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Apply for an original certificate online

The General Registry Office (GRO) keeps all the original birth certificates of people who have been adopted in England and Wales.

For adoption orders granted before 30 December 2005:

(Pre-commencement regulations)

If you are over the age of 18 years, you can contact the GRO directly. They will issue the correct forms to enable you to obtain a copy of your original birth certificate.

If you live in Norfolk and are required, or would like, to do this with the help of an adoption adviser, we suggest you nominate Norfolk Adoption Service. We are the sole adoption agency operating in Norfolk.

Once the GRO notifies us that an enquiry has been received, we will contact you to arrange a meeting.

For adoption orders granted on or after 30 December 2005:

(Post-commencement regulations)

Anyone adopted on or after 30 December 2005, no longer has the right to apply direct to the General Registry Office (GRO) for a copy of their original birth certificate.

Any application must now be made to an adoption agency. This is because:

  • It should be unusual for any child adopted after December 2005, not to already have a copy of their original birth certificate
  • The new regulations support the view that an adoption agency is best placed to handle any disclosure of background information. It is also able to provide counselling, support and advice where required

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