Adopted adults or family members affected by adoption

Find out who to contact if you are an adopted adult or a family member who has been affected by adoption.

Adult Adoptee Services

If you are an adult aged 18 and over, you can apply for access to information about your birth origins. How you go about this will vary depending on the date of your adoption. If you were adopted prior to 2005 and live in Essex we will offer support. If you were adopted after 2005 then it is the responsibility of the adoption agency responsible for your adoption to support you with accessing your records. 

Adopted before 12th November 1975

If you were adopted before 12th November 1975 you can apply to the General Register Office for information which will enable you to request a copy of your original birth certificate. You must contact your local authority as they will receive the information from the General Register Office and will then share it with you. 

Adopted between 12th November 1975 and 30th December 2005

If you were adopted after 12th November 1975, but before 30th December 2005 you can apply to the General Register Office for a copy of your original birth certificate information. This will be sent to you directly. You will then be sent an application form in order to request your birth certificate and details of the adoption contact register, should wish to pursue this further. 

Adopted after 30th December 2005

If you were adopted after 30th December 2005, and are over 18 years old you will need to contact the agency through which you were adopted to access your original birth certificate, adoption records and support. 

 Visit GOV.UK's adoption pages for more information and the forms.

Accessing information

If you decide you want access to information from your adoption file, we can help support you with:

  • advice and information about how to access your adoption records
  • advice about contact registers
  • advice about searching methods
  • signpost for intermediary services 

What if I want to make contact with my birth family?

We would recommend accessing your adoption records before tracing and making contact with any birth relatives. 

Support for adopted adults and birth relatives

For support for adopted adults or their descendants or birth relatives wanting help with contact arrangements, counselling, or intermediary services. Please see the list of services attached: 

If you are under the age of 21 (or 25 with an EHCP) you may be able to access support funded through the Adoption & Special Guardianship Support Fund. You will need to speak to your local authority to discuss how to access this. 

For further information call the post adoption team on 03330139847 or email