Birth Information help for Adopted child

joanna livermore made this Freedom of Information request to General Register Office

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was successful.

Dear General Register Office,

My friend was born in 1980 - officially adopted during that year. Can you tell me if her birth would have been registered and whether this would be searchable? All she currently is a 'newer' certificate with her current name on.

Yours faithfully,

Mrs Livermore

General Register Office

If your enquiry falls within the remit of a Freedom of Information request Her Majesty’s Passport Office will send you an acknowledgement within the next 2 working days.

If your enquiry does not fall within the Freedom of Information remit this will not be forwarded or responded to. Therefore please contact the appropriate department listed below:

• For a passport enquiry or complaint, please complete an online enquiry form

• If your enquiry or complaint relates to a certificate which you have ordered from the General Registrar’s Office, please complete the certificate service order enquiries form.

• If your request is for information relating to your data held by Her Majesty’s Passport Office or an individual it falls under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998 and may qualify as a Subject Access Request, please email [email address]

• If your enquiry relates to nationality you should forward your enquiry to the UK Visas and Immigration enquiry team who are better placed to respond, please email [email address]

GRO Policy,

Dear Mrs Livermore

Thank you for your recent email requesting guidance on how to obtain a birth registration for an adopted person.

As you have asked for general advice on the adoption process we have handled your query as official correspondence rather than under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. This has made no difference to our response.

Before a person is adopted, the birth would have been registered at the Register Office in the district where it took place. The General Register Office (GRO) holds a central copy of all birth registrations for England and Wales from 1 July 1837. The birth would be searchable through the GRO indexes. These can be found at host sites throughout the country. The location of these host sites are as follows:

Birmingham Central Library, Bridgend Reference and Information Library, the British Library, City of Westminster Archives Centre, Newcastle City Library, Manchester City Library and Plymouth Central Library.

Private companies and some registration districts also provide indexes online.

Once the correct entry has been identified an order for the certificate can be made online, by phone, by post to GRO or via the register office where the event was registered. For more details please visit the website

Local register offices also hold records of the events which are registered in their area and applications can be made directly to them.

If your friend does not know her birth name, she can apply to our office using the “Birth Certificate Information Before Adoption” application form which can be found on the GOV.UK website at:

The application form should be completed by your friend and returned to GRO by email or post. It is currently taking 4 – 6 weeks to process applications.

I hope this information assists your friend

Melanie Shipstone

Policy Advisor
Civil Registration

Her Majesty's Passport Office, General Register Office
Room 01, Smedley Hydro, Trafalgar Road, Southport, PR8 2HH

T: 0151 471 4378 Text Relay Prefix 18001
E: [email address]

show quoted sections