Adoption Contact Register for Scotland

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Click here to download and print the Adoption Contact Registration form if you are unable to register online via the above link.

Please complete the form and post enclosing identifying documents, relevant fee and SAE to Birthlink, 21 Castle Street, Edinburgh EH2 3DN. You will receive an acknowledgement within fourteen days.


Why does the Adoption Contact Register for Scotland exist?

We are all naturally curious about our origins, and knowing who we are has an added importance for adopted people. Research shows that this need to know can be a natural desire irrespective of life experiences. Birth parents, of children given up for adoption, often feel a strong need to know that their children are safe and well. Other birth relatives may have similar concerns. By providing advice, information and practical services the Adoption Contact Register for Scotland can help satisfy these needs in a sensitive and confidential way.

How does it work?

The information supplied on a completed registration form is entered onto the Adoption Contact Register for Scotland which is a computerised database registered under the Data Protection Act 1984. A check is then carried out against the information supplied by all other registrations that have been registered onto the Adoption Contact Register for Scotland.

What happens after registration?

After returning the completed form to Birthlink the information given will be entered onto the Adoption Contact Register for Scotland. It will be cross-referenced against all existing entries on the register and also against future registrations as they come in.

If this proves successful and there is a match with someone connected to you who is also registered* , a member of Birthlink staff can then act as a go-between to arrange a meeting or to exchange news. If you want to pause or call a halt to the process at any time the decision is yours.

It is important you keep us informed of any changes to you contact details, such as your name or address. This will help us if we need to contact you in the future.

*Please note that when a match occurs you will be asked for a contribution towards the costs of mediation and support.

Why register?

— Registration on the Adoption Contact Register for Scotland is a responsible and considerate act that can benefit all parties concerned.

— It is a route by which many questions can be answered and reassurances given.

— It is a means by which important medical information related to the adopted persons birth family may be obtained.

— Registration can provide the option of making contact where there is mutual consent and an agreement regarding the type of contact wished for.

— By registering a request that you do not wish to be contacted, persistent searching and distressing attempts at contact may be avoided.


Who can register?

— All people aged 16 and over, whose birth and/or adoption took place in Scotland (The adopted person will need their original birth information to be able to complete the form*.)

— Birth mothers, birth fathers and any other birth relatives, where the adopted persons birth and/or adoption took place in Scotland.

— Adoptive parents on behalf of a child under the age of 16, where the childs birth and/or adoption took place in Scotland.

* Adopted adults (over the age of 16 in Scotland) who are seeking to obtain their original birth certificates should make direct contact either by letter, telephone, email or in person at the following address;

The National Records of Scotland Adoption Unit
General Register House
2 Princes Street
Telephone: 0131 535 1355 or 1383

Original birth certificate and adoption certificate

An appointment is not always necessary but it can reduce the waiting time if you make an appointment in advance. You will be asked to provide proof of your identity in your current name, such as the adoption certificate, driving license or health card. If you are a married woman you will be required to provide a copy of your marriage certificate. You will then be entitled to;

— See the original entry in the birth register

— Purchase a full abbreviated copy of the entry

— Purchase a full or abbreviated certificate from The Adopted Children’s Register

How much does it cost?

We ask people who register on the Adoption Contact Register for Scotland to pay a fee of £20.00. This payment makes a small contribution towards the costs involved in maintaining this service. There is a fund available for those people who are in receipt of benefits and others who are unable to make payment in full. Please ask for more information.

Payment methods from outside the United Kingdom

If you are contacting us from anywhere other than the UK you can either, call the office with your credit card details or arrange with your Bank for a Bankers Draft in £ Sterling.

In Partnership with

Scot Gov