Sheffield Archives does not hold adoption records, instead please contact Adoption Support Services.

If the adoption was arranged by court order in Sheffield, enquiries should be made to: The Legal Advisor, Sheffield Magistrates’ Court, Castle Street, Sheffield, S3 8LU.

For unreported cases in recent history, see Transcripts - What Is Available and How to Obtain Them published by the Lord Chancellor’s Department Library Service, Supreme Court Library. Copies of this may be available in your local library.

The Adopted Children Register

This is a record of all adoptions granted by courts in England and Wales since 1927. An entry is made here when an adoption order is issued, and this replaces the original birth entry.

The original entry will then be marked ‘adopted’. Unlike the GRO index of births, marriages and deaths, this register is not open to public inspection or search.

Adoption certificates

Two types of certificate are available: a short certificate which gives date, place and country of birth, adoptive forename and surname, sex.

A long certificate provides this information, but in addition gives name and surname, address and occupation of adoptive parent(s), date of adoption order, date on which adoption granted and the name of the court.

Access to birth records for adopted persons & how to find an adopted person’s original birth details

This will involve attending an informal meeting with an approved adoption advisor for confidential guidance (if a person was adopted before 1975). The GRO will forward original birth information to the chosen adoption advisor.

If a person was adopted after 1975, they have the choice of seeing an approved adoption advisor, or having their birth details sent to them direct.

Access to adoption records for birth relatives

This is possible through an approved intermediary agency, who will help make contact between birth relatives and adopted people.

The Adoption Contact Register

This was created in 1991 and exists to help put adopted people and their relatives in contact with each other, if that is what they both wish.

An adopted person can only find information about a birth relative if that relative has chosen to be entered in the register.

It has been possible since the end of 2005 for applicants to record a wish for ‘specific’ or ‘no contact’ with a named individual.

The Adoption Contact Register is in 2 parts, and there is a one-off registration fee required per entry.

GRO provides information on how adopted people and birth relatives can apply for contact.

There are a number of other organisations who can help in the search for information relating to adoption.

Archives Library

52 Shoreham Street


S1 4SP