Please know we are doing everything within our power to keep our service operating as usual during the outbreak of the coronavirus, whilst adhering to Government guidance.
However, this does mean all our staff are now based at home for the foreseeable future. Inevitably, this may affect the way we work with you in the following ways:
1. We are still inviting enquiries from people interested in adopting. All monthly public information events for you to find out more about adoption will be held online temporarily. Please visit Eventbrite for details of how to register for one of these events.
2. We may need to operate on reduced staffing – there is a chance this might slow down your application process, particularly as we will need to visit you at home at some point, provided that it is safe to do so. Every circumstance is different however and we will keep you informed every step of the way.
3. Should you require support with access to adoption or historic care records, please be aware that we are continuing to work and accept referrals during this period. However, our access to records is limited whilst the team are working from home and it may take longer than usual to respond to enquiries.
We will update this notice as soon as this situation changes. We do understand the distress this may cause and sincerely apologise for this inconvenience, which is unfortunately beyond our control. We will continue to follow Government guidance around working practices and will update this notice with any changes. If you have any questions at all around our practice in context of the Covid- 19 outbreak, or any other questions about adoption, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team.
Access to records and intermediary services
It’s important to know where we come from, learn about our roots and understand our family history. Diagrama Adoption holds records of more than 25,000 people with whom we have worked over the years. We support and guide people through the complex process of finding out about their backgrounds, making family connections and developing a stronger sense of identity.
Diagrama Foundation is a non-for-profit organisation, and is a charity registered with Ofsted as a Voluntary Adoption Agency. Since November 2014 Diagrama Foundation has been responsible for holding the adoption records for the former organisations:
• Cabrini Children’s Society
• The Southwark Catholic Rescue Society
• The Southwark Catholic Children’s Society
• Portsmouth Diocesan Catholic Child Welfare
Diagrama also holds records for people who were in residential homes and former child migrants connected to the above organisations. If this applies to your circumstances, we have a dedicated page for you to find out how to Access Care Records.
On 30 December 2005, legislation came into force allowing adopted adults who were adopted before that date (known as Pre Commencement Adoptions) to obtain information about their adoption and to facilitate contact between them and their birth relatives. With effect from 31 October 2014, further legislation extended this provision to persons having a Prescribed Relationship, including descendants, with an adopted person.
Diagrama is able to arrange access to the adoption records they hold as the Appropriate Adoption Agency (the agency responsible for the placement and adoption order application), via the relevant local authority upon application, or via the chosen Ofsted registered Adoption Support Agency. If you know your birth name, but are unsure whether Diagrama holds your adoption records, you can fill in the application form to request a check of our database. You can download your form here.
Alternatively, if you do not know your birth name or the adoption agency, you can contact www.gov.uk/adoption-records for details.
Access to Birth Records
The Adoption and Children Act 2002 provides for adopted adults to obtain their birth records information to enable them to obtain a copy of their birth certificate from the General Registrar Office. This information will include the original name. The procedure will differ for those adopted after 30 December 2005 (known as Post Commencement Adoptions) who will need to apply to the agency who arranged their adoption, known as the Appropriate Adoption Agency (the agency responsible for the placement and legal proceedings relating to the adoption order application).
Pre 30 December 2005
Access to adoption case records
Diagrama recognises the life-long impact of adoption on all those concerned, and the significance and value of adoption information in helping adopted adults to understand their family history and origins. Where Diagrama is the Appropriate Adoption Agency it is Diagrama’s practice to send copies of the adoption records, on receipt of an application to the Local Authority/Council or Adoption Support Agency identified. In order to obtain records, you will need to make contact with your local authority/council and follow their procedure for making an application. You will need to be over 18 years of age and provide verification of your identity.
Adoption records are shared by way of a counselling interview in order that information can be shared in a supportive manner, and any issues affecting adoption discussed, including the welfare of all parties involved and the implications of decisions and actions for everyone affected. The local authority/council will write to Diagrama, with your permission, for copies of information from the adoption file. The local authority/council will be able to inform you of the counselling services they are able to offer in relation to the adoption records. Diagrama will be responsible for locating and preparing the records for sending, and will exercise its agency discretion regarding what can be disclosed. Whilst Adoption records are confidential, we appreciate adopted adults wish to find out as much as possible about their birth family and origins, in order to understand their past connexions and to make informed decisions. A written summary will be provided with the records for the counsellor to share with you.
