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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.

How do you find out if you have an brother or sister out there given up for adoption...

(22 Posts)
BarktwiceifyoureinMilkwaukee Mon 12-Jan-09 15:23:54

...but can't ask parents or family?

I wondered if it's possible to search somewhere against your mother's name, or if it is specific to the town's birth records etc.. Would have no clue where to start.


JustKeepSwimming Mon 12-Jan-09 20:08:17

Well, you should be able to search for birth records around the right time frame with the surname info. (assuming the baby was registered with mother's name as surname - is this what you think will have happened?)

When are you looking at?

Try free bmd

If the baby was registered with a different surname you may have more trouble, though you might still be able to search with the mother's maiden name, depends on timeframe i think.

Ivykaty44 Mon 12-Jan-09 20:12:41

Adoption records are different and very sensitive and you will find information on adoption records on the GRO main website.

I wouldnt think you would find anything on the freebmd site unless the adoption was before 1927 when adoption became legal. The free bmd site is a transcription and at the moment volunteers are working there way through the 1930's and some of the indexing has been transcribed as far into the 1940's.

JustKeepSwimming Mon 12-Jan-09 20:17:26

What if the baby was born, registered, then adopted?

If a baby is adopted at birth, is the normal birth certificate not registered/entered as normal then?
I mean is it 'hidden' and the 'new' name registered?

Ivykaty44 Mon 12-Jan-09 20:26:15

It does explain it on the adoption section of the website.

It also explains what rights the original extended family have and how they can be helped - again this is a sensitive issue, for a whole varity of reasons.

KristinaM Tue 13-Jan-09 00:53:31

you need to search the birth records under the names of the parents. you search the records for where you think they were living at the time

if you think that its a half sibling on your fathers side, you are unlikely to be able to trace that baby through birth records, unless you father was married to the mother of the baby at the time

this would not enable you to find a child who was born in a different place eg if the mother was living in England but went to Ireland to give birth and the birth was registered there. Of course, if you suspected this you could also search the irish records

JKS - babies are not adopted at birth in the UK

JustKeepSwimming Tue 13-Jan-09 11:26:36

I'm interested on more of a family history way really (sorry for hijack).

So i don't know how far back good adoption records go, anyone?

Back to OP though, if you knew the birth name (pre-adoption name) surely it would still be registered as normal? and therefore in the BMD registers?

If you only knew the adopted name then i guess you would have to go through the adoption records as the website says.

But that also makes me think, when someone is adopted, and their name is changed, is a new birth cert issued? and wold that one be searchable in BMD? and would it be backdated to their birth or is it dated at their adoption?

(i know nothing about adoptions, you can see!)

Ivykaty44 Tue 13-Jan-09 11:56:43

JKS - the adoption records tart in 1927 when adoption became a legal process, before this time it was a hit and miss affair and nothing legal was documented.

Although for bastard children there are sometimes records in with the quarter sessions or at times the parish records may hold bastardy bonds - but these can be patchy.

If you want to search qs you would need to go to the county archive and request the qs - of course these are only available for over 75 years ago, you cant look at court records wlly illy as people may still be alive that appear in the records. Even if the person you are searching for is dead there will be others in the records that will still be or could be alive so they do not give free access. So then you need to go down the route of freedom of information and someone can look and search the records for you and let you know if there is relevant info availble that you can have.

HecateQueenOfGhosts Tue 13-Jan-09 11:58:30

bastardly bonds? I know 'bastard' was the accepted term then, but doesn't it sound horrible?

BarktwiceifyoureinMilwaukee Tue 13-Jan-09 13:20:45

Yes, illegitamate so much easier on the ear..

Ladies, thank you very much for your replies... I could only narrow down the time frame I'm suspicious about to between ten and fourteen years before my birth, and then to either a northern town, a London district, or Venice! Which is why I hoped there was somewhere central to check births against my mother's name.

Anyway I will read through the links you have provided and decide if it's too big a job..

Thanks again.

KristinaM Tue 13-Jan-09 13:44:42

you could search the birth records for England for the period you want. yes you can search under your mother name. you should also search under similar spellings in case there was an error eg if she is Anne Clark you check Ann and Clarke as well

you cant really search the adoption records in teh same way, although if you know the adopted name then you can also search the birth records for that

" But that also makes me think, when someone is adopted, and their name is changed, is a new birth cert issued? and would that one be searchable in BMD? and would it be backdated to their birth or is it dated at their adoption?"

There is a new docuemnt issued, but its called an extract from the adopted children register. it shows the original DOB and the details of the adoptive parents and is dated aftre the adoption order is granted

so basically you can get information about the birth and information about adopted children registisred. what is NOT availabel is the information that links the two

JustKeepSwimming Tue 13-Jan-09 15:14:04

So BarkTwice should be able to search (barring misspellings and not finding it, etc.) for a possible birth to her mother but without knowing what the adopted name was, the trail would end at the birth cert?

THen I guess she could go through the process listed on the website for family members of adoptees once she knows there is someone to find?

