Accessing adoption records

If you are an adopted adult, you can contact us to ask for access to the information we may hold about your adoption.

To do this, you must:

  • be aged 18 or over 
  • live in Sheffield 

If you do not live in Sheffield but know that we arranged you adoption, then please contact your local adoption service or an approved adoption agency in the area where you live. They will arrange with Sheffield for you to access your records more locally and they will be better able to support you.

How to request access to your adoption records

You will need to write to us providing:

  • Your current name and adopted name (if this is different)
  • Your birth name, if known
  • Date of adoption, if known.
  • Name(s) of adopted parents
  • Your contact details
  • Brief details of what you are hoping to find out
  • Add your signature as proof of consent

Write to us at: One Adoption South Yorkshire, Level 7, East Moorfoot Building, Young Street, Sheffield

S1 4PL or email

What happens next

We will acknowledge your request.

At the point of allocation, we will contact you again to make an appointment for you to see an adoption advisor, to go through the information with you. During this meeting we will need to establish your identity by seeing photographic proof such as a passport or driving licence, as well as proof of address.

If we did not arrange your adoption but you live in Sheffield, we will need to contact the Appropriate Adoption Agency to obtain the adoption file information; this may create some delay.

Where your request to access your adoption records is accepted, we would want to provide you with advice and support, irrespective of when the adoption occurred. However, in all cases where a person was adopted before 12 November 1975, they are required to receive counselling before they can access their records. This can be provided via your local authority or the General Register Office, who hold a record of your original birth certificate. 

The process does vary slightly according to when you were adopted but we will be able to advise you about this when you contact us. 

Approved Adoption Agency request for birth records

If you work for an approved adoption agency and want to request birth records on someone’s behalf, please write to us.  We will need to see proof that you work for the agency eg letter headed document.  

Searching, Tracing and Intermediary Services

We know that many adopted adults simply want to access their adoption records to get information about their adoption, while others want to make links with their birth family. You will be able to talk to us about your wishes when we meet with you. However, please note that we do not provide help with finding and contacting birth family members (outside of existing Letterbox arrangements).  What we will be able to do is provide you with details of services that will help you regarding this.

Contact Adoption Support

Level 7, East Wing
Moorfoot Building
Young Street
S1 4PL

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