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Tip of the day...Adoption records

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Joy Report 26 Apr 2012 11:35

This is useful:
Using Social Networking Sites to Make Contact with Birth Relatives


Joy Report 26 Apr 2012 22:19

This website is intended to be the first port of call for anyone thinking about searching for or making contact with birth and adopted relatives or researching an adoption that took place in the UK. Here you can:
Search for the location of adoption records
Look for agencies that offer support services in your area
Learn about your right to make or refuse contact
Find out about recent changes to the legislation
Read about searching for and making contact with birth relatives
Use the Pointers for Practice for professionals working with adopted people, adopted parents and birth relatives


Susan Report 9 May 2012 15:40

Thank you Joy.K.Maid,
for the information.
I have just emailed Westminster Council to find out whether my half brother,
William Paul Griffiths was adopted or not.


regina Report 19 May 2012 11:37

Hello to all, I am a newbie to family research, this thread caught my eye as I was 'informally adopted' a private arrangement between my parents and their friends at the time around 1975.

I have already hit proverbial walls on many fronts in my search and I will post in other areas as I progress. Here I am flummoxed with 'legal guardians' there seems to be little information about rights to information and responsibilites to retain or provide information

My parents' friends became my 'Guardians'; I'm sure this was more to do with finances rather than anything else! however I distinctly remember a Social Worker being involved for a short time.

I have since briefly looked into this matter Children Act 1975 and it indicates that formal notice needs to be provided to the Local Authority indicating intention to assume some responsibility for a child in this situation. A report is compiled by a social worker and presented to the courts, similar to that for adoption.

My query is related to whether these records are held anywhere, if so for how long ? I have contacted the Local Authority in question and was unable to get past a pretty unhelpful duty worker/receptionist who said all records would be destroyed by now !

However I'm not sure that information is correct or even helpful for anyone. I am exploring other avenues of tracing any known relatives however due to this 'gap' I have found it very difficult to ascertain whether I have the correct details for my mother, so I can't establish whether she is living or deceased.

I hope that is not garbled...basically and obvioulsy I need to identify my mother before commencing on a search- up to nowI have 2 birth certificates of same name 1 from Northern Ireland and 1 from Southern Ireland with similar but not exact details. Is it worth getting in the professionals?


regina Report 19 May 2012 11:40

oh how rude of me...I would much appreciate any pointers, from experience or skill.
Thank you :-)


Patricia Report 19 May 2012 19:37

I have for some time tried to find out if my father was adopted or not. All my mother and her family were told was that he was an orphan and had two aunts living in another town. His army service records gave a different birth-date and place to the one I thought I knew. Also they gave a name of a step-brother as next-of-kin. I did not know who this step-brother could be until I found out eventually that my father was born with a different name to the one he enlisted with in 1925. I did find out that his mother had died when he was aged 6 and his father died when he was aged 11. What happened to him after that I cannot find out and do not know where to look. Has anyone any ideas?


regina Report 20 May 2012 11:46

Hi Patricia,
I'm not an expert and I myself am new to this site and have hit a wall myself. It is difficult to see what you a have and have not tried already, so pardon me where necessary.

I would suggest you explore adoption records with both names, places and details if only to eliminate and clarify your search. There are adoption agencies linked with Local Authorities for each area that you may find useful.
Get copies of all certificates.
Where did his parents die? who were the informants recorded on the birth certificates?
Would the aunt's maiden names provide you with any clues? (if they were his mother's sisters all the better)

Aside from adoption records check for hints of schools attended, doctors etc, social services, name changes by deed and obviously what people tell you.
To my mind a child does not have much contact with registration/authority until they 'come of age' and classed as a person in their own right; passports, vote, graduate, buy property/ tenancy, marriage/divorce, have children and so on.

Keep going! you may 'again' begin to finds facts to tally with what you have been told or found out up to now.

Sorry if I stated the obvious, but happy if it helps!


Shelley Report 2 Jun 2012 11:31

My nanny who was adopt by her uncle as her birth mother passed away at childbirth and her father could not cope with a newborn baby (my nanny) so my nanny's uncle and aunty took over and brought her up since.

My nanny's adoption name was Syliva Ella Dunbar, and she was born 23rd February 1933 and she passed away on August 2010. She had three brothers thats what I was told by my mother. Her birth name was Mary Elizabeth Dunbar

Her adoption parent called Thomas Dunbar and Sarah Beattie. But I don't know her birth mother and father too. That's what I am stuck about.

Can i have your advise what I can do to find it? How can i find the adoption record?

Thank you.


Jonesey Report 5 Jun 2012 10:21

As you say she was adopted by her uncle and aunt then one of her parents must have been a sibling of either her uncle and aunt. It will be necessary to fully investigate the families of the uncle and aunt to see who that parent was.

