Author Topic: Finding birth parents of an adopted relative  (Read 461 times)

Offline dicko99

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Finding birth parents of an adopted relative
« on: Tuesday 25 June 19 13:03 BST (UK) »
I've been investigating my family history for a couple of months. On my Mum's side everything is going well but I have a problem on my late Dad's side.

He was adopted as a child and never tried to discover his birth parents. I have his adoption certificate which lists his birth forename and DOB. He was adopted in 1930. As I understand it, once the adopted person has died it is not possible for his children to open the records.

So is there anyway I can discover this information?

As a punt I searched Ancestry for all the births in London for the same quarter and then searched that list for the ones without a matching death record. I think I ended up with about 5 possibles. I obtained the birth certificate of the first one and it had the same DOB and was annotated to say the child had been adopted but I still have no way of being certain it's the same person.

Any suggestions as to how I can persue this?
Pratt, Smith, Jay, Wyatt - Essex
Dickens, Betteridge - London, Oxfordshire

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Online Gadget

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Re: Finding birth parents of an adopted relative
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 25 June 19 13:08 BST (UK) »
Hi and welcome to Rootschat.

You could try taking a DNA test and hope that some of the relatives of his birth parents might have also taken the test and might show up as a match. You would have to tie the results to thorough genealogical records research.

I was lucky last year in finding the relatives of  my great grandfather using this method.

Gadget
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Offline Flemming

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Re: Finding birth parents of an adopted relative
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 25 June 19 13:31 BST (UK) »
My understanding is that you have a right to access your father's file which may hold more information about his birth parents. See link below to information on the Government's website.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/relatives-of-adopted-adults-now-able-to-trace-family-tree

CORAM BAAF can be very helpful in this respect.

https://corambaaf.org.uk/about

And if you're interested in using an intermediary organisation to help, the General Record Office can provide a list of these. Sometimes, your local authority will offer the service.

As an aside, if you have a birth cert with correct christian name, DOB and POB, and it's annotated as adopted, that does seem like a pretty good bet.

As Gadget says, DNA might be the quickest way of validating this.

Good luck!

Offline philipsearching

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Re: Finding birth parents of an adopted relative
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 25 June 19 13:42 BST (UK) »
And a warm welcome to Rootschat from me.

To add to the links provided by Flemming there is a genguide https://www.genguide.co.uk/source/adoption-records/137/ which might be useful.

As far as my (limited) understanding goes, there should be in existence:
1) a birth record naming the blood parent(s) which will be marked signifying adoption
2) an entry in the Adoptive Children's Register naming the adoptive parents (but not the blood parent)
3) a record kept by the Society arranging the adoption (if it was done officially rather than unofficially)

The above link has further links to the potential location of records, including some "contact us" options.

Philip
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Online Maiden Stone

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Re: Finding birth parents of an adopted relative
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 25 June 19 13:48 BST (UK) »
Intermediary agencies.
"You can use an intermediary agency to help you trace a birth relative if you were adopted or you're related to someone who was adopted."
https://www.gov.uk/adoption-records/intermediary-agencies
Cowban

Offline dicko99

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Re: Finding birth parents of an adopted relative
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 26 June 19 13:33 BST (UK) »
Thanks for the info everyone.

When it says an "Intermediary Agency", who should I contact? My local council? The council where the adoption took place? Or some third-party company?

Regards,
Richard
Pratt, Smith, Jay, Wyatt - Essex
Dickens, Betteridge - London, Oxfordshire

Offline Flemming

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Re: Finding birth parents of an adopted relative
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday 26 June 19 13:47 BST (UK) »
Hello Richard, it's your own local authority (where you currently pay Council Tax) and it's their adoption team you need to speak to (they all seem to call this department by different names and also have different set-ups but you should be able to find a phone number of their website). Their willingness to help can sometimes be driven by budgets and resource, but they sometimes know private firms who can help if they can't.

If you call GRO, they can send you a list of OFSTED registered intermediaries which are national. They're also very good at explaining the process for looking into adoption files.

CORAM BAAF also may be able to point you in the right direction.

Offline dicko99

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Re: Finding birth parents of an adopted relative
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 09 July 19 10:50 BST (UK) »
Quick update:

Local authority pointed me to the GRO, GRO pointed me back to the local authority who then directed me to PAC-UK. For anyone else in a similar situation, here's their reply:


Thank you for your enquiry. We can help in this matter but do have to charge.

The law has only recently changed to allow you to ask for information from your fatherís adoption file and it remains a relatively complicated business and might not result in you obtaining the information you are after.

This is particularly true for you as the adoption will have been among the first and the files may be difficult to find.

Initially, you would need to attend our Leeds or London offices to ascertain you are who you say you are and to understand the purpose of your search. We would then proceed to look for the records. If we found them we are required to look for birth relatives who then have the right to say you cannot have their identifying information. This means you could be told the story but not any names which is frustrating from your point of view.

Currently, our charge is £510 but it is being reviewed.

If you want more information or to make a referral please call our Advice Line on 020 7284 5879.
Pratt, Smith, Jay, Wyatt - Essex
Dickens, Betteridge - London, Oxfordshire

Offline Flemming

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Re: Finding birth parents of an adopted relative
« Reply #8 on: Tuesday 09 July 19 11:09 BST (UK) »
Hi there, if you're interested in the GRO's recommended list of intermediaries, please PM me and I'll confirm privately. They may be cheaper than PAC as some of them are independent. Worth a try.

Also, did GRO mention their contact database? Not sure if they accept details if the adopted person is deceased which might be why they didn't suggest it.