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Access to records – post care adults

Growing up in care can leave painful and confused memories: Who were my parents? Why was I taken into care? Have I any brothers and sisters? A great many have a sense of not belonging.

In October 2001 the Data Protection Act 1998 was implemented, giving people who grew up in care the legal right to see their own care records. Barnardo’s, however, had been offering this service since 1995.

Waiting times for our Access to Records service for post care adults will vary, depending on Making Connections’ workload, and on the urgency of need.  The waiting time for enquirers living in the U.K. usually varies between six months and a year.

To start an enquiry to access your records please print and complete the initial enquiry form.

Access to records – post adopted adults/birth relatives

If your adoption was handled by Barnardo’s we can provide you with access to your records which will give you an account of the events and circumstances surrounding your adoption and information about your birth family.  We can work with you through this process and offer support and counselling at all stages.

If you are a birth relative we can offer you advice and support through the process of tracing, acting as intermediaries where required.

Waiting times for our Access to Records service for post adopted adults and birth relatives will vary, depending on Making Connections’ workload, and on the urgency of need.  The waiting time for enquirers living in the U.K. usually varies between six months and nine months.

To start an enquiry to access your records please print and complete the initial enquiry form.

If you are looking for information about a deceased relative, please visit our Family History Service.

What is in the records?

A child’s record usually includes an account of circumstances leading to their admission into Barnardo’s, or their adoption through the organisation and details of family members known at the time. Documents such as birth and baptism certificates, school reports, and photos of themselves and the places they lived in, may also be available. However, information about day-to-day life in the homes and foster homes is usually very sparse, and enquirers may be disappointed to find events they recall are not recorded.

Information about the enquirer themselves is made as fully available as possible. However, access to records is subject to legal restrictions regarding ‘third party information’ concerning another individual. While we may release factual information, such as names of family members, we must delete information of a more personal nature if it relates to anyone other than the enquirer. Where information is withheld this is made clear, and the reasons explained.