My guess is that the uncle and aunt are this couple who married in Gateshead in 1919:

Marriages Jun 1919
Beattie Sarah E Dunbar Gateshead 10a 2369
Dunbar Thomas D Beattie Gateshead 10a 2369

Again my guesses as to who the individuals were are shown below but this will need to be confirmed by obtaining a copy of their marriage certificate:

Name: Sarah Elizabeth Beattie
Date of Registration: Apr-May-Jun 1896
Registration district: Gateshead
Inferred County: Durham, Tyne and Wear
Volume: 10a
Page: 872

Births Sep 1893
Dunbar Thomas Gateshead 10a 879

Sarah only appears to have had brothers which means that if she was the child's birth relation the child would most probably been born with the birth name Beattie.

Thomas on the other hand is a bit more difficult to pin down as he does not appear on any census with both of his parents. Following his mother, Ann (Nee Gallagher) with whom he does show up in 1901 it looks as though he too only had brothers so if one of those is the child's married father then her birth would most probably have been registered as Dunbar.

My guesses and I stress that they are only a guess which can only be proven by obtaining copies of the relevant certificates is that this was the child's original birth record and the marriage of her parents and the death of her mother:

Births Mar 1933
Dunbar Margaret Harvey Newcastle T 10b 196

Marriages Jun 1932
Dunbar Alexander Harvey Gateshead 10a 1605
Harvey Margaret J Dunbar Gateshead 10a 1605

Deaths Mar 1933
Dunbar Mary E J 32 Newcastle T. 10b 204


Marriages Mar 1924
Dunbar William Young Newcastle T. 10b 121
Young Mary E Dunbar Newcastle T. 10b 121

Births Mar 1933
Dunbar Mary E Steele Newcastle T 10b 180

Deaths Mar 1933
Dunbar Mary E J 32 Newcastle T. 10b 204


Helen Report 9 Jun 2012 22:26

My Mother-in-law was adopted in 1929 she was in care from the age of
2 and then was fostered untill the age of 9 by the people who adopted her.
She remembers going to the court to have it made legal. Is there anyway
we can get a copy of her adoption papers. She did have a copy of them
but over time and moving house they have gone missing.
Hope some one can help. Regards Helen :-) :-)


diane Report 12 Jun 2012 13:17

Wonder if anyone can help as I am not a computer buff. Adoption entry 01051 Reg District Hemsworth sub District Hemsworth Western. Name of child at Birth Angela Sutton born 20th or 22nd June 1967. Date of Adoption Order 11/12/67 in Middlesbrough County Court Date of Entry 1/1/68 Order granted by A Crisp-Comotto ADOPTED NAME ANGELA YORK. I desperate to find out the name of the birth mother who I believe is YVONNE SUTTON. Is there anyone out there has any adoption records for this period. So grateful for any help, am receiving great help from a wonderful and kind person called Jan but would appreciate any guidance thanks so much from DIane :-)


Michelle Report 13 Jun 2012 21:25

Dear Jonesey
My father was adopted and we have purchased an original birth certificate document which has his mother and fathers names on but states they were married which I can't seem to find I wondered if somebody would be able to help me further as I am stuck. She is called Vera M Snell and he is William Grey RAF wireless engineer (Corporal). She was at Home Farm, Great Finborough, stowmarket in 1943. My dad David Eric Snell 1943 has Gipping, Suffolk on his other documents.


Deborah Report 15 Jun 2012 03:26

I'm now 50 years old and have just discovered the man I believed to be my bother is really my father. Know one ever had the decency to tell me and still refuse to discuss it with me. The ironic thing is I ended up being brought up by him and his wife as both my Grandparents died when I was 9 and 11 His children were always told that I was there aunty. I Don't even know if they know I'm really their half sister.

I believe I have discovered who my mother is.

I am so hurt and angry even tho we have fallen out as a family I still think I deserve some sort of explanation.

My whole life is a lie.


Jonesey Report 15 Jun 2012 18:09


Like yourself I cannot see a marriage of a Vera M Snell and a William Grey.

Birth certificates do not actually state that the parents of a child are married although it is generally assumed that if the parents give the same surname and the mother another surname (Her maiden Surname) that they are married. As I am sure you are aware people do not always tell the truth and anybody can legally call themselves by any name they choose providing it is not for fraudulent purposes.

In the index itself although the MMN is typewritten as Snell beside that is handwritten Grey.

#COMMENT entry reads Snell or Grey for mother

It would appear that there may have been some doubt expressed or irregularity discovered and that the couple indicated as your fathers parents were not married.

There appears to have only been one birth of of a Vera M Snell which was in Suffolk in 1921. That person would certainly be a possible to be your fathers mother. She married a Wilbur F Crane (Who was I belief an American) in Essex in 1945. She obviously travelled to the USA as she made a return trip to the UK on 12/5/1952 described as a housewife whose residence is in the USA. She was making for Home Farm, Great Finsborough, Stowmarket.

Name: Vera Crane
Birth Date: abt 1923
Age: 29
Port of Departure: New York, New York, United States
Arrival Date: 12 May 1952
Port of Arrival: Southampton, England
Ship Name: Queen Elizabeth


Jonesey Report 15 Jun 2012 22:24


I have sent you a private message.


lavender Report 22 Jun 2012 22:04

I've enjoyed reading all these posts thank you, Jonesey :-)


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 ?


Joy 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.


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.


Julie Report 27 Jun 2012 16:55

thanks for your advice