If you were adopted - either some time ago or recently - Hampshire County Council’s Adoption Support Team can help in the following ways:
If you have not already done so, you need to consider accessing your adoption records before searching for birth relatives so you can find out background information about your adoption.
- When you apply to access your adoption records you will be offered the opportunity to discuss your adoption and how you feel about it with an adoption support worker. Counselling can help you understand how you feel about being adopted and a chance to discuss the circumstances around your adoption, your birth history and your adoptive family.
- If you want to find your birth family (parents or other relatives) we can help by offering the chance to discuss your expectations and fears as well as finding information from your records before going further and actively searching for birth family members. This may be through Hampshire’s own records or via the Adoption Contact Register
An adopted person has the right to set up an absolute or partial veto that can prevent them from being contacted by a birth relative. The Adoption Support Team will help and advise you if this is what you want to do and record your preferences and wishes on your adoption records.
In most circumstances, any contact arrangements with a birth family are set up as part of an Adoption Order. However, if it is the right thing for the adopted child, contact arrangements can be made later on for birth family contact.
Hampshire’s Adoption Service regularly run a workshop for adults who are accessing their records, tracing birth relatives, and for birth relatives who are seeking or have had a reunion. The Adoption Link workshop is open to those who are receiving counselling about accessing adoption records and for birth family relatives who want to contact an adopted person. If you wish to know more about participating in a workshop, please ask the Adoption Support Team for more information.
Tel 01489 587543