The General Register Office maintains an Adoption Contact Register of adopted persons and birth families seeking for a connection. If both parties have applied to the register a link can be created between the two.
An adopted person can add themselves to the register once they are over the age of 18.
A birth relative looking for an adopted person can register. Birth relatives are considered any person relating by blood including half blood, marriage or civil partnerships.
If you do not wish for your personal contact details to be sent to the person you are seeking upon their registration, you can opt to use an intermediary agency. The agency can obtain information from the General Register Office which may assist in tracing. The GRO maintains a list of intermediary agencies on their website.
When an adopted person registers and birth relatives have done so previously, the adopted person will be sent their name and contact details. Birth relatives are notified but not given and contacts. It is up to the adopted person to make initial contact as their details are not handed out. Note that no action is taken until such time both parties are present on the register. If only one party is registered no action will be taken.
A birth must have been previously registered with the office to be eligible.
Application forms, and guidelines to assist, are available online. This is a fee based register so payment is required upon application.
The Adoption Contact Register may also be used to block contact from taking place. A person can apply with an intermediary to veto all forms of approach. This can be in absolute form meaning no contact whatsoever. It may also be qualified, which places conditions upon contact. For example you could allow contact by siblings but not by birth parents.
If you require further information you can contact the Adoptions Section of the HM Passport Office by telephone or email.
The registration fee for a birth relative is £30 and for an adopted person £15.
* Price at February 2019
The Adoption Contact Register is one of many sources you can choose when looking for an adopted person or a member of a birth family in the UK. Tracedex maintains an index of registries as well as information on obtaining records and finding people. Visit the Adoption People Search section for further steps you can take. There are also professional tracing services willing to assist you in locating someone. We wish you luck in your search.