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England - Procedure to find your Original Birth or Adoption Record

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  • To obtain the relevant forms:
    • You can download the forms in English or Welsh
    • Or you can call the General Register Office on 0151 471 4830 to request the forms
  • Once you've completed your form, post it to: Adoptions section, Room C202, General Register Office, Trafalgar Rd, Southport PR8 2HH. Or you could fax it to: 0151 471 4755.
  • What happens next depends whether you were adopted before or after 1975.
  • If you were adopted before 1975, you will need to attend a meeting with an adoption advisor. If you were adopted after 1975, you may request a meeting or receive the information directly. Where applicable, an adoption advisor from your chosen organisation will contact you to arrange an interview.
  • You also have the option of approaching an approved intermediary agency about access to birth records to help make contact with a birth relative.


Required Documents[edit]

  • Identity proof
  • Residential Proof

Office Locations & Contacts[edit]

In writing

Adoptions Section
Room C202
General Register Office
Trafalgar Road

Telephone: 0151 471 4830/4599/4641
Fax: +44 (0) 151 471 4755
Email: [email protected]

For events registered in Scotland or Northern Ireland
  • General Register Office for Scotland
  • General Register Office for Northern Ireland



When you reach 18 you can apply for a certificate of your original birth registration form.


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]

Please explain the processing your application.    

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". 



Finding your original birth details if you are adopted
  • If you were adopted through a court in England or Wales and are aged 18 years or over, you can apply for a certificate of your original birth entry and try to find information about your origins.
  • If you were born in England or Wales but adopted in Scotland, Northern Ireland or overseas, you need to contact the General Register Office for that country to access your own birth records.
If you are a birth relative of an adopted person
  • If you are a birth relative of an adopted person, you can apply to make contact with an adopted person through an approved intermediary agency. For further information on intermediary services you can contact your local authority's adoption team, a voluntary adoption team, a voluntary adoption agency or an adoption support agency.
  • An intermediary agency liaises with the General Register Office to find relevant details including the name of the organisation or court involved in the adoption, and also for details in the Adoption Contact Register that enable an application for an adoption certificate.
  • All this information can be used by an intermediary agency to decide whether to proceed, but this depends on the views of the adopted person.

Find your local authority -

Required Information[edit]

  • Adoptive Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Country of birth
  • Name of adoptive Mother and Father
  • Date of adoption
  • Nationality
  • National Insurance number
  • Contact address
  • Telephone/Mobile number


Need for the Document[edit]

If you were adopted, at 18 you can apply for a certificate of your original birth registration form. Your birth relatives also have the right to apply for permission to contact you. Here's some information about how to research your biological family.

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 Find your original birth or adoption record
  • Adoption records (government, citizens and rights section)



Whether you were adopted before or after 1975 affects how you access your adoption records. Use the links below to find out more.

  • Were you adopted before or after 1975?
  • Old adoption files and what they contain