Adoption Contact Register
An adopted person can register a wish for contact with the Adoption Contact Register. However, if an adopted person does not wish to be traced and contacted, they may register a wish for no contact (or no contact in specific circumstances).
NORCAP Contact Register
Adoption for Adults now holds the NORCAP Contact Register (NCR). The services can be contacted to check if an adopted adult or relative placed a regisatrion before NORCAP stopped trading on 14th January 2013. New registrations cannot be accepted. .
An adopted adult may register a veto with the agency who arranged their adoption or the local authority who were notified of the intention to adopt. A veto can be absolute or qualified. The right to register a veto is restricted to people who were adopted before 30 December 2005 . Birth relatives of adopted people cannot register a veto. See our information sheet: What is a Veto?
Access to Adoption case records
If you live overseas and wish to apply for your adoption records, you will need to identify a registered counsellor to apply to us on your behalf. Please contact us for details of overseas counsellors. You will need to check for any fees which may apply.
Intermediary Services for adopted adults and birth relatives
Diagrama is unable to offer an Intermediary service, but will respond to a request made on your behalf by the relevant local authority or Ofsted registered Adoption Support Agency, also known as the Intermediary agency, of your choosing. Intermediary services are defined as facilitating contact between adopted persons and their relatives and those with a prescribed relationship. The applicant/subject/adopted person requesting a service must be aged 18 and to be able to verify their identity and relationship to the person sought.
The Intermediary agency also needs to consider the welfare of any party who may be affected by an approach, and requires informed consent to share any identifying information. Find out more at: www.adoptionsearchreunion.org.uk
Upon application, the Intermediary agency will write to us, with your permission, to request a view on the provision of an intermediary service and to establish whether a veto has been placed on the file. The intermediary agency will carry out an assessment, before deciding whether to proceed with the application and will inform you of support and counselling available and any fees which may apply. Please be aware that most Intermediary agencies can charge for their services, including searching and establishing contact. You are advised to check the fees involved before proceeding. Non Local Authority Ofsted registered Adoption Support Intermediary Agencies.
Overseas Intermediary enquiries
If you live overseas and wish to apply for your adoption records, you will need to identify a registered counsellor to apply to us on your behalf. Please contact us for details of overseas counsellors. You will need to check for any fees which may apply
Intermediary services for descendants and those with a prescribed relationship
Diagrama is unable to offer an Intermediary service, but will respond to a request made on your behalf by the relevant local authority or Ofsted registered Adoption Support Agency, also known as the Intermediary agency, of your choosing. Non Local Authority Ofsted registered Adoption Support Intermediary Agencies. Find out more at: www.adoptionsearchreunion.org.uk
Post 30th December 2005
Access to Adoption Case Records and Intermediary services
Diagrama is unlikely to be the Appropriate Adoption Agency (the agency responsible for the placement and legal proceedings relating to the adoption order application) and will not have discretion to share adoption information. If your adoption took place after 30 December 2005 you will need to apply to your own local authority for an adoption records service, or the local authority/council who were responsible for placing you for adoption, also known as the Appropriate Adoption Agency.
If you are an adopted adult or birth relative applying for an intermediary service you will need to contact the local authority/council where you live for a service or refer to the link below : Non Local Authority Ofsted registered Adoption Support Intermediary Agencies.
If you live overseas
Please contact us for details of overseas counsellors . You will need to check for any fees which may apply.
Historical Abuse and Safeguarding Children
Diagrama is fully committed to taking the necessary action when incidents of abuse, current, or historical are brought to our attention. We take reports of abuse very seriously and are particularly concerned to prevent harm to any child today. Any disclosures of abuse will be discussed with you, but we will make the final decision about what action to take. Further infomation on historical abuse can be made available upon request.
Link to useful sites
Leaving a legacy after adoption
We know the impact of adoption on people’s lives is life-long. We aim to be there for you in the future as we are at present. Leaving a gift to Diagrama Adoption in your will is an investment in the future, ensuring that valuable adoption support is available for years to come. Find out more about supporting Diagrama Adoption.