Guidance on making a Subject Access or Individual Rights Request

Adoption information

If you want information about an adoption, please contact the Adoptions Team directly and provide as much information as you can, for example: names, place of adoption, dates, addresses.

What we need from you

Proof of ID and address

We need proof of name and address, to ensure we complete requests for the correct person. We need copies of 2 pieces of identification to prove who you are; one piece of photographic identification (passport or driver’s license) and one proof of address (utility bill or bank statement). We accept photocopies, scanned copies and photographs of documents.

Proof of change of name

Please send proof of change of name documents, if needed. This is especially important if you are an adult requesting historic records from childhood.

Proof of entitlement to request another person’s personal data

This can include:

  • Full birth certificate for a child you are responsible for, naming you as their parent.
  • Parental Responsibility Order, Adoption Order, Residence Order, or Special Guardianship Order granted by Court
  • Parental Responsibility Agreement
  • Lasting Power of Attorney
  • Enduring Power of Attorney
  • Court-appointed Deputyship

Please note, providing these documents does not provide you with an automatic right to receive the personal information of another person. We will review this information to help us decide what information you are entitled to.

If you are making a request for information on behalf of young person or adult with mental capacity you'll need:

  • proof of ID and address for both you and the data subject (where possible)
  • where necessary, written consent to release the documents to you, even if you have responsibility for the data subject
  • a signed and dated letter from the data subject, if they are 12 years or older, giving you permission to receive their data on their behalf,  

If the young person or adult does not have mental capacity, please provide evidence of lack of capacity.

Please note

  • East Sussex County Council will only release information if we know the disclosure is justified, having balanced the person’s best interests against the person’s right to privacy.
  • We don’t usually need to see original documents, but if you send originals we ask you send these by recorded, special or registered delivery or bring them to County Hall, Lewes, by appointment only. East Sussex County Council is not liable for items lost in the post. East Sussex County Council will return originals by recorded delivery.
  • East Sussex County Council may ask to see original documents on request at any point during our search if it is reasonable to do so in the circumstances. We may need to see the documents you are providing before making a decision.
  • If you have any questions about the proof required, please contact Customer Services on 01273 482913

What we need to know from you

Please give as much detail as possible about the information that you would like to help with our searches and so we can respond to you as quickly as possible.

This may include:

  • the dates of the information. This may also help us to find where the information is stored
  • which departments and teams you have had contact with during these dates
  • the names of staff who have worked with you
  • any reference numbers you have
  • telling us about documents you think we hold
  • if you are requesting someone else’s information, please confirm what your relationship is to them
  • please tell us if you have had any previous names
  • if you are requesting historical information then provide as many details as possible; for example, previous addresses you lived at with dates.
  • please tell us if your request relates to your employment at East Sussex County Council.

In addition to the above list, for requests to Children’s Services, please tell us if:

  • you, or anyone’s information you are requesting, are currently receiving social care
  • you, or anyone’s information you are requesting, were receiving social care
  • you, or anyone’s information you are requesting, were a former looked-after child, child in care or fostered child
  • you, or anyone’s information you are requesting, were adopted
  • were your or their parents adopted?
  • please provide as much information as you can, including dates, names of workers (including carers, if applicable) and any addresses at the time East Sussex County Council was involved in your care.
  • please provide the names and dates of birth of your parents and siblings, if known.

How to submit your request

  • Follow the instructions below to submit your request online or email us at with your request and attach the documents.
  • You can write to us with your request and documents at: Information Governance Officer, W1D, County Hall, St Anne’s Crescent, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 1UE.
  • If you want to speak to us in person, please call to arrange a meeting on 01273 482913.

How to complete and submit the online form

You can submit your request via our online form. Your documents should be uploaded with your webform. Please note that the form times out after 30 minutes. We recommend saving the details of your request elsewhere and pasting them into the form when it is completed.

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Subject access request

Please select ‘Your involvement'. This confirms whether you are the data subject or whether you are representing someone. If you are requesting both yours and someone else’s information, please choose ‘I represent someone else’.

If you select ‘Multiple Departments’ where it asks for the Type of Information, please list them in the text box along with details of your request (See the ‘What we need to know from you section’ above).

If you are requesting more than one person’s information, please specify the number of people on the next page. Please include yourself in this number if you are requesting yours and other people’s information.

Please complete your personal details as requested, then fill out the details for each other person (if applicable), clicking ‘Next’ to move on. You will be able to review the information before submitting the webform. You can edit each section before clicking 'Submit' at the top of the form.

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Subject access request

Further Information

If you have any questions email us at or call us on 01273 482913.

Please see our Privacy Notice for details about how we handle your information.

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