Support to Adopted Adults and their Birth Families

Support for Adopted Adults

Adoption is a lifelong experience.  Many adopted adults find it important to learn more about their background and birth family.  The law says that adopted people can request access to their birth records when they become adults.  We offer this birth records counselling service if you want to access it.  If you were adopted outside Cumbria we will be able to request your birth records from the agency who placed you. 

The Adoption Support Team offers support groups for adopted adults who live within the Cumbria County Council area.  Groups are held in Cockermouth and Kendal, giving adoptees the opportunity to meet other adopted adults and share their experiences of adoption.

Intermediary Services for Adopted People and Birth Family Members

There has been a significant change in the Law since the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (and the Intermediary Services Regulations 2005) which allows birth relatives to seek for adopted people once they are 18.  Adopted people have always had the right to seek for birth relatives. This is called an intermediary service.

We will consider applications for an intermediary service from people adopted before 30 12 05, in line with regulations, or from a birth relative of a person adopted before this date. Both the applicant and the person they are seeking must be over 18.  We are required to assess the impact of this service on anyone who will be affected before making our decision. We must also consider the impact of an application on any adopted siblings aged under 18.

If you are adopted and you do not want to be contacted by your birth family you can place a veto on your file.  You can also place a partial veto on your file if there are people you are willing to be contacted by and people you would rather not be contacted by at the present time.   

Intermediary services are in demand and there is a waiting list.  We charge a standard fee for this service of £ 120.00. You can seek a priority service if there are significant issues such as serious ill health.   If we receive applications from outside Cumbria we will redirect the applicant to their local adoption support service due to the requirement to offer counselling as part of this service in order to ensure our duty of care to all parties. 

To find out more, please contact the Adoption Support team at your local Children's Services:

  • Carlisle and East Cumbria (01228) 221528/227109
  • West Cumbria (01900) 406472/406473
  • Barrow and Furness  and Kendal and South Cumbria (01539) 713031/713038. 

Email:  adoption.support@cumbria.gov.uk