As a result of changes made as part of the Adoption Act 1988 adoptees have the right to know about their origins and identity. Under the Act, adoptees must be provided with access to their original birth record and other records associated with their adoption.
The Act also recognises that many birth parents desire to know how the arrangements they made for their child’s future turned out, and that adoptive parents may need information from the child’s birth family to help them in their tasks as parents.
The Act provides for an Adoption Information Service and an Adoption Information Register. The Register and Information Service help all persons involved in an adoption – including adoptees, birth parents, adoptive parents and birth relatives – to:
- obtain information from adoption records, and
- express their wishes about the exchange of information with each other, including making arrangements to meet if they wish to do so.
The Act also recognises that all people affected by adoption have a right to privacy, and the Adoption Register allows people to register a veto against contact.
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