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Family History and Adoption

No records relating to adoption are held at the Tameside Local Studies and Archives. This web page is intended to provide a brief introduction to tracing adoptions.

Legal adoption was introduced in the UK in the first half of the twentieth century. It is more difficult to trace records before this time as adoption was usually a private arrangement.

Adoption Now is your Regional Adoption Agency. If you would like to know more about adoption, please contact Adoption Now on 01204 336096 (Monday to Friday 9am-5pm) or visit: for more information or to register your details.

Adoption Records

If you were adopted through a court in England or Wales and are over 18 years of age, you are entitled to find out information relating to your birth and have access to your adoption records, if they still survive.

Only the adoptee is allowed to apply to see their original birth records and go on the Adoption Contact Register.

On your original birth certificate you should find out exactly when and where you were born, the name you were given at birth, your mother's name, your father's name (if it was given) and the name and possibly relationship to you of the person who registered your birth.

There is a slightly different procedure depending on whether you were adopted before or after 12 November 1975.

Before this date, many adoptive parents were led to believe that their adopted children would be able to find out their original name or the name of their birth parents. However in both cases you need to make an application to the General Register Office for Access to Birth Records service. The first thing to do is to give the General Register Office your details. A counselling interview will then be set up.

There is more detailed help and information on the General Register Office's website: General Register Office Link to External Website

Adopted Children Register

There is a register of all adoptions granted by courts in England and Wales since 1927.

An entry is recorded into the register when a court issues an adoption order. This entry replaces the original birth entry in the General Register Office's Register of Births. The original birth entry is amended to read 'adopted'.

The adoptive parents are then issued with a short adoption certificate. A copy of the index is available at Greater Manchester County Record Office (GMCRO), dated 1927-2007

Although the index is available for inspection the actual register is not open to public inspection or research. To consult the index please contact GMCRO.

Useful websites

Tameside Adoptions: Link to External Website

General Register Office: General Register Office Link to External Website

Adoption Search Reunion: Link to External Website Includes a database on adoption records, details of local agencies that can help with adoption.

Adoption Contact Register: General Register Office Link to External Website For putting adopted people and their birth relatives in touch with each other if that is what they both wish.

British Association For Adoption and Fostering Link to External Website Working for children separated from their birth families.

Useful Publications 

Where to Find Adoption Records: a guide for counsellors, compiled by Georgia Stafford, British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) 1993. Shelved at qL921

Includes information about Ashton-under-Lyne Adoption Society (p. 28). More information is available at the BAAF website Link to External Website.

Contact information

Send us a message
0161 342 4242
Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre
Cotton Street East
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