Before 1927, all adoptions were informal. Some records may have been kept by the family and there may be a reference to adoption in legal documents, such as wills, but there was no national register. Even after 1927, when formal adoption with a central register was introduced, informal arrangements continued.
There are no online registers or indexes of formal adoptions in England and Wales. Anyone who wants to trace the birth relatives of adoptees, like Nicky Campbell
(right), should consult the Adoption Search Reunion site at www.adoption searchreunion. org.uk.