To trace your adoption records, you will need to go through the following steps.
Initial counselling session
The counselling will:
- give you as much information as possible about your adoption
- help you to understand some of the possible feelings and emotions within yourself and your adoptive parents
- answer any inquiries you may wish to make about your birth family
- consider the possible effects and consequences for your birth parents if you decide to trace them
Finding your original birth records
So we can identify your record, you will need to provide the following information:
- your name
- your date of birth
- your birth name (if appropriate)
- the surname and Christian names of your adoptive parents
You'll be invited to a meeting in the office. It's important that you bring with you some form of identification, to make sure that information is not given to an unauthorised person. At the initial interview the Social Worker will discuss with you how much you already know about your birth family and your reasons for seeking further information.
If you were born in Jersey the Social Worker will make an application on your behalf to the superintendent registrar for a copy of your original birth certificate, the cost is £30.75.
Born or adopted in Jersey and living abroad
Write to the Children’s Service and give us details of the date of birth and names of your adoptive parents. We can search for your records and give you non-identifying information.
You may also be given information about adoption agencies where you live, who can provide the appropriate counselling. The application for the birth certificate should be made by the local Social Worker, but it may be possible to arrange this direct over the telephone.
Born and adopted in the UK and living in Jersey
The Children's Service is recognised by the Registrar General in England as an agency competent to provide counselling for adopted people
Contact the General Register Office for an application form and, if you wish to be counselled in Jersey, the Children's Service will supply a letter confirming our willingness to provide counselling.
Born in the UK and adopted in Jersey
The Children’s Service will provide counselling in the usual way.
We should hold sufficient records to enable us to apply either to the General Register Office in the UK or the local area where you were born for a copy of your original birth certificate.
We'll also contact the placement agency and request your adoption records. At one time Jersey born babies were placed in Southampton and some babies born there came to Jersey. A few children were placed in Jersey by UK adoption agencies. You'll be given whatever general information is available about your background.
There are no records prior to 1947 as there was no legal adoption in Jersey prior to that date. Until the Children’s Service came into existence in 1959 adoptions were mainly arranged by Health Visitors and doctors and the records for the years 1947 and 1959 give very little detail other than the birth mother’s name and address at the time of placement. From 1959 onwards the records are more detailed.
Born in Guernsey
Adoption (Amendment) (Guernsey) Law, 2000 allows an adopted person over the age of 18, who was born in Guernsey, to apply to the Registrar at the Greffe for information necessary to obtain a copy of their Birth Certificate. The Registrar cannot supply this information unless the adopted person has attended an interview with a counsellor arranged by the local Services for Children and Young People. The Services will provide confirmation to the Registrar that the adopted person has attended a counselling interview.
Should the adopted person wish to obtain a copy of their Birth Certificate, they can do so at the Greffe for a fee of £19.00. Form A should be completed and sent to the Greffe Office together with a fee of £5.00. If you live outside of Guernsey the Adoption and Permanency Officer will arrange for you to be interviewed by a suitable Counsellor in your area. The Services for Children and Young People will provide confirmation that you have attended such an interview directly to the Registrar.
Record your wish for contact
The Children’s Service in Jersey and the Children Board in Guernsey keep records of any contact or request for information in their files. If they find that a contact from a birth parent matches with one from the adopted adult, they will act as intermediary and put the 2 parties in touch with each other.
The Children’s Service does not have the resources to undertake searches, but can refer you to a voluntary organisation which has built up extensive experience of searching and acting as intermediary between the parties.
While the Children’s Service is not able to give birth relatives any information about the child who was placed for adoption we are able to provide counselling and record their views on contact on the adopted person's file. This will be very valuable information should the adopted person decide to seek contact with them.
Birth relatives are also able to make their wishes for contact known on the contact registers held by the Superintendent Registrar in Jersey and the Greffe in Guernsey. In Jersey a letter should be sent to the Superintendent Registrar including as many details as possible. For Guernsey a Form C is available from the Greffe and a fee of £5 is charged.
For birth relatives living in Jersey, but whose children were placed for adoption in the UK, the Children’s Service is able to make contact with the adoption agency on their behalf to make their views on contact known. Some adoption agencies in the UK are willing to undertake searches for the adopted person on behalf of the birth relatives and ask their views on contact.
The Adoption Contact Register in Guernsey
The Adoption Contact Register is maintained at the Greffe by the Registrar. The register contains two parts:
under part I of the register an adopted person, aged 18 years or over, who was born in Guernsey, may apply to the Registrar to record their wishes for contact or otherwise with their birth relatives. The adopted person should complete Form B or available at the Greffe. Once complete the form should be sent to the Greffe together with a cheque for £5.00 made payable to The States of Guernsey
under Part II of the register a relative of an adopted person who was born in Guernsey, who is 18 years or over, can apply to the Registrar to record their wishes for contact or otherwise with the adopted person by completing Form C or available at the Greffe. Once complete the form should be sent to the Greffe together with a cheque for £5.00 made payable to The States of Guernsey
Form D provides an opportunity for either an adopted person or their birth relatives to amend or remove an entry in either Part I or Part II of the Adoption Contact Register. This form is also available from the Registrar at the Greffe and applications should be accompanied by a fee of £5.00 made payable to The States of Guernsey.