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Council Services:

Apply for an adoption certificate

If you’ve been legally adopted through a court order in England or Wales, your birth will be registered at:

The Adopted Children Register
General Register Office
Smedley Hydro
Merseyside, PR8 2HH

You’ll need to apply to this address for a certificate of your birth entry in your adopted name. Find out more on

Can I trace my original birth entry?

If you were adopted before 12 November 1975 you are required by law to receive counselling from an approved counsellor before being allowed access to this information.

If you were adopted after 11 November 1975 you are not legally required to receive counselling before you begin your search.  However, we strongly recommend you seek support from an approved counsellor.

You can get counselling from:

  • The General Register Office, Southport
  • Lincolnshire County Council
  • The adoption society which dealt with your adoption

At the end of the interview you’ll be issued with form CA5. This will give you details to help you apply for a copy of your original birth entry.

Contacting the adopted person and their relatives

Since 1991, the General Register Office has held the Adoption Contact Register. This has two parts:

  • Part 1 contains the details of who has been adopted
  • Part 2 contains the details of the relatives of the adopted person

A fee is charged to have your details included in the register.

If a link is made by the adopted person then details of the relatives are sent to the adopted person.  It is  up to them if they wish to make contact.  Details of the adopted person are not disclosed to the relatives.

Contact the General Register Office for more information about adoption.

Order your certificates

Use our online service to apply and pay for your certificate.


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Last updated: 30 June 2016

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