Good luck BTIYIM

V interesting info about the records IvyKaty, thanks. Not far enough back for one of my mysteries - will have to carry on waiting for the 1911 census in the hope there's more info there....

Ivykaty44 Tue 13-Jan-09 18:33:51

what are you looking for JKS?

KristinaM Tue 13-Jan-09 19:54:24

JKS_ yes. if her mother gave birth and registsred the baby in England or wales i think. but at least she would have a sex and DOB.but she cant search the adoption records for adopted babies born on that day

what she can do is search the electoral roll for the area where the baby might have been adopted for the year that the child turns 18. thats the only time that DOB appears on the electoral roll

its a bit of a long shot as it assumes they still live in the area where they were born. . more likely to be the case outside big cities i think

JustKeepSwimming Wed 14-Jan-09 07:34:05

Thanks Kristina

IvyKaty - it just got me thinking about one of my family tree brick walls that's all (sorry, major hijack).
Victor Arthur Gibbons was born about 1890 but don't know where. Likely Bristol area but could in fact be anywhere in the world!
The story goes that his parents worked in the circus, were killed by the lions hmm and he went into a children's home. Then he joined the army at 15.
No good match in 1901, have him from marriage onwards (in Bristol area).
Was just interested in how family tree research might cross over the adoption stuff but that long ago i don't think he was adopted even, just went children's home straight to army.

Ivykaty44 Thu 15-Jan-09 00:07:25

If you have his marriage certificate - it will give his fathers name ( well should do, although sometimes this can be left blank or just deceased is writen)

So look for the fathers name in the census.

It may well give the age of the groom, unless the vicar or registra just wrote 21/full age, so you then have a rough idea of the age.

Best of all he went in the army - the army like to keep records so look at the national archives website for research guides to looking at army records - bummer bit is the second ww a lot of army records were lost, but not all so there is a good chance. You need to know really which regisment - if he was in the first ww though he will have a star medal so lok on the national archive site for his medal.

childrens homes did keep records, the bit about this is actually finding if the records have survived, they will sometimes be in the county archive and sometimes be with SS, getting the information from the childrens home records is the next step and getting SS to say yes you can have the information from those records. Do you have any idea where in the country he was in a childrens home? or wiat and see if his army records say where he joined up and that will give you a clue - possibly......

Ivykaty44 Thu 15-Jan-09 00:11:02

**what she can do is search the electoral roll for the area where the baby might have been adopted for the year that the child turns 18. thats the only time that DOB appears on the electoral roll**

It doesn't always appear - I have checked my own and the year I turned 18 even though I registered to vote and my name appears in the ER, my DOB is not printed.

solidgoldsoddingjanuaryagain Thu 15-Jan-09 00:14:26

I was adopted as a baby in 1964, I have a 'short' birth certificate which gives my date of birth and my (adopted) name and is dated the day the adoption was finalised; I also have an adoption certificate which gives my adoptive parents' names.
I am aware that I have an original birth certificate in existence (ie at the central registrar's office) but have never seen it. I would imagine that if you contact the central registrar's office - or, better, if you know it, the town hall in the relavant area - with the name of one or both parents and an approximate date they will be able to search for you, though obviously it's going to be easier if the name is Ebenezer Twinklebottom than if it's Jane Smith.

JustKeepSwimming Thu 15-Jan-09 08:18:29

Just realised the 1911 census is out, yey!
But no ideal matches for him in there either, will have to buy some credits and look properly...

I know some of that info, but still mostly a brick wall....

KristinaM Thu 15-Jan-09 10:03:22

ivykay - that's weird, do you think its an error? what if there had been an election that year - how would the registrar know if you were entitled to vote?

when we were searching family records we couldnt find a birth cert for my DH. He has a passport so we knwo his name & dob are correct IYSWIM. we went through all the usual options - checking under his mothers maiden name, which is a very common names so it took ages. checking his parenst marraige cert etc etc. wondered if he had been born "abroad"

eventually discovered he has been missed off the central index and they had to get the local registrar to send them details.we have found several other mistakes even in the 20th century records

Ivykaty44 Thu 15-Jan-09 15:09:04

The census that was taken in 2001 has hugh enourmas gaps and mistakes in it.

The statistics have actually added one million fake names to the census to try to even things out hmm interesting!

It is not uncommon to not be able to find Bristol/avon marriages as the vicars down there were not very happy about having to get all the paper work to the registra every three months so would take it every 18 months or so. Consequently the registras have often left marriages in the bristol area of the central indexes - so if you are searching a marrieg in bristol try the local office.

mogwai Mon 26-Jan-09 19:55:51

sorry I haven't read the whole thread, but....

I had a cousin adopted at birth (I'm talking about him on another thread!).

I searched the BMD for family tree reasons and came upon my own birth record.

This cousin was registered right alongside me (we have an unusual surname) and there was an "A" written in pen beside his name.

I wondered whether this stood for "adopted" so looked through pages and pages of records for this period (1972). There were lots of "A"s handwritten alongside the (typed) entries. I noticed that most of these children had very young mothers or unmarried mothers or no details of the father (can't remember exactly but somehting that rang a bell).

Hope this might help.

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