How to obtain birth records

The Norfolk Adoption Service is the adoption agency in Norfolk and we have adoption advisors to support you.

Anyone over the age of 18 is entitled to a copy of their original birth certificate. You are also entitled to ask for access to your adoption records. These records may be able to give you some information about your birth parents’ circumstances at the time of your adoption.

If you do not have a copy of your original birth certificate then you need to apply for a copy.

If you were adopted before 12 November 1975 and do not know your name at birth, you will need to apply to the Register General for Access to Birth Records from the General Register Office (GRO) and see an adoption advisor. Please apply to the GRO via the contact details below and put on the form that you wish to have an appointment with an adoption advisor at Norfolk County Council, along with the details of Norfolk Adoption Service, email or call 0344 800 8020.

If you were adopted on or after 12 November 1975 and before 30 December 2005, and do not know your birth name, you can apply to the General Registrar for the information to enable you to obtain a copy of your original birth certificate. You can apply for Access to Birth Records and a certificate of your original birth entry by contacting the GRO on 0300 123 1837 or through the GRO website.

If you already know your original name then you have the information to apply directly to the Register General for a copy of your original birth certificate.

Anyone adopted on or after 30 December 2005 no longer has the right to apply direct to the GRO for a copy of their original birth certificate. Any application must now be made to an adoption agency. (See ‘ Applying online for certificates’)

You can read more about your right to access information on the Adoption Search Reunion website.

Some people are satisfied with finding out a bit more about their background information while others may want to use this information to begin a search for birth family members.

We can offer advice, information, counselling or support to anyone who is thinking about seeking information or searching for people. If you would like to talk to anyone about our range of services please contact us. We give some support but are not a tracing agency.

There are also a number of organisations which provide information and assistance to adopted adults. Details of these are listed below in the section using the internet for searching and tracing.

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