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England - Procedure to Register the Adopted Child

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If a child is born and adopted in England or Wales
  • Registering an adoption can take up to six weeks, from the time the court issues the adoption order to the General Register Office updating the Adopted Children Register. This replaces the original birth record, which is marked adopted.
  • You then receive a free short adoption certificate. If you would like more short copies or a full certificate you need to order them. You can do this online or by telephone.
What if there is a mistake on the Court Order?

If you notice a mistake on the Court Order, you should contact the court that dealt with the adoption and request an amended order. The Adopted Children Register will be updated automatically.

If a child is born and adopted overseas
  • Children born and adopted overseas can be registered in the Adopted Children Register providing the adoptive parent(s) are habitually resident in England or Wales at the time of adoption. If not, you will need to seek legal advice to check whether the adoption can be recognised in this country.
  • To check if the country in which the adoption occurred is recognised please refer to the 'Every child matters' website from the Department for Children, Schools and Families.
If the child is born in England or Wales, and adopted overseas

Children born in England and Wales but adopted overseas can be registered in the Adopted Children Register provided that their birth was registered in England and Wales.

What you need to do if a child is born or adopted overseas
  • Applying to register a childs details to be added to the adoption register can be done by the adoptive parent(s), a person with parental responsibility for the child or the adopted person themselves if they are over 18 years of age.
  • You can download the forms or contact the General Register Office on +44 (0)151 471 4830.
  • Alternatively you can email: [email protected]


Required Documents[edit]

  • Identity proof
  • Residential Proof
  • You will need to provide original evidence of the adoption, such as:
    • A certified copy of an adoption entry
    • A certificate that the adoption has been granted
  • Any supporting documentation should be provided by the organisation granting the adoption and signed by a person authorised to do so. You cannot send certified or notarized copies from solicitors.
  • If the documentation is not in English, you will need to provide a translation. This must be signed and endorsed by the translator with their name, address, occupation and a statement that the translation is true and accurate.
  • Your supporting documentation, along with a free short birth certificate will be sent to you on completion of the application.

Office Locations & Contacts[edit]

In writing

Adoptions Section
Room C202
General Register Office
Trafalgar Road

Telephone: 0151 471 4830/4599/4641
Email: [email protected]

Adoption agency near you

General Register Office for Scotland

General Register Office for Northern Ireland



Eligibility to apply

  • The following are eligible to apply to adopt:
    • Single people (irrespective of their sexual orientation)
    • A partner of a parent of the child to be adopted
    • Married couples
    • Civil partners
    • Unmarried couples (same sex and different sex) living as partners in a stable family relationship


Explain the fees structure which is required for obtaining the certificate/document.


Explain the time until which the certificate/document is valid.
e.g. Birth Certificate Valid Forever

Documents to Use[edit]

Please attach documents which can be used by people who would like to follow this procedure.    


Sample Documents[edit]

Please attach sample completed documents which would help other people who would like to follow this procedure.    

Processing Time[edit]

Registering an adoption can take up to six weeks, from the time the court issues the adoption order to the General Register Office updating the Adopted Children Register.

Related Videos[edit]

Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. 
Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites.
Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation.
Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, 
sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube
width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed.
e.g In the following url "" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M". 



  • Since 1927, all adoptions granted by the courts in England and Wales, and some overseas adoptions, are recorded in the Adopted Children Register.
  • The register is not open to public search or inspection, but adopted persons and parents can apply to receive adoption certificates.

Required Information[edit]

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Nationality
  • National Insurance number
  • Contact address
  • Telephone/Mobile number
Adopted child Birth Details
  • Surname at birth
  • Forename(s) at birth
  • Other names known by prior to adoption
  • Full name of birth mother
  • Any previous name(s) of birth mother
  • Full name of birth father
  • Any previous name(s) of birth father
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Place of birth


Need for the Document[edit]

Following is the instruction and procedure to register the adopted child.

Information which might help[edit]

Enter other informations which might help

Other uses of the Document/Certificate[edit]

Please explain what are other uses of obtaining this document/certificate.
e.g. Birth Certificate can be used as proof of identity.

External Links[edit]

Directgov How an adoption is recorded

Adoption records (government, citizens and rights section)



More information which might help people.