Many adopted people have questions about their history and want help to understand or to trace their birth family. If you were adopted you may be looking for advice and support. Adoption Mid and West Wales has a Post Adoption Support service that can help you.
If you were adopted and are aged 18 or over, Adoption Mid and West Wales can help you search for birth record information and provide advice and counselling.
However if you are not living in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire or Powys now, we recommend that you talk to the local authority where you presently reside.
Many adopted adults have questions about their past. Reading records can give you some of the answers. Some of the information may be difficult to come to terms with which is why you will be offered support and counselling. This can help you understand how you feel about being adopted and gives you a chance to discuss why you were adopted, your birth history and your adoptive family.
To see your birth records, you need to contact the General Register Office. They will write to you and send the records your Local Authority adoption service. When you get the letter, you’ll then need to make an appointment with the adoption service.
If your adoption took place before 12 November 1975, you must have a birth records counselling interview with a social worker before you can apply to the local authority where you live to see your adoption records. A summary of information in your file and copies of key documents can then be given to you.
If your adoption took place after 12 November 1975 you can apply direct to the local authority where you live to see your adoption records. A summary of information in your file and copies of key documents can then be given to you.
Helping you trace birth relatives (intermediary services)
If you want to find your birth family (parents or other family members) you can discuss your expectations and fears with us, as well as getting help to find information from your records, and before going further and actively searching for birth family members. This may be through our records or via the Adoption Contact Register.
The adoption contact register is designed to put adopted people and their birth relatives in touch with each other if that is what they both want. The Register does not contain the details of everyone who was adopted or looking for an adopted family member because it is a voluntary register, and some people choose not to be on it.
To add your details to the Adoption Contact Register, you need to apply to the General Register Office. There is a fee for this service.
Helping stop birth relatives tracing you
As an adopted person, you have the right to set up an absolute or partial veto that can prevent birth relatives from contacting you. The Adoption Support Team will help and advise you if this is what you want to do. This will then be written in your adoption records.
Information for children and young people who have been adopted
If you are not yet 18 years old, and interested in contacting your birth family, it is important that you talk to your adoptive parents about it first.
Whether you have been adopted recently, or a little while ago, Adoption Mid and West Wales can give help and advice. You will have lots of questions and we can help you understand how you feel about being adopted and give you a chance to discuss why you were adopted, your birth history and your adoptive family.
Before you were adopted your Social Worker will have talked with your adoptive parents about the best way for you to have information about your birth family. It could be that letters are exchanged once or twice a year between your birth parents, brothers or sisters, or other family members and adoptive parents (this is called Letterbox contact) or that you meet up occasionally. The Letterbox scheme is managed by a member of our Adoption Team.