Support for adopted adults

If you are an adopted adult living in Cumberland or Westmorland and Furness we offer adoption support groups, and help to access your birth record

Adoption support groups

Cumbria Adoption holds support groups for adopted adults who live in Cumbria and who have accessed their records and considered, or have gone ahead with tracing and making contact with their birth relatives. 

We know that every adoption situation is unique and individuals will be affected differently by their adoption journey.

The group will be an opportunity to meet with other adopted adults to share your experiences, thoughts and feelings in a safe supportive environment.  The groups are informal and facilitated by social workers experienced in working with adopted adults. 

They will be held twice a year in north Cumbria (Cumberland) and twice a year in south Cumbria (Westmorland and Furness). 

Adopted adults are welcome to attend all the groups offered by Cumbria Adoption.

If you are interested in finding out more about our support groups please contact the Adoption Support Team, details below.

Accessing your birth records

If you are an adopted adult and live in the Cumberland or Westmorland and Furness council areas and want to access your birth records, we can offer:

Support from an experienced adoption worker who will help you locate your birth records and share these with you. You will need to be 18 to do this. We will also support you in understanding why you were adopted and discuss your feelings about this.

Information about the adoption contact register. This puts adopted adults and the birth relatives, if registered, in touch with one another and is administered by the General Register Office. You can talk to your social worker about this or read our Birth family support leaflet (PDF 2MB)

We can offer an intermediary service for adopted adults who are living in Cumberland or Westmorland and Furness. This includes a tracing service, and should we locate a birth relative we will make the initial contact on your behalf and support you through the process of reunion. We charge a fee for this service - for further information contact the Adoption Support Team.

Once you turn 18 your birth relatives can request an 'intermediary' service form an Adoption Agency.  This could mean that you are approached about contact with a birth family member.

The agency providing this service would need to complete an assessment.  The agency will not share any identifying information about you with birth relatives without your consent. 

If you are approached by an agency it would be up to you to decide how much information you wish to give them about yourself and whether you would like any contact.

If you were adopted on before 30 December 2005 and do not wish to be contacted by a birth relative, you can place a veto on your record. 

You can lodge either an absolute veto, no contact at all, or a partial veto - setting out specific conditions for contact.  In order to place an absolute or partial veto on your file you will need to contact the agency that holds your adoption records.

If you were adopted after 30 December 2005 you can still contact us and request that we record your contact views on your adoption record. Adoptions after this date are subject to different regulations which means that you may already have a lot of information about your adoption.

For a full guide see our accessing your birth records page.

Descendants and other relatives of adopted adults

From November 2015 if you are a descendant or other relative of an adopted adult you can request an intermediary service to make contact with an adopted person's birth relatives. 

Cumbria Adoption does not offer this service but information about this new rule and agencies that may provide this service can be found on the Adoption Search Reunion website. 

Further advice - contacts

If you want advice about the services we offer, you can

Useful websites

Adoption Support Service Advisor

Every agency has an adoption support service advisor (ASSA), who can provide advice and information to all involved in adoption. 

The ASSA can also help you access adoption support and other specialist services:

Cumbria Adoption's ASSA is:

Jane Gray, Adoption Support Team Manager, Adoption Support Service Advisor (ASSA), South Lakeland House, Lowther Street, Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 4DQ

Telephone: 0303 333 1216