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Tip of the day...Adoption records

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Christine Report 2 Oct 2012 23:13

I worked with a lady back in the eighties who had adopted a son. She and her husband had two very great friends who wanted to adopt but were judged to be too old. This lady and her husband therefore adopted the child themselves and then handed him over to the other couple to bring up! I don't quite know how they managed with follow-up visits etc - although they lived very close by and acted as "aunt and uncle".

What a nightmare though for the child when he wants to know who he is!


Jonesey Report 2 Oct 2012 11:39


Unfortunately attitudes towards unmarried mothers were very different back then than what they are today so young ladies who found themselves in that position either went or were sent well away from their family home to have their child.

With the mother's surname being Dolan there is a strong possibility that she was either Irish or of Irish extraction.

When you say that you have the address where she lived I am assuming that this was what was given as the mothers usual address indicated on your friends birth certificate. Have you investigated that address to determine whether it was a family home or a lodging house at the time of your friends birth? If it was the former look into the people who owned the house to see whether or not they might be related to the mother. Unfortunately if it was the latter then the chances are that it may simply have been the place the mother was temporarily staying in during the latter stages of her pregnancy whilst she awaited the birth.

Is any occupation shown for the mother? If there is and it was an unusual occupation then look at things such as Kelly's directories to see whether there were any businesses nearby that might have employed someone with those skills.

You have probably already done this but if not, look for Mary Dolan marriages taking place within the general area in the few years following the birth.

Good luck.


irene Report 1 Oct 2012 16:06

Can anyone help me please?? for years we have been trying to trace my friends birthmother. Mary Dolan!! . she gave her up for adoption in 1936. We have the hospital she was born and the address where she lived but no fathers name.We have been down all the routes of finding her but still no trace. Has anyone got any suggestions please ?

many thanks Irenex

 Sue In Yorkshire.

Sue In Yorkshire. Report 31 Aug 2012 11:37

Hi Jonesey,

Yes she is 100% positive that the details on the birth and death certs(she sent for both certs) for the baby born April 1947 are her adopted parents

I will ask her to get in touch with Norcap.
Jonesey for all your help.



Jonesey Report 31 Aug 2012 10:04


Is your friend is 100% sure that the child whose birth was registered in April 1947 was the natural child of the couple who she now believes were her adoptive parents? A copy of that child's birth and death certificates should contain sufficient information to prove or disprove that.

If proven then obviously if she was born in October of the same year she is obviously the child of a different mother.

I am no expert so I would suggest that she contacts Norcap ( or Tel 01865 875000) who should be able to advise her of the best course of action to take to try to discover her true parentage.

Good luck.

 Sue In Yorkshire.

Sue In Yorkshire. Report 30 Aug 2012 21:37


Heres a mystery for you.

I have a friend from when were 2/12 yrs old.

She has just looked for her bith(1947) on differnt sites and can't find it anywhere

She now thinks she may have been adopted but her adopted parents must have destroyed all the paper work as when her Dad died there was very little paperwork to go through.

She now knows that her (adopted) parents had a little boy in April 1947 but he died and she was born October 1947.

Do you know where she could go to find out the info she needs as this not finding her birth details has really upset her as she thought her parents were her birth parents.



neil Report 14 Aug 2012 22:39

Thank you for your help Jonesey

On the marriage certificate it said that Williams father was called Henry, and that he was deceased. His occupation had been a labourer. Thanks for the link i will try


Jonesey Report 12 Aug 2012 17:52


As adoption was only formalised in 1927 obviously no formal records will exist. You say that this happened about 1890. Have you looked for him on the 1891 and 1901 UK census records to see if you can pin that down? Have you seen your husband's grandfather's marriage certificate to see what, if anything is shown about his father?

I am afraid that my knowledge of procedures and records regarding Jersey is woefully lacking but there is a Genes Reunited member, Jerseylily who often helps out with matters relating to Jersey. May I suggest that you contact her in the hope that she may be able to assist you. A link to her thread is shown below:

Good luck


neil Report 11 Aug 2012 18:01

Hi Jonesey

I know that my husbands Grandfather was adopted from Jersey by an uncle and aunt in 1890 or there about. He was born in 1879 and died in 1967 in Wolverhampton. Have you got any suggestions how i find out any more information please.


Jennifer Report 9 Aug 2012 20:30

I am 99 % sure my mother had another child after me she could have used 3 names to register it if she did !!! we are talking 1944/50s and I belive she left in in the hosital after giving birth of course it could have died but I don't know how to start a search on this one Jennu


shana Report 13 Jul 2012 17:24

hi lesley yes there should be one for birth if it doesnt come up for the area you are putting in leave the area open if that doesnt work try putting the year 1950 give or take 4 years if by the time you have done give or take ten years it doesnt come up check the spellings good luck


Lesley Report 12 Jul 2012 17:13

I have met someone recently who I could never find a birth cert for. Indeed he was adopted as I had guessed -he gave me his birth name and date of birth, but is not interested in tracing his family I did look for the record and could find none.

Should there still be one for birth, it was in 1950.


shana Report 8 Jul 2012 15:20

hi patricia
if you send for a birth certificate of that person ,you will know if he is adopted in the last box along where the birth information is given the word adoption will be written nobody else is allowed to give the information to if he is or not adopted


shana Report 8 Jul 2012 15:09

hi to you all
on yhe subject of adoption now birth relatives can ask for contact wiyh a adoptee but only where the adoptee agrees to contact


Diamonds-R-A-Girls-Best-Friend Report 4 Jul 2012 22:09

What a sad situation for mother and son.


Jonesey Report 4 Jul 2012 07:16

Sadly not all reunions work out as people would wish:


Julie Report 27 Jun 2012 16:55

thanks for your advice


Jonesey Report 25 Jun 2012 21:50


As Joy has said it will be difficult if not impossible to find out who your grandmothers father was. As no fathers name appears on the birth certificate then we can only assume that your grandmother was born illegitimate.

If her mother had been able to keep her then perhaps there may have been a record of the mother applying to the court for an order of Affiliation in an attempt to get the putative father to contribute to the cost of raising the child. However the fact that the child was "Adopted" by others shortly after her birth makes this an unlikely prospect.

Formal adoption on began in 1927 so prior to that "Adoption" was informal often arranged within family members or through church organisations.

Joy Kentish Maid

Joy Kentish Maid Report 25 Jun 2012 18:13

With difficulty, I am sorry to say, Julie, as official adoption did not come into being until about 1926, I think.


Julie Report 24 Jun 2012 20:57

my grandma was born in 1914 in bradford and was adopted in 1914 bradford
i have her mothers name on her birth certificate but no fathers name
how do i go about finding out who her real parents were ?