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Adoption and Stillbirth Registration Records

Coronavirus: Important information

Please read the following information before progressing:

  • Death registrations – All death registrations are now over the telephone. You will not be required to attend the register office in person. Please see our death registration guidance page for more information.
  • Marriage and Civil Partnerships - Unfortunately we are not able to carry out any marriages or civil partnerships until at least the 1 June 2020. Please see our marriage and civil partnerships guidance page for more information.
  • Birth registrations - Unfortunately we will not be able to carry out any birth registration appointments for the next 21 days. This will come into effect from Tuesday 24 March 2020 onwards. You can make a claim for child benefit or universal credit prior to the birth being registered. The 42 day requirement to register a birth has been relaxed and no action will be taken if you have not registered within that time frame.
  • Certificates - We are currently only able to process certificate applications where the certificate is required for urgent legal or administrative purposes. We can issue a maximum of 3 certificates per person only. We are not able to deal with applications for certificates for the purposes of family history research at this time.

Thank you for your understanding at this difficult time.

Adoption records

The records of adopted persons are archived slightly differently. When a child is adopted, a new birth record is created with the adoptive parents details. These new registrations are all held at the General Register Office in the Adopted Children's Register.

Although we may hold the original birth entry of a child that has later been adopted, we can only issue copy certificates of that entry if all of the original details are known.

The legal record that a person needs for purposes such as a passport application is the entry in the Adopted Children's Register at the General Register Office.

As it is only the adopted child that can apply to the General Register Office if they are interested in finding their original birth information, it is possible that this will limit your ability to search further if an adoption is in your family tree.

Stillbirth registrations

Whilst stillbirth registrations are carried out at local register offices, we do not hold archived registers; instead, when completed, they are sent to the General Register Office. There are some guidelines on who can apply for a copy of a stillbirth certificate; please contact the General Register Office for more information