We provide services to people who were adopted, and are now adults, who may wish to access their birth records or trace birth family members.
Adopt South West provides adoption support services on behalf of the local authorities Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay. Therefore, if you are an adopted person living in the Adopt South West area (even if you were adopted through another agency, or via a different local authority), please contact us if you require support or advice.
Support for people aged 18 years old and over
If you have been adopted we can offer help and support. We provide a counselling service to adults who want information about their birth history.
Please call 0345 155 1076 or email email@example.com to access this support.
Emotional and behavioural support
- Adoption Support Fund – funding for specialist therapeutic services; this is subject to assessment of need. Workers in Adopt South West are available to assess and advise on what therapeutic services may be the most appropriate to support you. This is available for young people who are up to (and including) the age of 21 years, or 25 years if the person is in receipt of an Education Health Care Plan).
- If you are an adopted adult and live in one of our four local authorities we can help you find out more about your birth family history. This involves supporting you to access your adoption records and providing information and advice about how to trace members of your birth family, if you make that the decision to do so.
- Adopt South West can work with you to complement education-based support. While we are not able to offer direct support in college or university, we work with colleagues in education across the region; providing advice and looking at the best ways of supporting you.
- If you have been been supported by Child and Adult Mental Health Services (CAMHS) they will be able to advise you regarding a transition to Adult Mental Health services.
- Child and Adult Mental Health Services (CAMHS) provide specialist mental health services nationally for young people through the NHS. Local CAMHS contacts are
Your identity support
- Therapeutic Lifestory work could be available to you through the Adoption Support Fund. If you need any advice or support with any lifestory issues please email please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the advice and support line 0345 155 1076
- If your family received an adoption allowance up to the age of 18 years old, in certain circumstances this can continue beyond the age of 18 years old. For more information on this, please email email@example.com or contact the advice and support line 0345 155 1076
Finding your birth relatives
At the age of 18, you can apply to the get a copy of the original birth certificate by contacting the General Register Office.
- Online: www.gov.uk/adoptionrecords (the form you need to complete is called Access to Birth Certificate Information Before Adoption)
- Write to: General Register Office, Adoptions Section Room C202, Smedley Hydro, Trafalgar Road Southport PR8 2HH.
- Telephone: 0300 123 1837 and press option 8
If you were adopted before 12 November 1975, you will have to attend a counselling session with an adoption counsellor before your birth details are released.
We will meet with you and will try to track down information about the circumstances of your adoption. This information comes from files that may still be held by adoption agencies, other local authorities, adoption charities, or the relevant courts.
In situations where you are affected by issues stemming from adoption, some counselling may also be provided.
Adoption Contact Register
The national Adoption Contact Register helps to put adopted people and their birth family in contact with each other if this is what they both want.
You can also use the Adoption Contact Register to say that you don’t want to be contacted. Tell your agency and register a veto if you don’t want to be approached by an intermediary agency.
More information about intermediary agencies and registering a veto can be found at GOV.UK – Adoption records.
- Tracing Birth Relatives: A Practical Guide for Adopted People (very helpful, and lists websites on pages 15-20)
- Adoption Search Reunion
- UK Adoption Tracing Service
- Adoption Services for Adults
- CoramBAAF useful organisations for adults who were adopted
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