Adoption file - where do I apply to for this?

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Adoption file - where do I apply to for this?

Postby Summerbaby » Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:48 pm

Hi,

I was wondering if someone can help me, I would like to access my adoption file out of curiosity to see what if anything is in it. I am going round things in an unusual order though as I'm already in contact with my Birth Family. So already know names and dates etc.....

Do I apply to the area which originally handled my case from birth, or the court where my adoption was signed off? These are in different parts of England. How do I find out where the documents will be being held now? I was born in the 70's but actually adopted in the mid 80's.

Thankyou.
Dreams do come true!
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Re: Adoption file - where do I apply to for this?

Postby Turtle » Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:22 am

I think it is really worth accessing your files. I thought about it for a long time, as I thought it would be a lot of hassle and jumping through hoops, but it was actually straight forward.

You just contact your local authority and they will chase the records for you. You have two interviews, one before they find the files, so they can get all your details and permission, then a second one, once they have found them.

This is on the hampshire site, but it has a link to your local authority and explains how to go about things.

http://www3.hants.gov.uk/childrens-serv ... option.htm
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Re: Adoption file - where do I apply to for this?

Postby sylvie » Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:34 pm

Hi Summerbaby

When I applied for the non-identifying paperwork associated with my son's adoption, I had to go through an intermediary (After Adoption), who made the request on my behalf (to the social services in charge of his adoption, I think) and who then discussed the general contents with me.

This occurred before we reunited. At that time, I didn't know where my son was or where he had gone, so my attention was focussed almost entirely on trying to understand what kind of world he had entered into upon his adoption. Even little details felt really important (and there were scant of those).

What I didn't notice till recently, when I looked at the paperwork again and read it properly - particularly the stuff written about me - was how at odds the social worker's and doctor's assessment of the situation was to what was really going on. For example, the doctor wrote that I 'never wavered' in my decision to have my son adopted. This isn't true at all. I expressed my profound doubts about it at least twice to my social worker, and though she refers obliquely to this in her report, she writes about it as if my doubts arose just once, briefly, and were soon resolved.

But I kept a diary at that time, and recorded many of our conversations in detail, and it's clear I had very great doubts about the adoption and talked to her extensively about them. Nothing of this reality appears in those reports. (It's also clear from my diary that she didn't tell me about the help that was available and that I was entitled to, which could've helped me keep my son).

If my son read those reports by those professionals, he would have a completely wrong idea of what went on back then, at the time of his adoption. I am very wary of anyone thinking that official documents represents the truth of a situation, rather than just the particular writer's/social worker's/doctor's impression or assumption. I hope, if my son ever reads those reports, that he trusts his heart and my heart, not a document that has all the appearance of something neutral but isn't. Such documents are loaded with the assumptions that we young/unmarried mothers were not as good for our children as the married prospective adoptive parents, and so adopting our children away from us was undoubtedly the best thing for them and should therefore be encouraged/easily facilitated.
Reunited with my beloved son after decades of separation which began when I was a young teenager and he was newly born, and finally ended a few years ago when we met again as fully-grown adults.
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Re: Adoption file - where do I apply to for this?

Postby Turtle » Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:54 pm

Hi Sylvie.

Adoptees are only given some of the paperwork. The social workers, again act like god, and pick and choose what you see. I was certainly never given anything along the lines that you describe, so it may be one of the bits of paperwork that they decide to hold back.

I was, however, given a letter that my mother wrote to the social worker that thanks her for her support at a difficult time. It is clear that the situation had caused her a lot of stress, but she was trying to cope as best she could.

I should think that most people who access these files, take quite a wide view of the paperwork and also realize that it was written at a very different time and that it only really touches the surface of what really went on. Nothing in it is really fact. The view on the b.parents and the a.parents, has a certain spin to it. There has to be a huge amount of reading between the lines.
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Re: Adoption file - where do I apply to for this?

Postby sylvie » Thu Nov 27, 2014 5:08 pm

I agree Turtle.
Reunited with my beloved son after decades of separation which began when I was a young teenager and he was newly born, and finally ended a few years ago when we met again as fully-grown adults.
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Re: Adoption file - where do I apply to for this?

Postby ladyarcher70 » Sat Nov 29, 2014 6:07 pm

Actually, I disagree with you there Turtle..........I think that a lot of people will in fact, take what is written as 'gospel' ........ there have been quite a few posts on here over the years where I have said to people not to take the notes as 'gospel', because they were written to persuade a Court, or Judge, to order the adoption........so are bound to be carefully worded to bias against the b.mother........none of these notes were ever written with the idea that the adoptee themselves would eventually read them.........

A lot of people, particularly those who are not over confident in the first place, tend to take anything written by people that are perceived as being 'in authority', as gospel.........and lets face it, many adoptees are not overly confident, particularly when they are thinking of contact......possibly my views perhaps apply to older adoptees who were brought up with the notion that anything written 'officially' was bound to be true.......hopefully younger people now are more questioning than many in my age group.........and as for those who were in my late b.mother's age group........then anything said by a Solicitor/Doctor/Teacher etc was truly the law, and they never thought to question it.......

just my view.......

LA70
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