Are you seeking background information about your adoption or time in care? This page provides advice on this service however you should note that the demand for these services is high and you may be asked to wait for a while before we can deal with your enquiry. We recommend that people who are hoping to contact members of their family, whether they were adopted, in care, or are relatives of people who were in care should seek counselling services.
If you do not want to trace family members but wish to leave information on file for them in case they get in touch, we can arrange this for you.
We are able to provide a limited service, and enquirers may be referred to National Records of Scotland. The service we provide is only available to enquirers who live within Glasgow. Enquirers who live in one of the other former Strathclyde authorities should contact their own local authority for all services, including information from files and counselling.
If you live in any other part of the UK or abroad - but were adopted or in care through Glasgow - we will be able to help you with information from files but advise you to seek counselling services from your own local authority or agency in your own area.
Further enquiries can be made by contacting:
Families for Children
136 Stanley Street
Glasgow G41 1JH
Monday - Thursday: 8.45am to 4.45pm
Friday: 8.45am to 3.55pm
Phone: 0345 276 5555
If you were brought up in care, whether fostered or in residential care, there may be records available. However, it is only very recently that local authorities have been required to keep these records in the same way as adoption records. This means we now need to keep them for 75 years. Where records exist, it will usually be possible to share information with you. However, enquirers should note that files may contain information by, or about, third parties which cannot be shared without their permission.
If you wish to trace relatives and you were adopted, brought up in care, or are a relative of someone who was, we can provide a counselling service if you are resident within Glasgow. This will help you before you start and in the event of contact being made with your birth family. However, we are not a tracing agency and can give only limited assistance with the work of finding relatives.
If you were adopted in Scotland you can see or obtain a copy of your original birth certificate from the age of 16 years. The full birth certificate will give the following information:
You can obtain a copy of your birth certificate by writing to:
The National Records of Scotland Adoption Unit
Room 3, General Register House
2 Princes Street
Edinburgh EH1 3YY
Phone: 0131 535 1355
Alternatively you can see your birth entry by calling in person. You will be asked to provide proof of identity such as a driving licence, adoption certificate or some other form of identity. If you are a married woman, your marriage certificate will also be required. There is a charge for obtaining a copy of the birth certificate.
A person adopted in Scotland may, at the discretion of the Sheriff, have access to the court process. This is held at the court that granted the adoption order, although older records may be archived at the Scottish Records Office. The name of the court is recorded on the Full Extract of Entry from the Register of Adopted Children - not the Abbreviated Extract.
The court process papers will usually contain information about the circumstances of the adoption and may name the adoption agency that arranged the placement.
Adoption agencies are required to retain their records for 75 years and information from them may be given on application to the agency concerned. However, it should be noted that although it will usually be possible to locate records, there will occasionally be instances where they cannot be traced. Legislation governing access to personal files - Data Protection Act 2018 - does not apply to adoption files. The disclosure of information is at the discretion of the agency, but it is the policy of Glasgow City Council to disclose as much information as possible.
We will now share data based on the relevant legal basis under the current Data Protection legislation with effect from 25th May 2018. Consent for data sharing is no longer required. The relevant privacy statement is available which confirms these details: www.glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=22825
If you are providing anyone else's details, where appropriate please make sure that you have told them that you have given their information to Glasgow City Council.
If you were adopted in England the procedure is a little different. If you were adopted prior to 1975 you will be required to receive counselling before your birth certificate is made available to you. On requesting your birth certificate you will be given a choice as to where you may be counselled.
At your counselling session you will be given some information about yourself and your adoption. You will also be given authority to obtain your birth certificate and to apply for information from the records of the court that granted your adoption order.
Requests for birth certificates should be made in writing to:
The Registrar General
General Register Office
PO Box 2
Southport PR8 2JD
Phone: 0870 243 7788
Birth Link is Scotland's adoption contact register. The service is available to adoptees and birth relatives who can register and, in the event of both parties being registered, they can be put in touch with one another.
Birth Link can be contacted at:
21 Castle Street
Edinburgh EH2 3DN
Phone: 0131 225 6441