Finding an adopted relative

Tracing adopted relatives

Birth relatives can get help in tracing an adopted relative. This service is available to a birth parent, brother, sister, grandparent, aunt, uncle or cousin.

Before doing so you must consider:

  • we can only help you if the adopted person is over 18
  • the adopted person has the right to decide if they want any contact as we cannot go against their wishes
  • this process will take some time
  • there may be some situations where despite our best efforts, it is impossible to trace your adopted relative
  • we may not be able to assist if the adoption took place after 1985

What we can do:

  • check archive records to see if any information is held about your adopted relative
  • approach the adopted person to see if they wish to have contact
  • support you through the process
  • be present at any reunion

We also provide counselling, advice and specialist information on request. If you would like to speak to a social worker about our services contact:

Adoption team

: 0800 652 1271 (freephone)


I'm interested in adoption

Alternatively, you can contact the General Register Office:

General Register Office

: 0300 123 1837