Loading, please wait

Information for adopted adults

  • Children, young people and families

There are lots of services available to people who have been adopted and their birth relatives. If you live in Barnet and wish to access your birth records or find your birth family we can help.

You can also contact the Post Adoption Centre, which has an outreach service based in Barnet. After adoption is another website and advice line specifically for people under 26, who have been affected by adoption.

Adopted Adults

Once people who have been adopted reach 18 they are legally entitled to have access to their adoption file and try to trace their birth family.

If you are under 18 and would like to trace your birth family, then you can still contact the adoption team and we will discuss your options with you and your family.

To get a copy of your original birth certificate and access to your birth records you need to contact the General Register Office (GRO)

When you contact the GRO you must tell them whether you were adopted before or after 12 November 1975. If you were adopted after 11 November 1975 then you can choose to have the information sent directly to you or to an adoption worker. The information can often be overwhelming and difficult to understand, so it is wise to get it sent to an adoption worker.

In order for Barnet to help, please provide as much information as possible so we can attempt to locate your file, this includes:

  • your full adopted name
  • your date of birth
  • your birth name
  • your birth mother's name 
  • when you were adopted
  • where you were adopted.

Once we have this information:

  • if we have your file in our archive we will go through it and remove any third party information e.g. any information not directly about you. We will then contact you and invite you into our office to go through your file with you. Please be aware there is often a short waiting list of around 3 months before an appointment can be offered
  • if we do not have your file then we will try to trace it using information provided by the General Register Office or yourself. For example the GRO may tell us the name of the court where your adoption took place; the court may tell us which agency has your file
  • if you know which agency dealt with your adoption then we can contact them on your behalf and they will send us information from your file and we will go through it with you
  • We will be there to support you and answer any questions you may have about the adoption process and what you have read in your file.

Having read your file if you still want to trace your birth family there are several ways you can go about this with our help:

  • you may already know where they are
  • information from your file may give their address
  • Barnet can undertake an initial search
  • there are private agencies that can perform searches for a fee.

Intermediary Service

It is usually advisable to get somebody else to approach your birth relatives on your behalf. This is called an intermediary service. It is rarely advisable to make the approach yourself as you don't know how it will be received for example your birth mother may have concealed her pregnancy and never disclosed it to anybody. Your birth relative may need time and even counselling to come to terms with events from the past. Barnet can offer an intermediary service to enable both parties to progress at a pace that suits everybody.

Birth relatives of adopted adults

Birth relatives are also entitled to an itermediary service from Barnet if you live within the borough. unlike adopted adults we can't provide any identifying information, but we can write on your behalf to your relative that has been adopted. Sometimes you may have to pay for them to be traced.

We also offer a counselling service through the Post Adoption Centre. You are entitled to up to six sessions per year.

Useful websites:

Adoption search and reunion (BAAF)


  • After Adoption
  • Head Office
    Unit 5 Citygate
    5 Blantyre Street
    M15 4JJ
  • Tel: 0800 0568 578
  • Email: information@afteradoption.org.uk
  • Post Adoption Centre (PAC)
  • 5 Torriano Mews
    NW5 2RZ
  • Tel: 020 7284 0555
  • Email: advice@postadoptioncentre.org.uk
  • Adoption Team
  • North London Business Park (NLBP), Oakleigh Road South, London N11 1NP
  • Tel: 020 8359 5705
  • FAX: 0870 889 5933
  • Email: adoption@barnet.gov.uk
  • General Register Office
  • Adoptions Section
    General Register Office
    Smedley Hydro
    Trafalgar Road
    PR8 2HH
  • Tel: 0151 471 4830
  • Email: adoptions@ons.gov.uk
  • Tel: 01865 875000
  • Email: enquiries@norcap.org

Rate this page