Adoption – finding a parent/sibling

If you have been adopted, there are ways that you can find details about your birth family. Once you have turned 18 you are allowed to access your birth records.

This can be an emotional and difficult process to undertake alone and therefore we suggest that you seek the support of someone that you trust to help you through this time.

How can I access my birth records?

If you know your birth details, you can order your birth certificate from the General Register Office (GRO).

If you do not know your birth details, you will need to fill in an application for Birth Certificate Information Before Adoption (BIBA) Service.

Post or email the form to:

If you make this application an Adoption Adviser will help you find your relatives.

Once you have your birth records you can contact the court that made the Adoption Order to find out the name of the adoption agency which placed you with your adoptive family. You may be able to see some of the information in your file.

How do you find birth relatives if you were adopted?

If you’re 18 or over and your birth or adoption was registered with the General Register Office (GRO) then you can add yourself to the Adoption Contact Register. If a birth relative has also added their details you will be able to find each other.

You need to fill in form CR part 1 to add yourself to the register. Read guidance notes on how to complete the form.

You need:

  • your original birth name
  • your date of birth
  • the full name(s) of your birth mother (and birth father if known).

The fee is £15 – instructions on how to pay are on form CR part 1.

Useful organisations

Coram BAAF – 0300 222 5775

Adoption Search Reunion



Find out how you can access support with this issue by contacting the Coram Voice free Advocacy Helpline for Children and Young People on 0808 800 5792 or visit