Counselling

The purpose of counselling

The purpose of counselling is:

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  • to give adopted people basic information about their adoption in a helpful manner, and
  • to help adopted people to understand some of the possible effects on themselves and others of any further enquiries they may wish to make about their birth families.

You are asked to choose where you would prefer to meet a counsellor. You may choose between:

The General Register Office (the appointment will be arranged at The Family Records Centre, 1 Myddelton Street, London EC1UW. This will be done as quickly as possible but it may take a few weeks.)

The local authority, regional or island council (Scotland), or Health and Social Services Board (Northern Ireland) in whose area you are living or who made the adoption order.  (The information will be forwarded to the Area Headquarters Office who will then notify the local office nearest to where you are living.)

Any other local authority, council (Scotland) or Board (Northern Ireland); or if your adoption was arranged by an approved adoption society, by that society providing it is still operating as an adoption society.

You will understand that it is very important that precautions are taken against information about you being given to an unauthorised person. To avoid this you must take with you some means of identification, such as a bank card, passport/identity card or a driving licence.

The Registrar General will have sent the counsellor most of the information from your adoption order. This includes:

  • Your original name
  • the name of your birth mother
  • possibly, but not certainly, the name of your birth father
  • the name of the court where the order was made
  • The counsellor will give you this information at your request.

The counsellor will not have a copy of your original birth record at the interview but will be able to give you the necessary application form. You can use the information which the counsellor will give you and the application form to apply for a copy of your original birth record at any time if you decide you want one. There is a statutory fee for this birth certificate.

If you were adopted after 11 November 1975 and indicate on your application form that you do not wish to see a Counsellor, the information will be sent directly to you by the Registrar General. You will receive:

  • the name of the court which made the adoption order and the number, if any, of the
  • adoption application:
  • the name under which you were originally registered.
  • The name of your birth mother

This information will enable you to apply for a copy of your original birth record at any time. There is a statutory fee for this birth certificate.

You will also receive a copy of the authorisation form which will enable you, if you wish, to ask the court which made the adoption order for the name of the local authority or adoption society, if any, that took part in the arrangements for your adoption.

Even though you have not seen a counsellor before gaining access to your birth records, a post adoption service will be pleased to offer any support, assistance, or advice you may need, particularly if you decide to contact your birth family.