Adoption Certificates

What are adoption certificates?

Adoption certificates are issued by the General Register Office after an Adoption has been recorded in the Adopted Children Register. They replace any certificates of the original birth record and should be used for all legal purposes.

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The short version of a certificate shows: Surname, Forename(s), Date of Birth, Sex and (where known) country or district of birth. It contains no reference to the fact of adoption.

The full version shows: Surname, Forename(s), Date of Birth, Sex, Place of Birth (where known), Adoptive Parent(s') name(s), their address and Occupation at time of adoption, Date of the Adoption Order and description of the court which made it; Date of entry into the Adopted Children Register.

Online applications

It’s quick and easy to order adoption certificates online from the General Register Office.

Order adoption certificates online

Alternatively you can download an application for from www.gov.uk to print and fill in and send to General Register Office, PO Box 2 Southport, Merseyside, United Kingdom PR8 2JD. 

The standard fee is £11.00* and priority fee £35.00 (details within the form) *please note - there may be additional fees issued by the General Register Office depending on how you apply for your certificate.

Urgent applications may be made to the above address between the hours of 09.00 - 16.00 Monday to Friday. It is closed on Public Holidays.

Please telephone 0151 471 4830 before attending the Southport Office.

Applications by telephone

You may apply for certificates by telephoning the Adoptions Section on 0151 471 4830. Applications will only be accepted by credit card - Access, Visa or Mastercard - or debit card - Switch or Delta. GRO will require the name and address of the cardholder, the number of the card and its expiry date. For Switch users we will also require the issue number

Priority applications

Upon payment of a priority fee, applications made online, by post, in person or by telephone are guaranteed to be processed within 1 working day. Visitors to the Southport Office who choose to use the priority service may be able to wait whilst their application is processed.

Methods of payment

  • If you apply for a certificate by post, payment may be made by cheque, postal order, bankers draft (payable in London), international money order, credit card (Access, Visa or Mastercard) or debit card (Switch or Delta) Please do not send cash.
  • Cheques and postal orders should be made payable to "IPS"
  • For those wishing to pay by credit or debit card, you should ensure that your application includes the appropriate details of the card