Adoption records finally accessible
Genealogists hoping to discover the origins of an adopted forebear could finally break down brick walls thanks to a change in the law.
Following several years of campaigning, certain persons of a ‘prescribed relationship’ to an adopted adult – including children and grandchildren – are now allowed to access details and make contact with the adoptee’s biological relatives through intermediary agencies.
Prior to the change, only the adopted person themselves or their birth relatives could use the services.
The new rules were supposed to come into force in October 2014, but had to be delayed due to problems with obtaining the birth names of adoptees from the General Register Office.
Speaking in 2014, Julia Feast from the British Association for Fostering and Adoption (now CoramBAAF), said that the organisation was “delighted” with the developments, adding that it was also pleased that relatives could access the information “while ensuring the adopted person’s rights were not overlooked.”