. No information about the adopted person can be given to a birth parent or other relative. There is a registration fee for entry in the Adoption Contact Register.
Adopted adults have been able to apply for access to their original birth record since 1975. Information on the birth certificate will show the name of the birth mother and her address at the time of the birth. If the birth mother wasn't married at the time this will be her maiden name. Also there may be information about the birth father such as name, address and occupation. In some cases this information has led to the birth parent's being found.