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Support for adopted adults

Support for adopted adults


If you are an adult aged 18 and over, you can apply for access to information about your birth origins. We offer support to adopted adults who:


  • live in Bedford
  • were adopted through Bedford Borough Council, although contacting the Adoption Team in your own Local Authority who will liaise with us is often a much quicker process
  • have applied for their original birth certificate and have chosen Bedford as the place to have their counselling, and have informed the General Register Office of this research


Adopted before 12th November 1975?


By law, you need to speak to a local authority social worker or a counsellor from an approved adoption society before you can apply for your original birth certificate.


At the counselling session you will be given advice on how to proceed and how to prepare yourself. You can apply to the General Register Office for a copy of your original birth certificate.  If you were born outside England and Wales, the General Register Office can advise you who to apply to for this information.  All the information along with relevant forms can be found on the Directgov website.


Adopted on or after 12th November 1975?


You are not required by law to have counselling before you can continue with your birth certificate application, although you may find it helpful.


You are entitled to ask for counselling and support if you wish. You may find this really helpful when looking at aspects of any information provided that may cause distress or conflict. It could help you make an informed decision about the journey you are going to take.


Accessing information


If you decide you want access to information from your adoption file, you can apply to the adoption agency that arranged your adoption and your worker can arrange for it to be sent to us.


If you do not know the adoption agency, your counsellor can try and find out where it is and apply for the file on your behalf.


If your adoption was arranged by us, we will request your file from our archives.


Sometimes no file is available. It may be possible that the court involved at the time is happy to share the court file with us and this can be requested.


Once an adoption file has been received, your worker will prepare a copy to share with you.


Adoptive parents of adults seeking birth information


Often adoptive parents wish to support their adult children in finding out information about their birth origins. The website www.adoptionsearchreunion.org.uk has a section with information for adoptive parents.


Adopted adults may be worried about causing distress to their adoptive parents and might not feel able to share the fact that they are seeking birth origin information. Research indicates that in the majority of instances where adopted adults seek out this information, the relationship with their adoptive parents is not harmed. We can talk this through with you.


We are happy to discuss any concerns that you may have, to share with you any changes in the legislation since you adopted and to signpost you on to other agencies if appropriate.


Call us on 01234 718718 or email adoptionandfostering@bedford.gov.uk

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