5. Support for adopted adults

Access to birth records

Adopted adults seeking information about their origins and identity can get advice, support and counselling from Oldham Adoption Service. There is a duty officer available from 8.40am to 5pm Monday to Friday. In order to access your birth records, you will need to be eighteen years old or over.

People adopted before 12 November 1975

If you were adopted before the above date, in order to access information about your birth you can apply to the General Register Office in Southport.

General Register Officer
Adoptions Section
Trafalgar Rd
Phone: 0300 123 1837
Email: adoptions@gro.gsi.gov.uk
Website: www.gov.uk/adoption-records


Details will be sent through to your local adoption service. Information will include a form to apply for your original birth certificate, details of the court that dealt with your adoption, the name of your birth mother and an application for the Adoption Contact Register. A social worker will arrange to meet with you to share this information. If you wish, after counselling, it may be possible to get further records about the circumstances of your adoption from the agency that arranged your adoption. This will depend on factors like how long ago the Adoption Order was granted. You will receive advice about continuing your search if you wish to trace your birth family.

People adopted between the 13th November 1975 and the 30th December 2005

If you were adopted in this time it is likely that you have already got a copy of your original birth certificate and details of the Adoption Agency involved in arranging your adoption. However you may still require information from the agency records about the circumstances of your adoption or wish to try and make contact with your birth family. We can offer advice and support regarding this. You still have the right to apply to the Registrar General for information.

The General Register Office runs an Adoption Contact Register to link up adopted people and their birth families. If you phone or write to them they will arrange for you to register your wishes with regard to contact (details above).

People adopted after the 30th December 2005

An adopted person retains the right, on reaching the age of 18, to receive the information needed to obtain a copy of their original birth certificate. However, if you were adopted after the 30th December 2005 you must apply to the appropriate adoption agency for this information rather than to the Registrar General. The agency will share the relevant information they hold with you. If you live a long way from the agency arrangements can be made for the records to be shared with you locally. You will also receive advice about intermediary services and the Adoption Contact Register where appropriate.


Adopted adults can formally register a wish for no contact on the Adoption Contact Register held by the Registrar General or the adoption agency who arranged the adoption. You may specify the name of the person with whom you wish or do not wish contact.

There are two types of veto:

  • Qualified: You only wish to be approached in certain circumstances e.g. where important medical information has come to light.
  • Absolute: There is to be no approach under any circumstances.

A veto will remain in place until you chose to amend or withdraw it.

Vetoes can be altered at anytime if you change your mind.

As an Adopted Adult living in Oldham or if you were adopted from the Oldham area you can contact us during office hours to discuss any issue you may have relating to your adoption.