An adopted adult can register a 'veto to contact' - a written instruction about contact with a birth relative - with the adoption agency that arranged the adoption. This can be either an 'absolute' veto or a 'qualified' veto to contact.
- An absolute veto states that no contact, under any circumstance, be made with the adopted adult, whether directly or via an intermediary agency acting for a member of the birth family.
- A qualified veto specifies that contact can only be made by particular members of the birth family, and only under certain circumstances, either directly or via an intermediary agency acting for a birth relative.
Once a veto has been registered with the appropriate adoption agency it is legally binding on the agency, and stays in force for life or until the adopted adult withdraws or amends it. However it cannot prevent a birth relative from attempting to contact the adopted person directly by some other means. The adoption agency holding the veto can also still approach the adopted adult in exceptional circumstances, if for example information to do with their health welfare needs to be passed on.