I was adopted and want more information

It does not matter where you were adopted. To find out about your adoption, contact the authority where you live now. If you now live in East Sussex, please contact:

Telephone: 01323 747 154
Email: Adoption Advice Line

Provide as much information as you can. Any of the following will help us to help you:

  • your current full name, address and telephone number
  • full birth name
  • full name when adopted
  • date of adoption order
  • agency that placed you for adoption
  • names of your adopted parents
  • names of your birth parents

The General Register Office (GRO) can provide your:

  • birth name

  • date of adoption

  • name of court involved.

If your adoption was after 30 December 2005, you can also get this information from the agency or social services that arranged your adoption.

If your adoption was in East Sussex and we can find your records, we’ll send you a letter to say when these will be ready. A social worker will prepare your records, share them with you and provide advice and support.

If we have to try and trace your records through other local authorities, we will follow their waiting times.

You can add your name to the National Adoption Contact Register. You can say you want, or do not want, contact with other members of your birth family. If you want contact and a member of your family is on the register, or joins in the future, they will tell you. There is a fee to register.

Tracing your birth parents

Making the decision to trace your birth parents may be emotional for you and your adoptive parents. If you would like to talk to someone about your decision, contact the Adoption Team (above).

If you are 18 or over, you can access your original birth certificate. If you are trying to trace your birth parents, your birth certificate may give details of your parents. It will include your mother’s maiden name and her address at the time of your birth.


The Adoption Team can offer advice and support if you choose not to have counselling.

If your adoption was before 11 November 1975, you must attend a counselling interview with one of our social workers. Before the 1976 Adoption Act, some parents and adopters were told that the adopted child would not be able to find out their original name or the names of their parents.

It might come as a shock to them if you do make contact. It is important for you to talk to a counsellor about what might happen if you do trace your birth parents.

Birth relatives of an adopted person

If you are a birth relative of an adopted person, you can ask advice about accessing an Intermediary service.

However, East Sussex is not registered to provide this service ourselves. Please speak to our Adoption Advice Line for further details:

Telephone: 01323 747 154

Applying to the Court

You can collect an adoption application form at a Family Court:

Was this page helpful?

Click or tap the rating which best represents your experience.