Access to records

We provide a service for adopted adults to have the opportunity to talk to someone about how adoption has affected them by:

  • Information and advice about relevant adoption issues
  • Full counselling service for those people over 18 years who wish to access their birth records
  • Intermediary service for those wishing to make contact with members of their birth family.
  • Preparation and support for reunion
  • Information about other organisations and services that can offer help

This service is provided, on behalf of Cheshire West and Chester Council, by After Adoption.

How do I get access to my adoption records?

If you were born and adopted before 12 November 1975 and you do not know your birth name, you need to apply to the General Register Office for access to your birth records and you will have to attend a meeting with an approved adoption advisor.

You can contact them on 0300 123 1837 and you need to ask for an “access to adoption records” form. Or you can apply for an “access to adoption records” form by post to:

Adoption Sections
Room C201
General Register Office
Trafalgar Road

The General Register Office will arrange for you to have a meeting with an approved adoption advisor which will usually be at your local adoption office.

If you were born and adopted before 12 November 1975 and do know your birth name you should contact your local Adoption Support Team to apply for access to your birth/adoption records. You should always ask for support and counselling. You will need to provide proof of identity and the local team will help you access your records.

If you were born and adopted after 12 November 1975 and before 30 December 2005 it is not compulsory to have a meeting with an approved adoption advisor although we advise that you do this. You still need to apply for your records through the General Register Office but they will send your records directly to you.


Information for adopted adults wanting to access their adoption records in Cheshire West and Chester.

If Cheshire West and Chester holds your adoption records but you live outside the Cheshire West and Chester area then we will work with the adoption agency you enlist the services of.

We offer an access to adoption records service to adopted people over the age of eighteen years who live in Cheshire West and Chester.  This service is commissioned by Cheshire West and Chester Council from After Adoption.

If you live in Cheshire West and Chester we will accept initial telephone enquiries in relation to accessing adoption records or alternatively, you can apply in writing:

Adoption Support Team
Wyvern House
The Drumber

On receiving a request from you we will make a referral on your behalf to After Adoption.

After Adoption will then offer you an initial consultation appointment and will endeavour to offer you an appointment at a venue that is convenient to where you live. You are welcome to bring someone with you for support.

It will be important when you attend the initial consultation that you bring with you photo identification. This could be a driving license, passport or bus pass for example. You should also bring with you any information that you already have relating to your adoption.

Accessing adoption records is a very personal and individual experience. The initial consultation is an opportunity for the social worker to check out what information you already have, if any, in relation to your adoption and birth family. It is an opportunity for you to explore with the social worker what information you are seeking and what your hopes and expectations are. An agreement will be reached between you and the social worker as to how to proceed.  This may mean the social worker preparing your records to share with you at a future date. If your records are not held by Cheshire West and Chester then the social worker will need to locate them and then request access from the agency holding them. If this is the case then you need to be prepared that this can often take time, which can be difficult, particularly when you have already waited a considerable time for an initial appointment.

We would ask, given the waiting list for this service, that if for any reason you are unable to make your appointment that you let After Adoption know at your earliest opportunity.

There are Registered Voluntary Adoption Agencies that you can go to both to access your adoption records and to ask for help in searching for birth relatives. They also offer intermediary services to birth relatives of adopted adults. These agencies do charge a fee for their services and you will need to contact them individually as they differ in the fees that they charge.

Contact details:

After Adoption 
60 Duke Steet
Liverpool, L1 5AA

ActionLine : 0800 0 568 578