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Adoption and Children Act 2002

Disclosure of information about a person’s adoption

12.The Act also makes new provision for the disclosure to adopted people of information held by the adoption agency in connection with their adoption, and for access to their birth records. These provisions also cover the release of adoption agency information to birth relatives and others.  The Act provides for a single point of access to identifying information through adoption agencies, as the bodies best placed to provide the support and counselling needed for this sensitive task.  The new regulatory framework for the disclosure of information about a person’s adoption seeks to recognise the interests of all those involved.  Regulations may be made under the Act providing for the exercise of discretion by adoption agencies in this area to be reviewed by an independent panel (see paragraph 7).

13.This scheme would only apply to adoptions that take place after the Act has been brought into force. For adoptions which took place prior to the date of the coming into force of sections 56 to 65, provision will be made under section 98 (see paragraphs 244-249) for adoption support agencies registered to provide intermediary services to assist adopted adults to obtain information about their adoption and to facilitate contact between them and their birth relatives.

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