On 31st October 2014 new regulations came into force to extend the provision of intermediary services to facilitate contact between ‘persons with a prescribed relationship’ and the birth relatives of a person adopted before 30th December 2005.

In order for a search to be made to locate birth relatives of the adopted person, the Intermediary Agency (IA) applies to the General Registrar’s Office (GRO) to obtain certain pieces of information to enable them to begin the search for the birth family member. It has recently come to light that whilst the GRO can let the IA know the name of the Appropriate Adoption Agency (who are permitted to disclose the birth name of the adopter person to the IA), the GRO are not permitted to disclose the birth name of the adopted person to the IA, although they can disclose the details of any birth relatives entered on the Adoption Contact Register. This means that there may be some applications where the IA is unable to get information about a person’s birth name from either the Appropriate Adoption Agency or the Adoption Contact Register. In such circumstances, the IA would require the birth name of the adopted person to be disclosed by the GRO to enable them to conduct a search for birth relatives of the adopted person. The Department of Education and the General Registrar’s Office are working together and are committed to sorting this out as soon as possible. BAAF will post an update notice on the Adoption Search Reunion website as soon as we have further news.

In the meantime, further information about the new regulations and three guides produced by BAAF to explain the new rights to access intermediary services can be found in the Locating Records section of the Adoption Search Reunion website.