Access to adoption records

If you believe that Hackney Council arranged for you to be adopted as a child, and you are now over 18 years old, you have the legal right to information about your adoption.


Adoption records

Adoption records held by the council are exempt from regular subject access provisions. This means that individuals (including adopted people, birth relatives, adoptive parents and prospective adoptive parents) are unable to use the route of subject access requests to get this information as to do so would breach data protection law.

There are special procedures through which individuals can gain access to their adoption records. Due to the nature of this information, it will involve a more considered approach to providing the data, including the individual receiving counselling to support them through the process.

An organisation called Adopt London North, a regional adoption agency that works on behalf of Hackney Council can provide help with this. You can contact Adoption London North by phone on 0800 694 0101 or via Adopt London North.

Finding birth parents

Adopt London North can help you find your birth parents if:

  • you were born in Hackney
  • you now live in Hackney
  • Hackney Council arranged your adoption

If you’re aged 18 or over, counselling is available to help discuss matters of adoption tracing and reunion. If you were born before November 1975, it is a mandatory requirement that you seek counselling before being given access to your birth records.

If you’re under 18 and want to find out about your birth parents, speak to your adoptive parents and ask them to share the information they have with you. They can contact Adopt London North for more information.

If you know your birth name, you can get a copy of your birth certificate from the General Register Office. This will contain the name of your birth mother and possibly your birth father. You can then begin tracing your birth parent or parents yourself, or contact Adopt London North who can assist you with access to counselling and provide advice on people and organisations that can help you further.

You can add yourself to the national Adoption Contact Register. If your parents have also done this, the service will then let them know that you are trying to contact them. No information is passed without the knowledge of each party. It costs £15 to add your details to the register.

Contact details for Adopt London North

  • address:  Adopt London North, The Laycock Centre, Laycock Street, London, N1 1TH
  • telephone:  0800 694 0101
  • Website:  Adopt London
  • opening times: Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Page updated on: 11 November 2022