Adults Affected by Adoption
Adults Affected by Adoption refers to adopted adults, birth relatives of adopted adults and descendants of adopted adults. Each group has varying rights to services, some of which Adopt Thames Valley provide directly and some are provided by other agencies. Individuals requests and rights may also vary according to their role and the place and date of the adoption.
Call 01865 323121 (Front Door, ATV Permanence Support Team)
If you are over 18, have been adopted, live in the ATV region or were adopted here we can offer help and support. We provide a counselling service to adults who want information about their birth history. If you were adopted in ATV but now live elsewhere in the country you can choose to receive a service from us or from the local authority where you live. Each local authority or Regional Adoption Agency offer slightly different services so it may be worth exploring where is best to provide what you need and to consider the impact of travel to other areas if needed.
Finding Information about your adoption and birth relatives
We will meet with you and will try to track down information about the circumstances of your adoption and your birth family background. This information comes from files that may still be held by adoption agencies, other local authorities, adoption charities, or the relevant courts which we will trace and request on your behalf. We will offer support, counselling and advice in relation to the information we share with you and the issues stemming from adoption.
You can apply to the get a copy of the original birth certificate by contacting the General Register Office.
- Online: gov.uk/adoptionrecords (the form you need to complete is called Access to Birth Certificate Information Before Adoption)
- Write to: General Register Office, Adoptions Section Room C202, Smedley Hydro, Trafalgar Road Southport PR8 2HH.
- Telephone: 0300 123 1837 and press option 8
If you were adopted before 12 November 1975, you will have to attend a counselling session with an adoption counsellor before your birth details are released. ATV’s specialist social workers can provide this counselling as explained above.
If you wish to make contact with birth relatives the safest and most effective way of doing so is through an intermediary service. This service will trace individuals, make contact with them, prepare, advise and counsel each party in relation to the issues around the adoption and ensure each party is fully prepared to have contact. Adopt Thames Valley does not provide this service but can give advice about the process involved and signpost to other agencies who do so. Most intermediary agencies charge for the service in order to cover the costs accrued.
You can consult http://www.adoptionsearchreunion.org.uk/contact/intermediaries/ to find a suitable agency.
Birth Relatives and descendants of Adopted Adults
Since December 2005 birth relatives also have the legal right to access intermediary services so that their adopted relatives or birth relatives know of their wish for communication and contact. Agencies that provide intermediary services must give priority to those adoptions that took place on or before the 12th November 1975. Local Authorities or Regional Adoption Agencies do not have to provide intermediary services but may signpost to appropriate agencies who do so. These agencies will charge for their services.
Adopt Thames Valley does not provide intermediary services to birth relatives. We will, where possible, record contact details and communications from birth relatives on adoption files so that adopted relatives will have access to these if they request them.
Adoption Contact Register
The national Adoption Contact Register helps to put adopted people and their birth family in contact with each other if this is what they both want. You can also use the Adoption Contact Register to say that you don’t want to be contacted. Tell your agency and register a veto if you don’t want to be approached by an intermediary agency. Adopted adults and birth relatives can register with the Adoption Contact Register (for a small fee).
Registering a Veto
If you do not want to be contacted by a birth relative or adopted adult you may register a veto with the Adoption Contact Register or with the agency that holds the adoption record. This means no one will contact you in relation to the adoption unless you choose to withdraw the veto. There are options for qualified vetoes which dictate contact in certain circumstances only.
Further guidance can be found at:
Support for all affected by adoption
The Permanence Support Team run a helpdesk, where a social worker will be available to talk to adoptive parents and special guardians. You can contact us either by telephone, email or by writing to us. The adoption helpdesk is there to help us help you.
Call 01865 897981
If only a simple, one-off service is needed, this may be provided without a formal adoption support plan being drawn up. If, following assessment, there is a need for ongoing adoption support, we will draw up a plan of what services we propose to offer. The plan will be reviewed periodically.
Course costs are met by Adopt Thames Valley for adopters approved by us and/or for adopters resident in Oxfordshire where their children were adopted more than three years ago. View information of the training we offer.